Rilke: Letters to a Young Poet
Rilke’s letters to the young poet Franz Xaver Kappus, written between 1902 and 1908, first published by Kappus in 1929, have been added to the site, here, in a new translation. A cadet at the Austrian military academy the lower school of which Rilke had attended in the 1890’s, the young man went on to pursue an extended military career, as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army, afterwards working as a journalist, editor, writer, and politician. These letters, dating from the early period of Rilke’s own poetic development, offered advice and insight to the younger man, while also revealing Rilke’s ideas and attitudes regarding creative poetic effort and life itself. The two men never met in person, but, thanks to Kappus, these letters to him were preserved, and help to illuminate Rilke’s own achievements in the art, as well as providing a source of inspiration and guidance to poets in general.
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