Letters to a Young Poet is a timeless collection of ten letters written by Rainer Maria Rilke, a celebrated poet, to a young aspiring poet named Franz Xaver Kappus. Rilke’s letters, composed between 1903 and 1908, serve as profound meditations on the nature of creativity, solitude, love, and personal growth. Filled with empathetic advice and profound reflections, Rilke encourages the young poet to delve into the depths of his own soul, to embrace solitude as a means of self-discovery, and to persistently seek his own unique artistic voice. These letters continue to inspire and offer guidance to artists and seekers of truth to this day.





Publication Date

Penguin Group



Best essays to read

Letters to a young poet in numbers:


5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches



People involved:

Rainer Maria Rilke


Franz Xaver Kappus

Co-Author (Introduction)

Reginald Snell


Awards Letters To A Young Poet has received:

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke is not typically known for winning awards, as it is a collection of personal correspondence rather than a work of fiction or poetry that would typically be considered for literary awards. However, the book has gained immense recognition and popularity over the years for its valuable insights into the creative process and the struggles of an artist.

While the book itself may not have won awards, its impact on aspiring writers, poets, and artists has been profound, and it remains a beloved and influential work in the realm of creative and philosophical literature.

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List of awards

Letters to a young poet by Rainer Maria Rilke is now on my list of favorite books. Find some of the awards it has won.

In 2024, Lisanne recommended “Letters to a young poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke and said…

“Rilke’s approach to the nature of advice itself strikes a cord I deeply subscribe to. There is beauty in encouraging the aspiring poet to embrace the challenges of the creative process and to turn inward for self-discovery, instead of critiquing the work.”

Asked Questions

  • This book is a valuable read specifically for aspiring poets, writers, artists, and anyone seeking inspiration and guidance on their creative journey. I think the book would also fit individuals who are interested in personal growth.

  • The central message of Letters to a Young Poet revolves around the importance of self-discovery, embracing solitude, and finding one’s own authentic voice. Rilke encourages the young poet, Franz Kappus, to look inward, explore his inner self, and draw inspiration from his own experiences. The letters emphasize the idea that genuine art stems from a deep connection with one’s emotions and a profound understanding of life. Rilke also addresses the challenges and uncertainties that come with pursuing a creative path, urging the young poet to persist in the face of difficulties. Overall, the book imparts wisdom on the transformative journey of self-exploration and the pursuit of artistic authenticity.

  • Letters to a Young Poet is a collection of ten letters written by the famous Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke to a young aspiring poet named Franz Xaver Kappus. The letters, written between 1903 and 1908, offer profound insights into the nature of art, creativity, and life. Rilke explores themes such as solitude, love, and the significance of embracing one’s own unique voice. The letters provide timeless advice and encouragement, making them a valuable source of inspiration for anyone on a creative journey. I found it an incredibly interesting and useful read.

  • “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke is a collection of letters offering advice and insights on life, love, and creativity. It’s suitable for anyone interested in poetry, artistic pursuits, or seeking guidance on navigating life’s challenges. Readers who appreciate introspective and philosophical reflections would find it particularly meaningful.

  • Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) was a highly influential Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is widely recognized for his significant contributions to German literature, particularly his poetry. Therefore, Rilke’s work is known for its depth of thought, introspection, and sensitivity to the human experience.

    Rilke’s poetry is characterized by its intricate language, metaphysical themes, and exploration of existential questions. His most famous collection of poems, “Duino Elegies” (Duineser Elegien), was written in a period of intense creativity between 1912 and 1922. These elegies delve into themes of love, death, the divine, and the struggle of the individual to find meaning in the world.

    Another notable work by Rilke is Letters to a Young Poet, a series of ten letters he wrote to a young aspiring poet. These letters provide insights into Rilke’s thoughts on creativity, solitude, and the artistic process.

    At last, Rilke’s writing style evolved over his career, ranging from romanticism to a more modern and introspective approach. His influence can be seen in various literary and artistic movements, and his work has been translated into many languages, making him a globally renowned figure in literature.

    Find all books by Rainer Maria Rilke

Reviews from Insiders:

Five stars!

I was able to read this book and it touched me to the core and I came out of it as a changed person. Very few books have ever had that effect on me, and it is relevant on so many levels. It will encourage people to be true to themselves and not keep dark secrets under wraps they suffered as children, often causing pain they carry for a lifetime and in many cases destroy lives – I salut the twins, Marcus and Alex Lewis for their bravery to come forward and share their lives journeys with us. Beautiful job by Hodgkin who tells the story with so much integrity. Even though shocking, this story is inspiring, and empowering and will bring about change. Bravo!


Intriguing coming-of-age story

This is an intriguing coming-of-age story, that reads like a psychological thriller. I have to say that I loved the book more than the documentary, but the story is either way very upsetting yet beautiful. I admire their courage of putting a story that’s so deeply personal out there.


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