HW due 2/4: A Few Lines of Verse

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1. Excerpt from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet (Letter 6):

I don’t want you to be without a greeting from me when Christmas comes and when you, in the midst of the holiday, are bearing your solitude more heavily than usual. But when you notice that it is vast, you should be happy; for what (you should ask yourself) would a solitude be that was not vast; there is only one solitude, and it is vast, heavy, difficult to bear, and almost everyone has hours when he would gladly exchange it for any kind of sociability, however trivial or cheap, for the tiniest outward agreement with the first person who comes along, the most unworthy. But perhaps these are the very hours during which solitude grows; for its growing is painful as the growing of boys and sad as the beginning of spring. But that must not confuse you. What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours – that is what you must be able to attain. To be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grownups walked around involved with matters that seemed large and important because they looked so busy and because you didn’t understand a thing about what they were doing.

Tonight, a two-pronged writing activity. Find a place where you can be at peace, alone and take a walk “inside yourself.” What do you see there? Who is there? What’s going on there? No need to give shape and form to this; so feel free to list here!

Second prong: Write at least 6 lines of verse capturing a bit of that journey inward. That is all the guidance you get here… at least 6 lines of verse.

2. Letters to a Young Poet–Please purchase by the end of next week!

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