英语美文赏析 (给一位年轻人诗人的信)

时间:2022-1-15 作者:哒哒英语



给一位青年诗人的信(1)Letters to a Young Poet(1)

It's a book you'll read countless times and each time will seem like the first time.

Letters To A Young Poet are ten letters written to a young man about to enter the German military. His name was Franz Kappus, he was 19 years old, and he wrote Rilke looking for guidance and a critique of some of his poems. Rilke was himself only 27 when the first letter was written. The resulting five year correspondence is a virtual owner's manual on what it is (and what is required) to be an artist and a person.

Letter One


February 17, 1903

Dear Sir,

Your letter arrived just a few days ago. I want to thank you for the great confidence you have placed in me. That is all I can do. I cannot discuss your verses; for any attempt at criticism would be foreign to me. Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism: they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings. Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsay able than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.

With this note as a preface, may I just tell you that your verses have no style of their own, although they do have silent and hidden beginnings of something personal. I feel this most clearly in the last poem, "My Soul." There, some thing of your own is trying to become word and melody. And in the lovely poem "To Leopardi" a kind of kinship with that great, solitary figure does perhaps appear. Nevertheless, the poems are not yet anything in themselves, not yet any thing independent, even the last one and the one to Leopardi. Your kind letter, which accompanied them managed to make clear to me various faults that I felt in reading your verses, though I am not able to name them specifically.

You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are upset when certain editors reject your work. Now (since you have said you want my advice) I beg you to stop doing that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must", then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life,even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. Don't write love poems; avoid those forms that are too facile and ordinary: they are the hardest to work with, and it takes a great, fully ripened power to create something individual where good, even glorious, traditions exist in abundance. So rescue yourself from these general themes and write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty Describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world's sound – wouldn't you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attention to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. And if out of , this turning within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it. So, dear Sir, I can't give you any advice but this: to go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to, the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and must find everything in himself and in Nature, to whom his whole life is devoted.

But after this descent into yourself and into your solitude, perhaps you will have to renounce becoming a poet (if, as I have said, one feels one could live without writing, then one shouldn't write at all). Nevertheless, even then, this self searching that I ask of you will not have been for nothing. Your life will still find its own paths from there, and that they may be good, rich, and wide is what I wish for you, more than I can say.

What else can I tell you? It seems to me that everything has its proper emphasis; and finally I want to add just one more bit of advice: to keep growing, silently and earnestly, through your whole development; you couldn't disturb it any more violently than by looking outside and waiting for outside answers to questions that only your innermost feeling, in your quietest hour, can perhaps answer.

It was a pleasure for me to find in your letter the name of Professor Horacek; I have great reverence for that kind, learned man, and a gratitude that has lasted through the years. Will you please tell him how I feel; it is very good of him to still think of me, and I appreciate it.

The poem that you entrusted me with, I am sending back to you. And I thank you once more for your questions and sincere trust, of which, by answering as honestly as I can, I have tried to make myself a little worthier than I, as a stranger, really am.

