Letters To A Young Poet
This work is based on a book bearing the same name. It is a beautiful series of correspondence between poet Rainer Maria Rilke and a “young poet” named Franz Kappus, where he asks for advice about poetry, love and life, and Rilke writes back letters that are heartfelt and beautiful.
The passages I found most interesting, and included in this project, are the ones concerning love, relationships and solitude. Rilke states that as young people we tend to clash together into relationships, without thinking, and without retaining our individuality. Instead we throw ourselves into another person, devouring them, and becoming them. Rilke highlights the importance and the beauty of solitude, and of defining yourself as an individual. That every individual in a relationship should not be one half of a whole but rather their own entire person. As a young person this very much resonated with me, because at this point in our lives we tend to feel as if our lives are “incomplete” without a significant other and therefore we feel alone. Rilke reminds us to take joy in our loneliness and our solitude, and to love with everything we have.
These images were created by way of a Processing Sketch I wrote. I included the text in the form of an array, calling on random phrases individually. The results are hauntingly beautiful “letters”, that have plucked and pasted together forming a unique kind of poetry, an automated, randomized Cento. They are presented on letter sized images emphasizing their connection to letters. My reason for creating random poetry out of perfectly good poetry, is because of my tendency as an artist to absorb content from a source and then regurgitate it in a way that speaks to me very uniquely.
Here are a few stills taken from the program.