Resolved: Letters To A Young Poet

I’ve been reading a lot these last two months. One of the books I read over the Christmas break was… Letters To A Young Poet (One of my amazing friends bought me a copy… thanks!). This was one of my new year goals… so first one down. Good feeling.

The book is a collection of Rainer Maria Rilke’s letters to a poet called Franz Xaver Kappus, who had been writting to him. Kappus’ letter are not included, but you get the gist of what he has been saying from Rilke’s response. It’s a short collection, easily read in an hour or two. I think it will be one of the books I come back to time and again, having already read it twice and quoted it lots to other people!

Here’s some quotes… I love this book!

“I know no advice for you save this: to go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it.”

“Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them.”

“And you should not let yourself be confused in your solitude by the fact that there is something in you that wants to break out of it. This very wish will help you, if you use it quietly, and deliberately and like a tool, to spread out your solitude over wide country. People have (with the help of conventions) orientated all their solutions toward the easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to it.”

“Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question whence all this may be coming and whither it is bound? Since you know that you are in the midst of transitions and wished for nothing so may as to change.”

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"Ultimately, movement is only as valuable as your commitment to stillness, and vice versa."

Pico Iyer

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