Letters to A Young Poet & The Letter From the Young Worker
Letters written over a period of several years on the vocation of writing by a poet whose greatest work was still to come.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is known as one of the greatest German-language poets. His poems and prose reflect a lyrical and mystical quality. (This annotation contains an image)
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What type of relationship does Rilke have with his mother, as evidenced in the highlighted passage?
Watch the video on imagery. How does the imagery help us feel how suffocated Rilke feels when in Paris? (This annotation contains a video)
Sydenham's chorea is the name of the disease otherwise known as St. Vitus's Dance. Compare what the description says to what Rilke describes. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the Define feature to look up the word alembic. What is a synonym for alembic as it is used in this sentence?
Reread this highlighted passage. We want to keep this idea that they are abstract concepts in our minds.
Watch the short video below to learn more about this Rilke and this text. (This annotation contains a video)
Preface and introduction
After watching the video on personification, reread the highlighted passage. How is personification being used to express the events? (This annotation contains a video)
Where does Rilke think Kappus should look for inspiration and feedback on his writing?
Read the highlighted passage. What is Rilke referring to when he speaks of stepping out of one's self?
Think about how passionate Rilke is about reading these books. Have you ever felt the same emotions about something you are passionate about?
What is Rilke's opinion of critics?
This is a picture of the poet Richard Dehmel. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Rilke infer about Paris?
Why does Rilke think Kappus should enjoy his solitude?
Several times, Rilke talks about how nothing can be everything at the same time. This is an example of a theme emerging. How does Rilke connect this theme over the chapter? (This annotation contains a video)
Rilke is suggesting that the solitude children experience is from the amazement at watching adults move around with importance. Now that he sees what is important, who does Rilke respect more?
Why do we try to escape solitude?
How does Rilke feel about being conventional? Use examples from the text in your answer.
Why do we become sad, according to Rilke?
What does Rilke use dragons as a metaphor for?
Rilke is speaking of how we alienate ghosts, spirits, and God so that we are solitary. Do you think he sees this as a great thing or a shameful thing?
Use the Define tool to look up divagations. What is a synonym that could replace this word in the sentence?
Unlike religion, Rilke sees impure thoughts as something that distorts you. How does this vision agree with Rilke's other comments towards religion?
Letters to a Young Poet
The Letter From the Young Worker
How does the imagery in the highlighted passage impress upon us Rilke's excitement?
Rilke is using a form of verbal irony in this paragraph. He is using sarcasm when questioning God and Jesus. Think about when Rilke says that he knows nothing about humans. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Rilke say that people don't live with Christ?
Who is the "they" Rilke speaks of?
In Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke speaks reverently of God. The tone in this letter seems disenchanted. As you read, think about where his anger is directed, because it isn't at God.
Who is the painter having an affair with?
Why does Marthe refuse to enter church at first?
What does Rilke attribute his restlessness to?
What feelings do the comparison between old wine and the stained glass evoke from you?
What is Rilke trying to say about the Church and sexuality?
This is a reference to John 4:14 when Jesus says whoever drinks of his water will never be thirsty.
Letter from a Young Worker