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Rilke's letters to a young poet


Maja writes: 

I just have a question which I can not find the answer on here on the web pages... "The letters to a young student" when are they written? If you could inform me I could be very happy...Thanks, Have a nice day Maja

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Dear Maja,

Rilke wrote his first letter to a young poet (the original title is "Briefe an einen jungen Dichter") in the February of 1903 and the last one in the December of 1908. He had already written the "Book of Images". While writting to Franz Kappus, the recipient of these letters, he was also working on the essay "Jens Peter Jacobsen", the "Book of Hours", the "New Poems" and the "Notebooks of Malte Laourids Brigge".


The letters were published by their recipient in 1929, about two years after Rilke's death. In his preface, F. Kappus wrote that he found these letters "important to knowing Rilke, the world that he lived and created in, and also important now and in the future to many that come off childhood and fulfill their selves".


The text we publish uses the same title, only changing the word "letters" from plural to singular, since we compiled excerpts from the letters into a single document. We included it in the collection "Writers' Word" at Student Land because we believe that Rilke's insights are useful to any student and not only to poets. It is very important, that these same letters explain how anyone may be a student and a poet, even if one doesn't have the gift and will to write.Add a note!

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R. M. Rilke, Letter to a young poet (Margin: We don't know ourselves!) 

Student Land

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