Rainer Maria Rilke and Mr. Kappa

A good friend recently sent me the following passage via e mail:

In 1903, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke responded by letter to a young man seeking his advice. Rilke eventually wrote ten letters now collectively known and published as "Letters to a Young Poet." They are heartfelt advice from a successful but still struggling artist to another who was deeply mired in self doubt. Rilke's idealism is applicable today to all who might pursue any sort of creative activity:

Your work needs to be independent of others' work
You must not compare yourself to others
No one can help you but yourself
Criticism leads to misunderstandings
Work from necessity and your compulsion to it
Work on what you know and what you love
Don't observe yourself too closely, just let it happen
Don't let yourself be controlled
Live in love and the activity of your work
Be free of thoughts of sin and guilt
Be touched by the anxiety of life
Be patient with the unresolved in your heart
Try to be in love with the questions themselves
Be gentle to those who stay behind
Your inner self is worth your entire concentration
Allow your art to make extraordinary demands on you
Bear your sadness with greater trust than your joy
Do not persecute yourself
Its good to love, because love is difficult
You are not a prisoner of anything or anyone

Rainer Maria Rilke counseled the young poet, known only as Mr. Kappus, over a five year period. No evidence exists that they ever met.



kevin said...

you're a real person? ha ha.
Happy painting.

Kevin Barber said...

Great insight as always. Where is the lingire shot though ?

Julia Lundman Midlock (Julie) said...

haha, wrong girl! haha

Joseph Merideth said...

interesting that sometimes it seems that the thing that separates us as advanced communicators (i.e. language, speach, text) is the very thing that
can trip us up...indeed an art to it...

hope you're well


Anonymous said...

You express yourself beautifully. If others are unable to perceive your thoughts and respond to you, that is their lack, not yours. You look nice as always, Julie.

mcunningham said...

You might be interested in the new novel, LOST SON, based on the life and work of Rainer Maria Rilke, for whom art was surely the center of life. The novel quietly appeared in the world several weeks ago. It can be found in most bookstores and libraries.