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The Poetry of Rilke

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For the past twenty-five years, North Point Press has been working with Edward Snow, “Rilke’s best contemporary translator” (Brian Phillips, The New Republic), to bring into English Rilke’s major poetic works. The Poetry of Rilke—the single most comprehensive volume of Rilke’s German poetry ever to be published in English—is the culmination of this effort. With more than t For the past twenty-five years, North Point Press has been working with Edward Snow, “Rilke’s best contemporary translator” (Brian Phillips, The New Republic), to bring into English Rilke’s major poetic works. The Poetry of Rilke—the single most comprehensive volume of Rilke’s German poetry ever to be published in English—is the culmination of this effort. With more than two hundred and fifty selected poems by Rilke, including complete translations of the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies, The Poetry of Rilke spans the arc of Rilke’s work, from the breakthrough poems of The Book of Hours to the visionary masterpieces written only weeks before his death. This landmark bilingual edition also contains all of Snow’s commentaries on Rilke, as well as an important new introduction by the award-winning poet Adam Zagajewski. The Poetry of Rilke will stand as the authoritative single-volume translation of Rilke into English for years to come.


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For the past twenty-five years, North Point Press has been working with Edward Snow, “Rilke’s best contemporary translator” (Brian Phillips, The New Republic), to bring into English Rilke’s major poetic works. The Poetry of Rilke—the single most comprehensive volume of Rilke’s German poetry ever to be published in English—is the culmination of this effort. With more than t For the past twenty-five years, North Point Press has been working with Edward Snow, “Rilke’s best contemporary translator” (Brian Phillips, The New Republic), to bring into English Rilke’s major poetic works. The Poetry of Rilke—the single most comprehensive volume of Rilke’s German poetry ever to be published in English—is the culmination of this effort. With more than two hundred and fifty selected poems by Rilke, including complete translations of the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies, The Poetry of Rilke spans the arc of Rilke’s work, from the breakthrough poems of The Book of Hours to the visionary masterpieces written only weeks before his death. This landmark bilingual edition also contains all of Snow’s commentaries on Rilke, as well as an important new introduction by the award-winning poet Adam Zagajewski. The Poetry of Rilke will stand as the authoritative single-volume translation of Rilke into English for years to come.

