People and Other People and Songs and also Letters
People are more important than the songs that you write about them.
However, the songs that you write about them can be more important to people who listen if the people who listen never know the person that the song is about.
So, the people who listen have a strange relationship with the person who the song is about and the person who wrote the song, without having to have met either of the people. But, without both of those people, the song wouldn’t exist, and the person who listens would be none the wiser.
I don’t know Ranier Rilke or Franz Kappus. But, if Rilke did not write poems, then Franz Kappus would not have sent his own to Rilke, asking for feedback. And then the two of them would not have exchanged letters. And then no one would have published the letters. And then I never would have found them, read them, and then, even without knowing these two dudes, changed and shifted in response to them.
The relationships that we have with people have consequences that we cannot ever know in full. So, they should be enriching and full of conflict and resolution, and full of learning and empathy.
Letters to a Young Poet is a good reminder that people are more important than the letters that you write to them, but that letters, and songs, give other people a window to peek into. And then maybe they can take some good things from your world and put them to use in their own.