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Introduction & Overview of Childhood by Rainer Maria Rilke

This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Childhood.
This section contains 200 words
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Childhood Summary & Study Guide Description

Childhood Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Childhood by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Introduction

Rainer Maria Rilke's "Childhood" is included in his collection Das Buch der Bilder, first published in 1902. Various writers have translated the volume as "The Book of Images" or "The Book of Pictures." The poem can also be found in Robert Bly's collection of translations, Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke. The Book of Images was published just after The Book of Hours and just before New Poems and marks a shift in Rilke's poetic development toward more imagistic, slightly less sentimental verse. Written in thirty-three lines of rhymed iambic pentameter verse and fit into four irregular stanzas, "Childhood" addresses loneliness and the passage of time, typical subjects for Rilke, who spent his life attempting to describe the effects of time's onslaught. Rilke wrote a number of poems about childhood, including "Duration of Childhood" and "The Child." All of these poems express feelings of wonder and bafflement and grapple with the puzzle of human existence. Childhood was a difficult time for Rilke. He was an effeminate and fragile child, and not at all cut out for the military schools to which his father sent him. Many of the images of childhood in his poems are dramatizations of his own memories.

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This section contains 200 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Childhood Study Guide
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Childhood from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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