30 review for The Poetry of Rilke

  1. 4 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    Looking up from my book, from the close countable lines into the finished-full night outside: how in starry measure my packed feelings scatter, as though a bouquet of wildflowers were being untied… One needs only to thumb through any book of Rilke’s poetry for a mere minute to find a line or stanza that will captivate their heart and mind. Considered by many to be the preeminent German language poet, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926) has left us with a dazzling collection of poetry and prose that can Looking up from my book, from the close countable lines into the finished-full night outside: how in starry measure my packed feelings scatter, as though a bouquet of wildflowers were being untied… One needs only to thumb through any book of Rilke’s poetry for a mere minute to find a line or stanza that will captivate their heart and mind. Considered by many to be the preeminent German language poet, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926) has left us with a dazzling collection of poetry and prose that can make anyone believe in the power and glory of language. Rose, oh pure contradiction, joy of being No-one's sleep under so many lids. -Rilke’s epitaph I decided to investigate Rilke after his Duino Elegies were so highly praised and alluded to in Pynchon’s Gravity's Rainbow, particularly the eerie 8th Elegy. Ludwig Wittgenstein was another to openly admire Rilke in his writings, and the novel Wittgenstein’s Mistress contained a wealth of facts about the poet. With so many references to him in such a short span of time, how could I not own the complete collection of his poetry? After spending the summer reading through the great Wittgenstein investigating the deficiencies of language, Rilke illuminates the potency and remarkable versatility of language. Rilke explores the human heart and extracts our emotions into perfectly crafted imagery. Roses, angels and the heavens appear throughout the majority of his work, yet each time appearing fresh and fulfilling. A major selling point for this edition is that it includes a vast assortment of his body of work, including the full text of his most famous Duino Elegies and his Sonnets To Orpheus. I can’t speak any more highly of this poet, as nothing I can say will do him the justice his poetry will. I simply recommend this to anyone with even the slightest interest in poetry. Within the lines of his poems, you will find images and metaphor that will take your breath away. 5/5 -My life is not this steeply sloping hour, in which you see me hurrying. Much stands behind me; I stand before it like a tree; I am only one of my many mouths, and at that, the one that will be still the soonest. I am the rest between two notes, which are somehow always in discord because Death’s note wants to climb over— but in the dark interval, reconciled, they stay there trembling. And the song goes on, beautiful. Love Song How should I keep my soul from touching yours? How shall I lift it up beyond you to other things? Ah, I would gladly hide it in darkness with something lost in some silent foreign place that doesn’t tremble when your deeps stir. Yet whatever touches you and me blends us together the way a bow’s stroke draws one voice from two strings. Across what instrument are we stretched taut? And what player holds us in his hand? O sweet song. Falling Stars Do you still remember: falling stars, How they leapt slantwise through the sky Like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles Of our wishes – did we have so many? - For stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere; Almost every gaze upward became Wedded to the swift hazard of their play, And our heart felt like a single thing Beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance- And was whole, as if it would survive them! -Again and agan, even though we know love’s landscape and the little churchyard with its lamenting names and the terrible reticent gorge in which the others end: again and again the two of us walk out together under the ancient trees, lay ourselves down again and again among the flowers, and look up into the sky. Autumn Day Lord: it is time. The summer was immense. Lay your long shadows on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go free. Command the last fruits to be full; give them just two more southern days, urge them on to completion and chase the last sweetness into the heavy wine. Who has no house now, will never build one. Who is alone now, will long remain so, will stay awake, read, write long letters and will wander restlessly up and down the tree-lines streets, when the leaves are drifting. The Lovers See how in their veins all becomes spirit: into each other they mature and grow. Like axles, their forms tremblingly orbit, round which it whirls, bewitching and aglow. Thirsters, and they receive drink, watchers, and see: they receive sight. Let them into one another sink so as to endure each other outright Ignorant Before the Heavens of my Life Ignorant before the heavens of my life, I stand and gaze in wonder. Oh the vastness of the stars. Their rising and descent. How still. As if I didn't exist. Do I have any share in this? Have I somehow dispensed with their pure effect? Does my blood's ebb and flow change with their changes? Let me put aside every desire, every relationship except this one, so that my heart grows used to its farthest spaces. Better that it live fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than as if protected, soothed by what is near.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chinook

    I've read Rilke once before. I can't remember much about the poetry or even if I liked it much. What I remember is that I bought it at Kyobo, a giant chain store with a big English section and that they would stamp the pages with a little bird to indicate you'd purchased it there. And I remember that I read the book, Letters to a Young Poet, on the Seoul subway in the summer, because I can still remember the chill of the metal seats from the air conditioning. This book is an example of why I don I've read Rilke once before. I can't remember much about the poetry or even if I liked it much. What I remember is that I bought it at Kyobo, a giant chain store with a big English section and that they would stamp the pages with a little bird to indicate you'd purchased it there. And I remember that I read the book, Letters to a Young Poet, on the Seoul subway in the summer, because I can still remember the chill of the metal seats from the air conditioning. This book is an example of why I don't generally read much poetry. The first half is just introduction and it's that kind of talking about poetry that reads to me like complete nonsense. The second half, with Rilke's actual poems, was better but most of it didn't do much of anything for me. I wonder if part of the disconnect is that I have little interest in religion and Rilke clearly did.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    My favorit poet, together with Emily Dickinson. I am tempted to compare Rilkes poetry with Chopins music. Timeless, light, happy, romantic. My book is full with post- its, marking poems that I like to re-read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    The poems I don't love are usually ones I don't 'get'. The poems I love are among the most exquisite I've ever read. Astonishingly beautiful. The poems I don't love are usually ones I don't 'get'. The poems I love are among the most exquisite I've ever read. Astonishingly beautiful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Margaryta

