Letters To A Young Poet Course Work Examples

Published: 2021-06-21 23:47:10
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Category: Life, Life, Teenagers, Development

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These ten letters by Rilke are replies to a young poet in which he encourages the poet to develop a connection to, and an understanding, of his inner creative soul. In these letters, Rilke explores themes related to how creativity, nature and sexuality are interrelated, the importance of living a full life, and the necessity of solitude. These letters can be seen as sort of a guide to life, not merely for creative individuals for just about anyone has the desire to develop a connection with their own humanity.


Some of the most notable quotes from the last three letters by Rilke include:

1. “It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living” (Rilke 28).
2. “We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us” (Rilke 31).
3. “Don’t think that the person who is trying to comfort you now lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes give you much pleasure” (Rilke 32).
4. “All feelings that concentrate you and lift you up are pure; only that feeling is impure which grasps just one side of your being and thus distorts you” (Rilke 33).


My response to Rilke’s letters would be that he is actually exploring the limits of his belief and knowledge as a poet through these letters. These letters, this prose, really contains a frank, guiding, loyal, searching, straightforward, and very modest voice of Rilke. Rilke is basically chalking out his ideology of what he believes poetry must be, and how poets must reach beyond themselves to reach the inevitable verse, which is timeless and timely, both for themselves and their readers. Rilke’s letters are moving and touching. His writing is like streams of thought that are capable of carrying readers to the ocean of consciousness if they dare to let themselves go.


After reading Rilke’s last three letters, there are five observations that can be made.

1. “You have had many sadnesses undergone important changes while you were sad” [1].

In Letter 8, Rilke is basically telling the young poet to inspect his response to the indefinite sadness in his life. Sadness is a response to lose, and with loss there is always 2. “[W]hen one is sad: the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us” [2].

Rilke is suggesting that sadness is actually a chance to look ahead toward the future, when the new aspect of life becomes apparent, and when the void of sadness is filled, we feel a connection to our innermost being.

3. “[L]et life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always” [3]

In Letter 9, he is urging the young poet to have faith in and be patient with the process of life.

4. “All feelings that concentrate you and lift you up are pure;” [5].
Also in the same letter, Rilke mentions that feelings can be a useful guide too because whenever feelings are intensified by something, that thing is good for the soul.

5. “And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism” [4]
In the same letter is suggests that the young poet should learn to use doubt as guiding tool to further explore, rather than wondering how to deal with it.

[1] Letters to a Young Poet , Rainer Mairia Rilke, 28
[2] Letters to a Young Poet , Rainer Mairia Rilke, 29
[3] Letters to a Young Poet , Rainer Mairia Rilke, 33
[4] Letters to a Young Poet , Rainer Mairia Rilke, 33
[5] Letters to a Young Poet , Rainer Mairia Rilke, 34


After reading Rilke’s letters, five questions that can be posed include:

1. How can the lesions that Rilke offers apply to works of art that are not literary?
2. How can digging deeply into oneself apply to the work of actors or dancers?
3. Why are people not able to consider sadnesses as opportunities to discover and learn?
4. Does fate really emerge from within oneself?
5. Is death as glorious as life is as Rilke claims it to be?
In conclusion, there is a lot that readers can take away from Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet.”

Work Cited

Rilke, Rainer Maria . "Letters to a Young Poet." Scriptor Press. Scriptor Press. Web. 28 Sep 2013. .

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