Yours very truly,

Rainer Maria Rilke



以此做前言,或许我可以告诉您,您的诗歌没有自身的风格,虽然有些沉默和隐晦的开头的确有些意思。在最后一首诗里我的感觉得到了证实:"我的灵魂"。在您的诗里,您试图用文字和韵律来表达自己。在一首做"致里奥帕迪"的可爱的诗里,一种和那伟大而寂寞的人物相连的关系的确产生了。但是,诗本身却什么都不是,也不是独立的任何东西,包括最后一首和那首"致里奥帕迪"。您的信设法让我澄清了自己在读您的诗时产生的各种误解,尽管我无法说出那是什么。 您在问您的诗如何?您问我。您已经问过别人了。您送它们到杂志社。您把它们和别人的诗相比较。当某些编辑拒绝了您的作品时您感到沮丧。现在(因为您说过您想要我的意见)我请求您停止做所有这类事情。您在往外部世界看,而这正是您应该马上停止做的事情。没有人能够给您建议或帮助您–没有人。只有一件事情您可以做,深入自己的内在世界,找找促使您写作的动因,看看它是否深植在您的心灵里;问自己,如果您被禁止写作您是否会死去。就是这些。在静默的时候问您自己:我必须写吗?让您的灵魂给您深刻的回答吧。如果答案是肯定的,如果您给这个神圣的问题的答案是,"是的,我必须",那么就把您的生活建立在这种必要上吧;您整个的生活,即使最自卑和淡漠的时光,都必须成为这一本能的记号和见证,然后您就接近了本性。然后,就象前无古人那样,试着去说您见到的、感觉到的、您爱的和您失去的。不要写爱情诗;避免那些太轻而易举和普通的格式;它们是最难写的,需要一种伟大的足够成熟的力量才能创造出那些个性化的东西,然而在我们之前已经有太多好的甚至是绝妙的作品在那里了。所以,把自己从这些通常的主题中救赎出来,写日常生活赋予您的;描写您的悲哀和希望,那些流过您头脑的思想和您对某种美的信念–描写所有这些心灵能够触摸到的、沉默的、谦卑的、忠诚的东西,还有当您在表达自己时,使用身旁的东西,用您梦里的意象和您记得的事物。如果您的日常生活很贫乏,不要埋怨生活,怨您自己吧;承认自己不够做一个诗人来唤醒生活的贫乏;因为对创作者来说没有贫穷,没有贫穷和冷漠的环境。甚至当您发现自己是在监狱里,墙壁挡住了外部世界的声音–您不是还有自己的童年时代吗?那是无价之宝,那是记忆之门。把您的注意力转向它。试着将沉睡的往日之感觉拉起来,您的个性将不断成长,您的孤独将扩张成为一个您可以在午夜停留的地方,那时,所有的噪噪音都消失、远去了。–如果您掉转身–在您的内在世界,在您自己的世界的洗礼中,诗就出现了。但您将不会想到去问它们是好还是不好,也将不会想到用它们去吸引杂志:因为您只看到它们是您的本性的一部分,您的生活片段和生活之声。如果艺术作品是发自必要,那就是好的。这是我们判断它的唯一方法。所以,亲爱的先生,除此之外我不能给您任何建议:走进自己的心里,看一看您的生活之流流过的地方有多深;在它的源泉处您定将找到是否需要创作这个问题的答案。接受这个答案,当它是白给您的,不要试图打断它。或许,您将发现,您的答案要您做个艺术家。那么接受这个使命,忍受它,它的负担和伟大,不要问随之而来的外部奖励。因为创作者必须是自己的世界,必须找到自己的全部和本性,对他来说整个的生命就是奉献。 之后您要让自己沉静下来,深入自己的孤独,或许您将不得不再次声明要成为一个诗人(如果,如我所说的,一个人感觉自己没有写作也可以照样生活,那么不要再写了吧)。而且,即便如此,这种我跟您说的自我探察也并不是说再无意义了。您的生活将仍旧循着自己的道路往前走,它们或许会是美好的、丰富的、广阔的,就如我对您的希望一样。








给一位青年诗人的信 (2)Letters to a Young Poet(2)

Letter Two

Viareggio, near Pisa (Italy)

April 5, 1903

You must pardon me, dear Sir, for waiting until today to gratefully remember your letter of February 24. I have been unwell all this time, not really sick, but oppressed by an influenza-like debility, which has made me incapable of doing anything. And finally, since it just didn't want to improve I came to this southern sea, whose beneficence helped me once before. But I am still not well, writing is difficult, and so you must accept these few lines instead of the letter I would have liked to send.

Of course, you must know that every letter of yours will always give me pleasure, and you must be indulgent with the answer, which will perhaps often leave you empty-handed; for ultimately, and precisely in the deepest and most important matters, we are unspeakably alone; and many things must happen, many things must go right, a whole constellation of events must be fulfilled, for one human being to successfully advise or help another.

Today I would like to tell you just two more things:

Irony: Don't let yourself be controlled by it, especially during uncreative moments. When you are fully creative, try to use it, as one more way to take hold of fife. Used purely, it too is pure, and one needn't be ashamed of it; but if you feel yourself becoming too familiar with it, if you are afraid of this growing familiarity, then turn to great and serious objects, in front of which it becomes small and helpless. Search into the depths of Things: there, irony never descends and when you arrive at the edge of greatness, find out whether this way of perceiving the world arises from a necessity of your being. For under the influence of serious Things it will either fall away from you (if it is something accidental), or else (if it is really innate and belongs to you) it will grow strong, and become a serious tool and take its place among the instruments which you can form your art with.

