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Letters to a Young Poet

by Rainer Maria Rilke and Franz Xaver Kappus and translated by Damion Searls
# UT4452 Hardcover, 162 pages; 2021
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The things of this world are not all as sayable and graspable as people usually want us to think; most of what happens is unsayable, unfolding in a space no word has ever entered, and the most unsayable of all are works of art…

In 1902, a struggling young poet wrote to Rainer Maria Rilke for advice, enclosing some poems he had written. Over the course of six years, the two wrote back and forth, and the ten letters that Rilke wrote to his admiring correspondent have served as a spiritual guide for writers, poets, and artists for more than a century. (Even Lady Gaga has a passage tattooed on her arm!) Scholars have long assumed the letters from the "young poet" to be lost to history, but they've recently been unearthed in Rilke family archives. You'll find them printed alongside a fresh translation of Rilke's epistolary masterpieces in this treasure of a book, offering both endearing insight into a struggling artist and valuable context for Rilke's philosophical musings. Anyone familiar with the challenges and rewards of the creative life will savor this wisdom-rich correspondence. (AG)
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