Monday, July 5, 2010
Dead Mentor Poet: A Dozen Things I've Learned about Rainer Rilke
1. As a teenager, Rene (as he was called as a boy) had horrible acne.
2. Throughout his life he was plagued by profound headaches.
3. At age 17, he ran off with Olga Blumauer to an "obscure" hotel in Vienna. It was three days before they were found and brought back. The relationship was over - as was his career in business.
4. Rilke's mother dressed him as a girl complete with long gowns and braids until he entered pre-school. This was not the custom of the day.
5. He wrote many plays. Many bad plays.
6. Rilke needed to pay a "subvention" to publish his first four books.
7. His early books were always published right before Christmas - the perfect holiday gift.
8. He founded and edited a small journal while still in Prague. After a few issues it went under.
9. The first 1, 2, 3, 4+ books of poems Rilke wrote were unimpressive --
10. He wanted to live a life as both a poet and a military man.
11. There were no signs of greatness for a very long time ...
12. Even Rilke wrote badly.