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Publisher's Summary

In this treasury of uncommon wisdom and spiritual insight, the best writings and personal philosophies of one of the 20th century's greatest poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, are gleaned by Ulrich Baer from thousands of pages of never-before translated correspondence. The result is a profound vision of how the human drive to create and understand can guide us in every facet of life. Arranged by theme, from everyday existence with others to the exhilarations of love and the experience of loss, from dealing with adversity to the nature of inspiration, here are Rilke's thoughts on how to live life in a meaningful way.
Intimate, stylistically masterful, brilliantly translated, and brimming with the wonder and passion of Rilke, The Poet's Guide to Life is comparable to the best works of wisdom in all of literature and a perfect book for all occasions.
©2005 Ulrich Baer (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John Campbell on 03-16-18

Beautiful - Light - Deep

Rilke was a master wordsmith,, but never lost sight of his purpose - to do justice to the exploration of life and everything within it and within us. In this beautifully crafted book, Baer gives us a taste of Rilke's passionate conversations found in his letters. The result is an intimate, and yet universal mediation on life separated into categories such as "on work", "on nature", "on language", "on art", and of course, "on love.

At first I wasn't sure that Ethan Hawke was the best choice for narrator, but I quickly came to love his work here. His voice is warm and soothing and he never tries to add anything unnecessary to Rilke's words. He lets those words express what Rilke intended, yet you can feel the passion of Hawke, as well as RIlke.

You don't have to love poetry - this is prose. You just have to be willing to love life. And Baer indicates that RIlke actually felt his prose was even better than poetry to express his thoughts. Transcendent and practical.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 11-12-14

Rediscovering Rilke

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Rilke was passionate and original. Listening to this book reminds me how much his work, "On Love and Other Difficulties," influenced me when I first read it 40 years ago.

What other book might you compare The Poet's Guide to Life to and why?

Works by Hesse, such as Siddhartha, and Demian.

What about Ethan Hawke’s performance did you like?

Precise and energetic--he leaps at every word with enthusiasm. I would probably enjoy his voice, even if he was reading the phone book.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

I love the way Rilke grounds ideas about the meaning of life in the visceral feelings of his body.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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