Book Review: Letters to a Young Poet

TITLE: Letters to a Young Poet

AUTHOR: Rainer Maria Rilke


When an aspiring poet wrote letters to a renowned poet asking advice on his verses, he wouldn’t have guessed that the letters he received would be enriched with wisdom to guide him in life.

Rainer Maria Rilke exchanged 10 letters with Franz Kappus discussing the importance of solitude, the meaning of love, God, self-assessment and the ability to look for beauty in struggles.

If there is something ailing in the way you go about things, then remember that sickness is the means by which an organism rids itself of something foreign to it.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Each letters contain timeless outlook on life. Even though Rilke was no stranger to hardships, yet he conveyed his idea of life through his calm and soothing approach of the world. His eloquence combined with his capability of grasping the otherwise overlooked meaning behind things gives us a poetic and a philosophical view of life.

This book is for everyone. Just like how a same book can be interpreted differently by different people. Similarly, this book can be interpreted differently not just by different people but also with each reread.

I would like to conclude with Rilke-

Do not now strive to uncover answers: they cannot be given to you because you have not been able to live them. And what matters is to live everything. Live the questions for now. Perhaps then you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer, one distant day in the future.

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