Questions such as this one, from letter 8, reflect my lifelong discomfort with self-help enthusiasms: "Give rid of the negative in your life!" "You can be anything you want to be!" No, you can't. You will be sad because sadness is part of our deepest essence. You will fail because achieving the impossible is, without a Faustian covenant, impossible. The question, as Rilke knew, is "What are sadness and failure working on you? How are they intensifying your inner life and your comprehension of the world around you?"
Clearly poor Kappus was enduring some sort of love crisis. It was good to read his jolty little sonnet. Rilke's sweetness in copying it out reminds me, every time I read that description, of our own experiences with dictation at the Frost Place: a room full of quiet people, concentrating their love on each word, on each comma.
Now it's your turn to talk.