    If after finishing “Letter to a Young Poet” I was sure I knew what Rilke was talking about and thought him to be a wise man, then after reading his poems I found myself a bit on the fence. His style was, at times, quite heavy and quite enamoured with its own wording and ideas, going off on mini tangents and personal conversations that were difficult to follow. There were some poems however that were absolutely beautiful, from start to finish. Whether they were one of the shorter ones or a not, s If after finishing “Letter to a Young Poet” I was sure I knew what Rilke was talking about and thought him to be a wise man, then after reading his poems I found myself a bit on the fence. His style was, at times, quite heavy and quite enamoured with its own wording and ideas, going off on mini tangents and personal conversations that were difficult to follow. There were some poems however that were absolutely beautiful, from start to finish. Whether they were one of the shorter ones or a not, some of Rilke’s poems were moving and enchanting. I found myself not a big fan of his more “traditional” works, poems that has a lot of Biblical/religious themes, or which followed the third-person general/sweeping kind of tone. His work takes some warming up to as well as several reads in order for the full scope of his talent to be appreciated. There is certainly something enjoyable in his poems, even if it was hard to read more than a few at a time before getting antsy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bee

    If you are interested in the artistic development of Rainer Maria Rilke then this book gives you a competent guide. The author explains a lot in prose but unfortunately there are not a lot of examples of the poets poems which is a shame. I am not sure about the quality of the translations: As being German speaking I have been reading Rilke in German for many years. In German his words have a certain melody which I can not find in the translations. But I have also been translating poems from Germa If you are interested in the artistic development of Rainer Maria Rilke then this book gives you a competent guide. The author explains a lot in prose but unfortunately there are not a lot of examples of the poets poems which is a shame. I am not sure about the quality of the translations: As being German speaking I have been reading Rilke in German for many years. In German his words have a certain melody which I can not find in the translations. But I have also been translating poems from German into English and some things just can not be said in the other language. It seems to me that translating poetry is a lot more difficult than translating prose. If you want to know about the poet and his development this is a very good book to start with. The chosen poems give a good overview over his work and might give you a taste for more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matty-Swytla

    I'm not a great reader of poetry, but reading challenges have me listen to one or two collections a year, so not all is lost in this regard. I'm drawn to the classics since the likelihood of enjoying the poems rises considerably, and this is true for this collection, no mistake. I like the quiet contemplative tone of Rilke's poetry, maybe because I get tired by too loud, overblown or too depressed tones of some poets. I also don't care that much about the clever types that enjoy twisting rhymes a I'm not a great reader of poetry, but reading challenges have me listen to one or two collections a year, so not all is lost in this regard. I'm drawn to the classics since the likelihood of enjoying the poems rises considerably, and this is true for this collection, no mistake. I like the quiet contemplative tone of Rilke's poetry, maybe because I get tired by too loud, overblown or too depressed tones of some poets. I also don't care that much about the clever types that enjoy twisting rhymes and alliterations everywhere - it's the content and emotional familiarity I seek in poetry. Rilke is definitely a poet I'll return to. I like the attention he pays to nature and small details. His themes are varied, so there's always something new to delight in. I also found that he fits my mood during long rainy days to a T. Go and listen to it on Librivox, the version read by Peter Tucker is excellent: Rainer Maria Rilke: Poems

