Selected Poetry

Author(s): Rainer Maria Rilke; Stephen Mitchell (Translator, Editor); Robert Hass (Introduction by)


The supreme problem of every age is that of finding its consummate artistic expression. Before this problem every other remains of secondary importance. History defines and directs its physical course, science cooperates in the achievement of its material aims, but Art alone gives to the age its spiritual physiognomy, its ultimate and lasting expression. The process of Art is on the one hand sensuous, the conception having for its basis the fineness of organization of the senses; and on the other hand it is severely scientific, the value of the creation being dependent upon the craftsmanship, the mastery over the tool, the technique. Art, like Nature, its great and only reservoir for all time past and all time to come, ever strives for elimination and selection. It is severe and aristocratic in the application of its laws and impervious to appeal to serve other than its own aims. Its purpose is the symbolization of Life. In its sanctum there reigns the silence of vast accomplishment, the serene, final, and imperturbable solitude which is the ultimate criterion of all great things created.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780679722014
  • : Random House Publishing Group
  • : Random House Publishing Group
  • : 0.36741
  • : March 1989
  • : 201mm X 132mm X 22mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rainer Maria Rilke; Stephen Mitchell (Translator, Editor); Robert Hass (Introduction by)
  • : Paperback
  • : Vintage International ed
  • : English; German
  • : 831.912
  • : 400