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Rainer Maria Rilke POETRY, GHAZALS & SHAYARI

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Rainer Maria Rilke

He was born René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke in Prague, capital of Bohemia (then part of Austria-Hungary, now part of the Czech Republic).

His childhood and youth in Prague were not especially happy. His father, Josef Rilke (1838–1906), became a railway official after an unsuccessful military career. His mother, Sophie ("Phia") Entz (1851–1931), came from a well-to-do Prague family, the Entz-Kinzelbergers, who lived in a house on the Herrengasse (... View More

Make This Poet Your Favorite

Rainer Maria Rilke

He was born René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke in Prague, capital of Bohemia (then part of Austria-Hungary, now part of the Czech Republic).

His childhood and youth in Prague were not especially happy. His father, Josef Rilke (1838–1906), became a railway official after an unsuccessful military career. His mother, Sophie ("Phia") Entz (1851–1931), came from a well-to-do Prague family, the Entz-Kinzelbergers, who lived in a house on the Herrengasse (Panská) 8, where René also spent many of his early years.

The relationship between Phia and her only son was colored by her mourning for an earlier child, a daughter who had died only one week old. During Rilke's early years Phia acted as if she sought to recover the lost girl through the boy by dressing him in girl's clothing. His parents' marriage failed in 1884.

His parents pressured the poetically and artistically talented youth into entering a military academy, which he attended from 1886 until 1891, when he left owing to illness. From 1892 to 1895 he was tutored for the university entrance exam, which he passed in 1895. Until 1896 he studied literature, art history, and philosophy in Prague and Munich.