A collection of the letters of the great German modern poet, chosen to comprise a ""spiritual autobiography"" and at the same time to preserve a part of his creative contribution. Highly responsive, expressive, they reflect the drama of his life which was largely an inner one -- the constant struggle of the pure artist, the dissatisfaction with his work and with himself, the restlessness and the steady search for beauty. They also represent his ideas on art and love and death, his aesthetic credo as well as his personal relationships. Addressed primarily to his wife, Clara, and to his closest friend, Lon Andreas-Salome, the letters cover a long period of years -- his life in Russia with the Worpwede artists, in Paris with Rodin and later Ceanne, his travels in Italy, Sweden, etc. A literary item rather than a popular one, for the Rilke cult, a small but constant following.