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paloma *The Romance Queen*

    God I love Rilke Every time I read rilke I'm looking for that poem, the one that grabs me with a set of dirty hooks and sways me in its rhythm. God I love Rilke "I would like to sing someone to sleep, to sit beside someone and be there. I would like to rock you and sing softly and go with you to and from sleep. I would like to be the one in the house who knew: The night was cold. And I would like to listen in and listen out into you, into the world, into the woods. The clocks shout to one another striking God I love Rilke Every time I read rilke I'm looking for that poem, the one that grabs me with a set of dirty hooks and sways me in its rhythm. God I love Rilke "I would like to sing someone to sleep, to sit beside someone and be there. I would like to rock you and sing softly and go with you to and from sleep. I would like to be the one in the house who knew: The night was cold. And I would like to listen in and listen out into you, into the world, into the woods. The clocks shout to one another striking, and one sees to the bottom of time. And down below one last, strange man walks by and rouses a strange dog. And after that comes silence. I have laid my eyes upon you wide; and they hold you gently and let you go when something stirs in the dark."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This is part of my 2020 Pandemic Project: using poets' repetitions to make something i call repoesy. One night thou callest, "Oh Love, I am a queen pacing back solitude! How came life?"         the knight And                    thinks, "Many maidens, make me fall to your knee." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ if you want to make your own... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ how came thou callest fall many solitude the knight and thinks life maidens oh love pacing i am a queen to your knee one night back ma This is part of my 2020 Pandemic Project: using poets' repetitions to make something i call repoesy. One night thou callest, "Oh Love, I am a queen pacing back solitude! How came life?"         the knight And                    thinks, "Many maidens, make me fall to your knee." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ if you want to make your own... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ how came thou callest fall many solitude the knight and thinks life maidens oh love pacing i am a queen to your knee one night back make me

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel C.

    This public domain volume is clearly only a very brief introduction to Rilke. It's especially hard to judge poetry from translations but I did like what I read. Love Song When my soul touches yours a great chord sings! How shall I tune it then to other things? O! That some spot in darkness could be found That does not vibrate whene'er your depths sound. But everything that touches you and me Welds us as played strings sound one melody. Where is the instrument whence the sounds flow? And whose the master- This public domain volume is clearly only a very brief introduction to Rilke. It's especially hard to judge poetry from translations but I did like what I read. Love Song When my soul touches yours a great chord sings! How shall I tune it then to other things? O! That some spot in darkness could be found That does not vibrate whene'er your depths sound. But everything that touches you and me Welds us as played strings sound one melody. Where is the instrument whence the sounds flow? And whose the master-hand that holds the bow? O! Sweet song--

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marjolein

    I went to look up some of Rainer Maria Rilke's poems after reading his letters in the Little Black Classics series. While I usually not so great with poetry, the letters touched me dearly so I wanted to try his poetry as well. And while nice, it didn't struck the same chords entirely as the letters. Maybe my expectations were too high - given how much I enjoyed reading the Little Black Classics, or maybe it was just the thing with me and poetry... Find this and other reviews on my blog https://w I went to look up some of Rainer Maria Rilke's poems after reading his letters in the Little Black Classics series. While I usually not so great with poetry, the letters touched me dearly so I wanted to try his poetry as well. And while nice, it didn't struck the same chords entirely as the letters. Maybe my expectations were too high - given how much I enjoyed reading the Little Black Classics, or maybe it was just the thing with me and poetry... Find this and other reviews on my blog https://www.urlphantomhive.com

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian

    My favourite, about a monks relationship to God: http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/das-... My favourite, about a monks relationship to God: http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/das-...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Luís Alexandre Ribeiro Branco

    It is a marvelous poetry book. Rilke is doubtless a great poet and artist, deserving all our attention.

  14. 5 out of 5

    A

    I wanted to read some of his poetry after reading "Letters to a Young Poet," but couldn't get into his poetry. Every once in a while there was a nice moment but no one poet made me swoon or think like some artist's work does. I know like most art out there it's all subjective. I wanted to read some of his poetry after reading "Letters to a Young Poet," but couldn't get into his poetry. Every once in a while there was a nice moment but no one poet made me swoon or think like some artist's work does. I know like most art out there it's all subjective.