And the second thing I want to tell you today is this:Of all my books, I find only a few indispensable, and two of them are always with me, wherever I am. They are here, by my side: the Bible, and the books of the great Danish poet Jens Peter Jacobsen. Do you know his works? It is easy to find them, since some have been published in Recalm's Universal Library, in a very good translation. Get the little volume of Six Stories by J.P. Jacobsen and his novel Niels Lyhne, and begin with the first story in the for mer, which is cared "Mogens." A whole world will envelop you, the happiness, the abundance, .the inconceivable vastness of a world. Live for a while in these books, learn from them what you feel is worth learning, but most of &U love them. This love will be returned to you thousands upon thousands of times, whatever your life may become – it will, I am sure, go through the whole fabric of your being, as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys.

If I were to say who has given me the greatest experience of the essence of creativity, its depths and eternity, there are just two names would mention: Jacobsen, that great, great poet, and Auguste Rodin, the sculptor, who is without peer among all artists who are alive today.

And all success upon your path!


Rainer Maria Rilke







我发现在我所有的书里只有一小部分是不可缺少的,其中两本永远伴随我,无论我在哪里。现在它们也在我的身边:《圣经》和伟大的丹麦诗人杰克布森的书。您知道他的作品吗?很容易找到,里卡尔姆的大学图书馆里就有,翻译得很好。买一本J.P.杰克布森写的含有六个小说的书和他的小说《尼尔斯.林妮》去读吧,从前边提到的第一个故事开始读,那故事的名字叫"摩根一家"(MOGENS)。一个完整的世界将包裹着您,快乐、充实、难以置信的博大的世界。在这些书中呆一段时间,学习那些您认为是值得学习的。大多数人都热爱它们。这种爱将无数次地在您的生活中回荡–它将,我确信,穿透您的每根纤维,成为那些构成您的经验–失望和快乐–的重要纤维中之最紧要的那根。 如果要我说是谁给了我对创作力的精髓、深度和永恒的体验,我就只想提两个名字;杰克布森,那个真正伟大的诗人,和奥古斯丁.罗丹,那个当今世上无人能和他匹敌雕刻家。







致一位青年诗人的信Letters to a Young Poet(3)

Viareggio, near Pisa (Italy)

April 23, 1903

You gave me much pleasure, dear Sir, with your Easter letter; for it brought much good news of you, and the way you spoke about Jacobsen's great and beloved art showed me that I was not wrong to guide your fife and its many questions to this abundance.

Now Niels Lyhne will open to you, a book of splendors and depths; the more often one reads it, the more everything seems to be contained within it, from life's most imperceptible fragrances to the full, enormous taste of its heaviest fruits. In it there is nothing that does not seem to have been understood, held, lived, and known in memory's wavering echo; no experience has been too unimportant, and the smallest event unfolds like a fate, and fate itself is like a wonderful, wide fabric in which every thread is guided by an infinitely tender hand and laid alongside another thread and is held and supported by a hundred others. You will experience the great happiness of reading this book for the first time, and will move through its numberless surprises as if you were in a new dream.But I can tell you that even later on one moves through these books, again and again, with the same astonishment and that they lose none of their wonderful power and relinquish none of the overwhelming enchantment that they had the first time one read them.

One just comes to enjoy them more and more, becomes more and more grateful, and somehow better and simpler in one's vision, deeper in one's faith in life, happier and greater in the way one lives.

And later on, you will have to read the wonderful book of the fate and yearning of Marie Grubbe, and Jacobsen's letters and journals and fragments, and finally his verses which (even if they are just moderately well translated) live in infinite sound. (For this reason I would advise you to buy, when you can, the lovely Complete Edition of Jacobsen's works, which contains all of these. It is in three volumes, well translated, published by Eugen Diederichs in Leipzig, and costs, I think, only five or six marks per volume.)

