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Extended Audio Sample Letters to a Young Poet Audiobook, by Rainer Maria Rilke Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (12,732 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rainer Maria Rilke Narrator: Max Deacon, Dan Stevens Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2014 ISBN: 9780698151765
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Rilke’s timeless letters about poetry, sensitive observation, and the complicated workings of the human heart.

Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke’s life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them.

This edition also includes Rilke’s later work The Letter from the Young Worker.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I read Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet every day.”

    Lady Gaga

  • The common reader will be delighted by Stephen Mitchell’s new translation of that slim and beloved volume by Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet . . . the best yet. Los Angeles Times
  • “I cannot think of a better book to put into the hands of any young would-be poet, as an inspirational guide to poetry and to surviving as a poet in a hostile world.”

    The Times

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beneth | 2/17/2014

    " I came upon this book around the same time I was taking a Philosophy of Art class. I thought it was fantastic. It was motivating. It had the whole idealist/"to thine own self be true" theory of art and writing. It said to write because you must. If you are drawn to it, then you must do it. And do it purely. (and if i'm totally off base, hey, it was 20 years ago, what do I know;-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie Hoskins | 2/5/2014

    " As I'm reading James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, I am appreciating Rilke's book. It has an accessibility along with the many nuggets of wisdom for the creative journey. It is also beautifully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lian | 2/5/2014

    " To be re read over and over "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 sLogan | 2/5/2014

    " One of my fave reads -- you walk away with something new every time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ernie | 1/28/2014

    " The life-preserver for any aspiring writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amelia | 1/20/2014

    " this is a book I will, as many do, dip back into again and again "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelsey | 1/18/2014

    " There are no words to express how amazing this book was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mo Evans | 1/16/2014

    " The Norton translation is beautiful, again and again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Longfellow | 1/5/2014

    " Think I'll just keep starting this one over again and again. Much wisdom I hope to absorb. Might look for a different translation next time to get a slightly different spin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah * | 12/26/2013

    " This has been on my night stand for months and I like to go back to it once in a while. Maybe I'm cheesy, but I think it's an inspiring book. A great reminder to keep in touch with the creative part of yourself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana Presley | 11/13/2013

    " top 5 fav book of all time "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley Kjos | 10/28/2013

    " It calmed me. Gave me confidence. It made me think about getting a copy for everyone I know that matters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Hirt | 10/26/2013

    " If you're a poet and you haven't read it, what's taken you so long? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willow | 10/23/2013

    " One of the most sensitive books I've read, a map of sorts to finding a way through society's standards to your own authentic life and sexuality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yoli220 | 10/11/2013

    " I have the version of this book translated by M.D. Herter Norton - amazing! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 5/29/2013

    " I've read this several times always at pivotal times in my life. Always relevant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katerina | 10/13/2012

    " I liked it because of the last letters. the first ones really got me bored or got me reading only with the eye as I had many pop up thoughts totally irrelative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James O. | 1/12/2012

    " This is a book filled with sage advice that is helpful to not only aspiring poets but to artists of all types. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt Evans | 12/22/2011

    " "...and just in the deepest and most important things, we are unutterably alone, and for one person to be able to advise or even help another, a lot must happen, a lot must go well, a whole constellation of things must come right in order once to succeed." Rainer Maria Rilke "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evelyn | 10/13/2011

    " Solitude, self-awareness, and patience. After reading this book I want to be alone to let my writing do what it will. Elegantly written. I will read Rilke's poetry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 6/8/2011

    " Love this. Since the movie Igby Goes Down, it's become a "cliche book". It's too bad because it's a fantastic book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 5/23/2011

    " A book for every young person to carry with them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mo | 5/22/2011

    " The Norton translation is beautiful, again and again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/8/2011

    " Lots of beautiful excerpts that inspire and encourage self-reflection. Its goodness just happens to reveal your own cynicism.

    I wish people still talked and wrote like this. Suggests a steadier look at life that feels impossible nowadays. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 5/3/2011

    " the most holy of holy books "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabriela | 4/16/2011

    " Philosophical letters which lead one to thinking about life's deepest ideas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonia | 4/11/2011

    " I like to reread parts regularly. Isn't the kind of book you only read once. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 molly | 3/27/2011

    " Beautiful, hopeful -- a must read for any young person disenchanted with the obstacles that chasing your art presents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 3/24/2011

    " Truly inspiring. If you ever need to be reassured that pursuing your dreams is the right course of action, read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise | 3/24/2011

    " Reading this was one of the motivating factors for me to go to grad school for writing. This book has some really gorgeous language and great life advice! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 3/21/2011

    " Excellent book- will be sure to always keep a copy nearby. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 3/10/2011

    " Four stars and I'm not yet finished with it. It's a very short read and packed with wise and beautiful thoughts. Read it. "

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About the Author
Author Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) is considered one of the greatest poets who ever wrote in the German language. His most famous works are Sonnets to Orpheus, The Duino Elegies, Letters to a Young Poet, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. His collected work is comprised of hundreds of other poems, essays, plays, and stories.

About the Narrator

Dan Stevens is internationally known for his role as Matthew Crawley in the hit television drama Downton Abbey, and more recently he has starred in films including Summer in February, The Fifth Estate, A Walk among the Tombstones, The Guest, The Cobbler, and Night at the Museum 3. Dan’s other screen work includes Vamps, Hilde, Sense & Sensibility, Maxwell, and The Line of Beauty, and his theater work includes The Heiress on Broadway and Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Vortex, and Hay Fever in London.