Recording (P)1990 by Audio Literature; Copyright ©1984 by Stephen Mitchell
"Stephen Mitchell's new translation of Letters to a Young Poet...seems to be the best yet." (Newsday)
The first experience I had with Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet was a tape I had purchased, without much expectation, from a local bookstore. I had recently been very captivated by Rilke's poems, but thought letters to another person could hardly be captivating, and would most likely be rather tawdry. I was very wrong. The letters, when heard, have I think an unalterable effect on a personality. They make one question oneself and one's surroundings. Question god and solitude, question what it means to be an artist, but more, what it means to look at the world and try to absorb and interact with it. To live as a human being. Among the creatures and the people. The act of sex and that of death. But with everything, there is a trust that if one looks at something with enough patience, the thing will yield itself, that one will be able to gain understanding, and that nothing that is observed fully is ever lost.
A tremendous recording and reproduction by Audible.com. My only recommendation would be to seperate each letter into an individual audio file, if possible. For even though they stand wonderfully together, it is nearly 80 minutes, and slightly much for a single sitting. But it is an admitedly small complaint.
this is a wonderful translation of one of the 20th century s earliest and best gifts. i loved the reading as well, listened to it five or six times in a row, and am still listening to it at night. a peaceful reading of a wise book, with wisdom for poets and anyone else who wants to live an authentic life. the book is also a moving testimony of the total commitment to poetry with which rilke lived every day of his life.
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