In your opinion of "Roses should have been here . . ." (that work of such incomparable delicacy and form) you are of course quite, quite incontestably right, as against the man who wrote the introduction. But let me make this request right away: Read as little as possible of literary criticism. Such things are either partisan opinions, which have become petrified and meaningless, hardened and empty of life, or else they are clever word-games, in which one view wins , and tomorrow the opposite view. Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them. Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentation, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!

Richard Dehmel: My experience with his books (and also, incidentally, with the man, whom I know slightly) is that whenever I have discovered one of his beautiful pages, I am. always afraid that the next one will destroy the whole effect and change what is admirable into something unworthy. You have characterized him quite well with the phrase: "living and writing in heat." And in fact the artist's experience lies so unbelievably close to the sexual, to its pain and its pleasure, that the two phenomena are really just different forms of one and the same longing and bliss. And if instead of "heat" one could say "sex";- sex in the great, pure sense of the word, free of any sin attached to it by the Church, – then his art would be very great and infinitely important. His poetic power is great and as strong as a primal instinct; it has its own relentless rhythms in itself and explodes from him like a volcano.

But this power does not always seem completely straightforward and without pose. (But that is one of the most difficult tests for the creator: he must always remain unconscious, unaware of his best virtues, if he doesn't want to rob them of their candor and innocence!) And then, when, thundering through his being, it arrives at the sexual, it finds someone who is not so pure as it needs him to be. Instead of a completely ripe and pure world of sexuality, it finds a. world that is not human enough, that is only male, is heat, thunder, and restlessness, and burdened with the old prejudice and arrogance with which the male has always disfigured and burdened love. Because he loves only as a male, and not as a human being, there is something narrow in his sexual feeling, something that seems wild, malicious, time-bound, uneternal, which diminishes his art and makes it ambiguous and doubtful. It is not immaculate, it is marked by time and by passion, and little of it will endure. (But most art is like that!) Even so, one can deeply enjoy what is great in it, only one must not get lost in it and become a hanger-on of Dehmel's world, which is so infinitely afraid, filled with adultery and confusion, and is far from the real fates, which make one suffer more than these time-bound afflictions do, but also give one more opportunity for greatness and more courage for eternity.

Finally, as to my own books, I wish I could send you any of them that might give you pleasure. But I am very poor, and my books, as soon as they are published, no longer belong to me. I can’t even afford them myself and, as I would so often like to, give them to those who would be kind to them.

So I am writing for you, on another slip of paper, the titles (and publishers) of my most recent books (the newest ones – all together I published perhaps 12 or 13), and must leave to you, dear Sir, to order one or two of them when you can.

I am glad that my books will be in your hands.

With best wishes,


Rainer Maria Rilke





之后,您将不得不读这本描写玛利亚.阁鲁彼的命运和期望的奇书,还有杰克布森的信和日记及未完成的作品,当然最后是他的诗(即使译文一般),那诗读后余音袅袅。(为此,我建议您在手头不紧张的时候去买来,一套很棒的杰克布森作品全集包括上述所有的内容,共三本,译得很好,由利浦兹的尤根-埃得瑞契出版社出版,还有价格,我想,每本只有5到6马克吧。) 您对"玫瑰早就该在这儿……"(作品具有如此独一无二的优美和形式)的建议当然是对极了,无可争议,您的见解几乎和写了诗文介绍的那人一样。但是请允许我在此提个要求:尽可能地少读文学评论–这种东西不是一些混乱的没有意义的偏见,就是一些聪明的文字游戏,今天捧场,明天棒杀。艺术作品是一种无止境的孤独,对它来说,任何评论都无足轻重。只有爱才能触及和把握他们,才对它们公平。信任您自己和您自己的感觉吧,如同您反对争论、探讨或这类的介绍一样;如果您的感觉错了,那么您内在的自然成长会继续指引您找到真知卓见。允许您的判断沉默地、不受打扰地成长吧。这个过程,就象所有的过程一样,必须发自内心,是不能强迫和匆忙的。每一样东西都必须在妊娠之后才能诞生。让每一个感想每一种感觉的胚胎自然生长,在黑暗之中,在无法言喻、无意识的、难以理解的地方,带着淳朴的人性和耐心等候那一时刻的来临。一个新的明确的概念将产生。而这种孤独就是一个艺术家的生活,总在理解和创造中。













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