Paris: 1909. Two page on a single small bifolium with the poet's printed address. Tiny pinhole at folded, some additional creases, close to fine. Item #204849
A brief letter in which Rilke writes to his publisher in Leipzig providing the correct wording of some lines of poetry in "Das Stunden-Buch" [The Book of Hours], the second of his publications under the Insel imprint that had first appeared in 1905. At the time of this writing, the press was preparing the third edition. Rilke writes, in part: "...in bezug auf Ihre zweite liebenswürdige Anfrage, beeile ich mich zu erwidern, dass es, seite 34, heissen soll: 'Denn was sind Kirchen und sind Klöster, in ihrem Steigen und Erstehn. . .' die andern stelle auf Seite 38 haben sie richtig verbessert: 'von lauter Ãhnlichen umschart'. . ." The unnamed recipient was likely someone other than, and in the employment of, Anton Kippenberg, the editor who brought Rilke to Insel and worked closely with him over a period of many years. In the published correspondence, Rilke unfailingly addresses Kippenberg as "Herr Doktor" and signs himself "RM Rilke". Here the salutation is "sehr geehrter Herr" and the signature is the poet's full name. He is directly addressing a copy editor on a practical matter of ensuring the proper setting of type for his poetry. Das Stunden-Buch was the first of Rilke's books to present a cycle of poems unified by a single thematic concept, and thus represented both a culmination of his early verse and a precursor to the great later cycles of "Sonnets to Orpheus" and "The Duino Elegies"