  15. 4 out of 5

    h.e.yoseph

    Beautiful, poignant and enchanting. DEATH Before us great Death stands Our fate held close within his quiet hands. When with proud joy we lift Life's red wine To drink deep of the mystic shining cup And ecstasy through all our beings leaps- Death bows his head and weeps. Beautiful, poignant and enchanting. DEATH Before us great Death stands Our fate held close within his quiet hands. When with proud joy we lift Life's red wine To drink deep of the mystic shining cup And ecstasy through all our beings leaps- Death bows his head and weeps.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karina Catellan

    I decided to read cause he influenced a lot of writers that I like, but except for one piece, nothing else was likeable to me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Just a few examples... I scent the oncoming winds and must bend with them, While the things beneath are not yet stirring,... Then I feel the storm and am vibrant like the sea And expand and withdraw into myself And thrust myself forth and am alone in the great storm. --------------- THE ANGELS (This is one of my favorite poems) They all have tired mouths And luminous, illimitable souls; And a longing (as if for sin) Trembles at times through their dreams... ---------------- SONG OF THE STATUE Who so loveth me Just a few examples... I scent the oncoming winds and must bend with them, While the things beneath are not yet stirring,... Then I feel the storm and am vibrant like the sea And expand and withdraw into myself And thrust myself forth and am alone in the great storm. --------------- THE ANGELS (This is one of my favorite poems) They all have tired mouths And luminous, illimitable souls; And a longing (as if for sin) Trembles at times through their dreams... ---------------- SONG OF THE STATUE Who so loveth me that he Will give his precious life for me? I shall be set free from the stone If some one drowns for me in the sea, I shall have life, life of my own - For life I ache. I long for the singing blood, The stone is so still and cold. I dream of life, life is good. Will no one love me and be bold And me awake? I weep and weep alone, Weep always for my stone. What joy is blood to me If it ripens like red wine? It cannot call back from the sea The life that was given for mine, Given for Love's sake. -------------------- DEATH Before us great Death stands Our fate held close within his quiet hands. When with proud joy we lift Life's red wine To drink deep of the mystic shining cup And ecstasy through all our being leaps - Death bows his head and weeps. ----------------------- I love my life's darkest hours In which my senses quicken and grow deep ----------------------- I really enjoy Rainer Maria Rilke. There's a gentleness to his poems that soothes my soul.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is sort of an unusual item: a small book of German poetry with extensive editorial comments and notes in English. Depending on your reading ability in either language, this could be a good or a bad thing. I would say that it is probably most useful for reasonably advanced students of German with some interest in either Rilke or German poetry in general, who wish a basic introduction to his work. Rilke is probably one of the least translatable of poets, so it is a good thing to see his work i This is sort of an unusual item: a small book of German poetry with extensive editorial comments and notes in English. Depending on your reading ability in either language, this could be a good or a bad thing. I would say that it is probably most useful for reasonably advanced students of German with some interest in either Rilke or German poetry in general, who wish a basic introduction to his work. Rilke is probably one of the least translatable of poets, so it is a good thing to see his work in its original language. Themes of the poems range from classical tales of Orpheus and Ledo to ordinary objects like a carousel. I particularly enjoy the "dinggedichte in which he describes some common thing with an artist's view to the essential facts, using words like a paintbrush. The discussion of his work by G.W. McKay is informed and intelligent, but probably debatable in places - it may be better for more advanced students of German literature to read the poems on their own, and form their own ideas. For less advanced students, his comments will sometimes shed light on the more obscure terminology Rilke uses.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rolland Kacsoh

