Childhood Essay

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In the following essay, Schoolfield discusses Rilke's personal history and how it affected his writing.

Rainer Maria Rilke is one of the major poets of twentieth-century literature. In the collections with which his early verse culminates, Das Buch der Bilder (The Book of Pictures, 1902; enlarged, 1906) and Das Stunden-Buch enthaltend die drei Bücher: Vom mönchischen Leben: Von der Pilgerschaft: Von der Armuth und vom Tode (1905; translated as The Book of Hours; Comprising the Three Books: of the Monastic Life, of Pilgrimage, of Poverty and Death, 1961), he appears as a creator or discoverer of legends—his own and history's— and, particularly in the latter work, as a special brand of mystic. With the poems of his middle years, Neue Gedichte (1907-1908; translated as New Poems, 1964), he is an expert instructor in the art of "seeing" as well as a guide through Europe's cultural sites just before...

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This section contains 13,014 words
(approx. 33 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Childhood Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Childhood from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.