Letters to a Young Poet

  • by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
  • Narrated by Stephen Mitchell
  • 1 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ranier Maria Rilke challenges you, "...to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answers." Rilke's ability to combine the sensual and the spiritual into an inspired vision of the art of living is brought to vivid life in his letters. Through his eyes, the everyday difficulties of love, sex, solitude, sadness, and doubt are seen as the archetypal elements of the drama called life.


What the Critics Say

"Stephen Mitchell's new translation of Letters to a Young Poet...seems to be the best yet." (Newsday)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Priceless Recordings of Intense Feeling

The first experience I had with Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet was a tape I had purchased, without much expectation, from a local bookstore. I had recently been very captivated by Rilke's poems, but thought letters to another person could hardly be captivating, and would most likely be rather tawdry. I was very wrong. The letters, when heard, have I think an unalterable effect on a personality. They make one question oneself and one's surroundings. Question god and solitude, question what it means to be an artist, but more, what it means to look at the world and try to absorb and interact with it. To live as a human being. Among the creatures and the people. The act of sex and that of death. But with everything, there is a trust that if one looks at something with enough patience, the thing will yield itself, that one will be able to gain understanding, and that nothing that is observed fully is ever lost.
A tremendous recording and reproduction by Audible.com. My only recommendation would be to seperate each letter into an individual audio file, if possible. For even though they stand wonderfully together, it is nearly 80 minutes, and slightly much for a single sitting. But it is an admitedly small complaint.

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- David

rilke at peace

this is a wonderful translation of one of the 20th century s earliest and best gifts. i loved the reading as well, listened to it five or six times in a row, and am still listening to it at night. a peaceful reading of a wise book, with wisdom for poets and anyone else who wants to live an authentic life. the book is also a moving testimony of the total commitment to poetry with which rilke lived every day of his life.
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- Heimo

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-15-1999
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books