“Childhood” was first published in 1902 in a collection entitled Das Buch der Bilder. The work has been translated variously as “The Book of Images” or the “The Book of Pictures.” The Book of Images was published just before what is considered as one of his most renowned works, Das Stunden Buch, translated as “The Book of Hours.” The Book of Hours, first published in 1907, was followed quickly by another great collection entitled Neue Gedichte, translated simply as “New Poems.” Rilke experienced remarkable growth from The Book of Images through New Poems as the early works hinged more to sentimentality than poetic imagery. As expected from an intelligent, only child born into an unhappy marriage, Rilke’s “Childhood” explores loneliness. In the poem, Rilke expresses amazement and confusion about human existence. There are carefree, child-like elements coupled with deep, existential questions of concerning trust, solitude and endlessness. Many of Rilke’s works were inspired by his difficult childhood. He was frail and delicate, not at all prepared for the military school he was forced to attend. Thus, when he became an adult and pushed forward with his poetry and prose, it was not uncommon for Rilke to be affected by his tormented memories and sad, solitary childhood.