    What a beautiful way to learn the most esoteric but expressive German vocabulary! Original German and English translation side-by-side. The translations seem to capture the essential but of course the intricate rhyme and meter are lost (better than the reverse, of course, which would be perversion). And what infinite subtlety Rilke weaves in this constant communion with the holiest of loves for Love itself. A true celebration of humanity! Each one has the depth of insight of any letter to FXK, e What a beautiful way to learn the most esoteric but expressive German vocabulary! Original German and English translation side-by-side. The translations seem to capture the essential but of course the intricate rhyme and meter are lost (better than the reverse, of course, which would be perversion). And what infinite subtlety Rilke weaves in this constant communion with the holiest of loves for Love itself. A true celebration of humanity! Each one has the depth of insight of any letter to FXK, except each is artfully dense. Rilke sets for himself such difficult obstacles in complex rhyme schemes and meter but then easily weaves around them with heart-wrenching and soulful montages of feeling and glorious imagery. Can't recommend Rilke's poetry highly enough and in particular this translation.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sheri-lee

    This review is more for me than for others. I always wonder at poets. When I write poetry, it's whatever comes to my mind at first draft. It's not good poetry. But I also don't know how to make it better. Poetry for me is a rawness expressed. If I play with it, it's worse. So, I wonder at poets. How long did Rilke think on each of these? How many drafts, changes, trials? No matter the poet's investment, reading poetry always comes across as rawness to me. Rawness in a good way -- it comes to me This review is more for me than for others. I always wonder at poets. When I write poetry, it's whatever comes to my mind at first draft. It's not good poetry. But I also don't know how to make it better. Poetry for me is a rawness expressed. If I play with it, it's worse. So, I wonder at poets. How long did Rilke think on each of these? How many drafts, changes, trials? No matter the poet's investment, reading poetry always comes across as rawness to me. Rawness in a good way -- it comes to me as their genius, this innate ability to bring all of poetic style, form, and devices to this seemingly raw product. Is it because that's how I 'write'? Perhaps it's my individual connection forced upon a poet. So Rilke's poetry is beauty in all it's faces. I can't quote all I would like to here. There are not enough characters allowed.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie Dunn

    This is not a review, as I didn't really read it yet, not really. It's not fair! I need to learn German. Now. I am now thoroughly convinced that my next language is German as opposed to ancient Greek. A few pages in, I thought, Well this is very very nice English. But this is English! And the original is German. How do you even attempt to translate poetry?? There are subtleties in diction, meter, etc. that just do not get conveyed in translation. For example, the Aeneid. I'm sure Vergil's work is This is not a review, as I didn't really read it yet, not really. It's not fair! I need to learn German. Now. I am now thoroughly convinced that my next language is German as opposed to ancient Greek. A few pages in, I thought, Well this is very very nice English. But this is English! And the original is German. How do you even attempt to translate poetry?? There are subtleties in diction, meter, etc. that just do not get conveyed in translation. For example, the Aeneid. I'm sure Vergil's work is great and wonderful; in translation, you only get the gist, not the poetry. Arguably, similar points can be made for stories, and this is true -- I would love to read any work in the original language. Unfortunately, I cannot. In short -- time to learn German. Somehow.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    It is tempting, as William H. Gass writes in Reading Rilke (Basic Books), to organize Rainer Maria Rilke’s life story around the several themes that obsessed and stalked him, particularly the image of the Rose. As it was for his contemporary Yeats, and many poets before and after them both, roses were the source and object of many of Rilke’s most brilliant poems and metaphors, including one of his finest lyric works, “The Bowl of Roses.” However, to think of Rilke's life in terms of his own myth It is tempting, as William H. Gass writes in Reading Rilke (Basic Books), to organize Rainer Maria Rilke’s life story around the several themes that obsessed and stalked him, particularly the image of the Rose. As it was for his contemporary Yeats, and many poets before and after them both, roses were the source and object of many of Rilke’s most brilliant poems and metaphors, including one of his finest lyric works, “The Bowl of Roses.” However, to think of Rilke's life in terms of his own mythologies is to fall into the trap of choosing aesthetics over facts, gloss over content. Read more at: http://criticalflame.org/verse/1109_p...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Bilingual edition. Translation by E. Snow The only regret I have for not being determined enough and learn German beyond a beginner's level is that I will never be able to read Rilke in original. So, being told Snow's translation is the best English translation ...I searched for it specifically. I am glad for the advice as it not just a solid translation but poetry as well. The kind of translation that balances from and content in accord with the original. Plus it does have the benefit of enclosi Bilingual edition. Translation by E. Snow The only regret I have for not being determined enough and learn German beyond a beginner's level is that I will never be able to read Rilke in original. So, being told Snow's translation is the best English translation ...I searched for it specifically. I am glad for the advice as it not just a solid translation but poetry as well. The kind of translation that balances from and content in accord with the original. Plus it does have the benefit of enclosing the original for comparison or at least to give one a good sense of the original flow of spoken word.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex Flores

