The creative evolution of RM Rilke reflects the general logic of the development of literature at the end of the nineteenth and the first third of the twentieth centuries. At the same time, the poet’s transition from one stage to the next was accompanied by sharp world-outlook-aesthetic fractures, which always led to a radical change in his artistic reference points.
The literary path of the poet began with a five-year period of apprenticeship, during which his pen tests in lyrical, dramatic and epic genres were mostly eclectic and epigonic. Rilke himself called this fifth anniversary a “prelude” to his real creativity. The decisive impetus to the self-disclosure of the poet was a close relationship with Lou Andreas-Salomé and trips to Russia and Ukraine, enriching
During the second, “Parisian” period, Rilke under the influence of creative communication with the sculptor O. Rodin experienced a spiritual and creative revolution, owing to which the category of a thing in the unity of its philosophical and aesthetic values came to the forefront of his poetry. In accordance with this priority, Rilke developed a special genre of “poems-things”, which was based on the approach to “thing” as a closed and complete “fragment” of being, considered as a kind of micromodel of the universe. The concept of “poem-things” included the principles of the “impersonal” description of the phenomena of the visible world, the sculptural-plastic depiction of terrestrial realities and the philosophical comprehension of their hidden essence. A set of these
The third period of the poet’s work, which roughly coincided with the years of his life in Switzerland, on new grounds united artistic discoveries of the previous stages. The ideological platform of the Rilke poetry of this time was the idea of a spiritual transformation of being. Its important component was the concept of creativity, personified in the image of the ancient Orpheus, the mediator between the realms of life and death, affirming their unity and spiritualizing their material world. All these ideas with artistic perfection were embodied in the cycles “Duin Elegies” and “Sonnets to Orpheus.”