Rainer Maria Rilke (December 4, 1875 – December 29, 1926) was born in Prague. By the time he enrolled at university he knew that he would pursue a literary career, having published his first volume of poetry the year before.
In 1902 he became the friend, and for a time the secretary, of Rodin, and it was during his twelve-year Paris residence that Rilke enjoyed his greatest poetic activity.
Some of his best known works include the poetry collections Duineser Elegien (Duino Elegies), Die Sonette an Orpheus (Sonnets to Orpheus), the semi-autobiographical Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge), and a collection of ten letters that was published after his death under the title Briefe an einen jungen Dichter (Letters to a Young Poet).
He died of leukemia on December 29, 1926