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About the book
  • Published: 12 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141192321
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 84
  • RRP: $16.99

Letters To A Young Poet

Little Black Classics




The poet Rilke's lyrical and life-changing advice to an aspiring young writer is among the most inspiring expressions of youthful creativity there has ever been.

At the start of the twentieth century, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a series of letters to a young officer cadet, advising him on writing, love, sex, suffering and the nature of advice itself; these profound and lyrical letters have since become hugely influential for writers and artists of all kinds. This book also contains the 'Letter from a Young Worker', a striking polemic against Christianity written in letter-form, near the end of Rilke's life. In Lewis Hyde's introduction, he explores the context in which these letters were written and how the author embraced his isolation as a creative force. Charlie Louth's afterword discusses the similarities and contrasts of the two works, and Rilke's religious and sexual wordplay. This edition also contains a chronology, notes, and suggested further reading.

  • Pub date: 12 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141192321
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 84
  • RRP: $16.99

About the Author

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke (1975-1926), one of Germany’s greatest lyrical poets, was born in Prague. He studied literature and the history of art in Munich and Berlin, and lived for some time in Paris where he was a secretary to the sculptor Rodin. He died in Switzerland.

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