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Letters to a Young Poet (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Rainer Maria Rilke , Charlie Louth
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

7 April 2011 Penguin Classics
Originally written to a young man considering a career in the German military, Rainer Maria Rilke's beautiful letters explore a huge range of subjects delicately and with a passionate sensitivity. The recipient, Franz Kappus, began to send his poetry to the 27-year-old Rilke when a student, seeking advice. Their correspondence lasted from 1902 to 1908, and Kappus collated and published the ten letters after Rilke's death. The letters contain insights which are as profound today as when they were written, touching on sexuality, love, creativity and other aspects of the human condition. The book is perenially and hugely influential in the US, where it enjoys the accolade of being Lady Gaga's favourite book.

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1st Edition edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141192305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141192307
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 506,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


...I cannot think of a better book to put into the hands of any young would-be poet, as an inspirational guide to poetry and to surviving as a poet in a hostile world. (Harry Fainlight The Times )

About the Author

Rainer Maria Rilke was born in 1875 in Prague. He studied literature, art history and philosophy in both Munich and Prague, and is often considered one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets. His two most famous verse sequences are the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Charlie Louth was born in 1969 in Bristol. He is a Fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford, where he lectures in German. He is the author of Hölderlin and the Dynamics of Translation (1998).

Lewis Hyde is a poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic. A MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde is a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Letter's to a young poet 5 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've often seen extracts of the letters and have finally purchased my copy of the letters. I absolutely love them. They're pretty much the manual to life that got lost in the post when I was born. Rainer is a gift to our planet and I feel like these letters will be a source I'll reach for every now and then for comfort and empowerment.

I higly recommend this for poets (obviously) but also anyone who want to inspired and touched, for those who rebel the conventional ways and the free-spirited. Honestly, I believe it will believe it will benefit everyone and anyone.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars gold mine 3 Mar 2014
By amyandluuk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jam packed full of insight, challenges, and wisdom for artists of every medium. Take your time to savour all the gems in this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars A book full of one of those best advices in "how to live?" 12 Mar 2013
By lightness1210 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a musician - the hastiness that I always felt when I trying to express my feelings is always a harsh and turbulent issue I have to dealt with everyday. And this is the book I seek for advices when I'm overwhelmed.

The first time I read this book is when I was seventeen. I'm twenty-six now, and the wise words of Rilke's still comfort me and aid me in my path of pursuing my own expressions. I don't know whether those words will fade eventually or lost their weight in the unpredictable and changeable future, but the gifts I'd received are already proven worthwhile.
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