In the Company of Rilke : Why a 20th-century visionary poet speaks so eloquently to 21st-century readers yearning for inwardness, beauty and spiri book cover
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In the Company of Rilke
Why a 20th-century visionary poet speaks so eloquently to 21st-century readers yearning for inwardness, beauty and spiri



ISBN 9781742371801
Published November 30, 2009 by Routledge
368 Pages

 
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Book Description

'Stephanie Dowrick's gift is a capacity for sharing with readers her lifetime's pleasure in poetry and the company of one of the greatest of poets.'
David Malouf, novelist and poet

'This book is lovely: serious, informed, honest, warm, delightful to read. Stephanie Dowrick has accomplished something wonderful, bringing us into the company of the most human of men and into the presence of his astonishingly beautiful poetry.'
John Armstrong, philosopher and writer

In the Company of Rilke is rare book a about a rare poet. Rainer Maria Rilke was a giant of twentieth-century writing who is increasingly a visionary voice for our own time, captivating readers not only with his brilliance but also his fearlessness about the 'deepest things'. Speaking through his own contradictions and ambivalences, he gives readers a profound understanding of the complex beauty of human existence.

Here, questions matter more than answers. Here, a poet can speak directly to God while also doubting God. Astonishingly, this is the first major study of Rilke from a spiritual perspective yet the greatest of Rilke's gifts was to show how inevitably life centres upon a profound mystery - to which we can freely open ourselves. Drawing on her own deep understanding of the gifts of reading, as well as her personal spiritual seeking, Stephanie Dowrick offers an intimate understanding of this most exceptional poet and his transcendent, piercingly beautiful work.

Table of Contents

Preface

Section One: Reading

'God is still speaking'

Translation and reception

'The nature of poetry'

'A direction of the heart'

Husband, father, lover - Poet

The making of a poet

What are poets for?

Looking with Alice and James

Section Two: Yearning

The languages of longing

Terror and inspiration

Ways of knowing

Seeking beauty

Mysticism and the holy

The Soul's search for God

'The Open'

Irrational truths

List of Poems

Acknowledgements

Endnotes

Bibliography

Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Stephanie Dowrick, PhD, has the rare distinction of writing critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction that have also been best sellers. Her books include Intimacy and Solitude, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love and Choosing Happiness. Formerly a publisher and founder of The Women's Press, London, she writes and teaches on a variety of spiritual, psychological and ethical issues, is an ordained Interfaith Minister and an Adjunct Fellow with the Writing and Society Research Group at the University of Western Sydney.