Join Thomas Merton in exploring the timeless words of one of the world's greatest poets, Rainer Maria Rilke.
Before entering the monastery, Thomas Merton studied English at Columbia University and taught literature at St. Bonaventure University. His passion for literature never faded, and now you have the rare opportunity to take Thomas Merton as your guide in this set of outstanding remastered lectures on the writings of Rainer Maria Rilke.
Perhaps no poet had as great an influence on Merton as Rilke, who was arguably the greatest modern European poet. Born to a devout Catholic mother in 18th-century Bohemia, Rilke is cherished for his beautiful verse and his multifaceted views on faith. Deeply influenced by the spiritual figures of his time, Rilke sought to explore God through the imaginative possibilities of poetry.
A renowned poet himself, Merton saw poetry as one of the most fundamental and profound modes of human expression. In exploring the works of Rilke, Merton weaves his love of Catholic spirituality together with this passion for poetry, showing how they complement and shed light on each other. By looking at such works as Duino Elegies, The Book of Hours, and Letters to a Young Poet, you will discover how Rilke demonstrates holiness through imaginative possibilities. With Merton as your guide, you will come to understand the abiding power of poetry. Encounter God through the timeless poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.
(Photograph of Thomas Merton by Sibylle Akers. Used with permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.)