    Rilke makes me wish I knew German! He writes about grief and love and God and humanity (four of my favorite things to think about) with such eloquence and insight. He's got a kind of sadness about his work too, but it's not completely pervasive. Which is good. Poets get like that sometimes, all sadness, not enough upward-looking-ness (I know that's not a word). At any rate, this is a good compilation of work from one of my favorite poets, and I'd highly recommend it and him to anyone interested Rilke makes me wish I knew German! He writes about grief and love and God and humanity (four of my favorite things to think about) with such eloquence and insight. He's got a kind of sadness about his work too, but it's not completely pervasive. Which is good. Poets get like that sometimes, all sadness, not enough upward-looking-ness (I know that's not a word). At any rate, this is a good compilation of work from one of my favorite poets, and I'd highly recommend it and him to anyone interested in the above mentioned subjects.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Seraphim V Molina

    Tightly tailored the bulges show... Tightly tailored the bulges show... The translation of the poems is respectful of the rhythm and rhyme in which they were written in German, a fidelity in form that sometimes shatters the power and beauty of the lines...I find it equally disconcerting that the longer poems, are night broken into their conventional stanzas but presented as one long poem, e.g. Book of Hours. Maybe I'm just too inured to reading Rilke's poems in free-verse translations Tightly tailored the bulges show... Tightly tailored the bulges show... The translation of the poems is respectful of the rhythm and rhyme in which they were written in German, a fidelity in form that sometimes shatters the power and beauty of the lines...I find it equally disconcerting that the longer poems, are night broken into their conventional stanzas but presented as one long poem, e.g. Book of Hours. Maybe I'm just too inured to reading Rilke's poems in free-verse translations

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leani

    I downloaded this Project Gutenberg version to read "The Book of Hours" concurrently with Das Stunden-Buch, but it turns out that it contains only extracts from the latter, either freely interpreted or freely rearranged by Jessie Lamont. (At any rate, during my first superficial reading I struggled to trace the verses in the German responsible for the verses in the English.) When I realised that translation was much shorter, I stopped attempting to read them in parallel, and I think Jessie Lamon I downloaded this Project Gutenberg version to read "The Book of Hours" concurrently with Das Stunden-Buch, but it turns out that it contains only extracts from the latter, either freely interpreted or freely rearranged by Jessie Lamont. (At any rate, during my first superficial reading I struggled to trace the verses in the German responsible for the verses in the English.) When I realised that translation was much shorter, I stopped attempting to read them in parallel, and I think Jessie Lamont's translation is excellent in its own right.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Solveig

    Not quite what I expected. There were a few poems which I thought were wonderful, but in a few cases the translation seemed to be the problem - where words had been more or less created (although still quite understandable). For my petty brain it was too much, and while I certainly intend to buy a copy of Letters to a young poet, I will not be keeping this book. (alas).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christian Patterson

    Great collection, and probably the best translations I've read. Snow translates close to the content and is willing to sacrifice the form a lot to do so, and that's what I prefer. But you're still able to instantly be like 'oh, this is a sonnet', even if it's not iambic pentameter with rhymes in translation. Plus, they have the German. My favorite poet. Great collection, and probably the best translations I've read. Snow translates close to the content and is willing to sacrifice the form a lot to do so, and that's what I prefer. But you're still able to instantly be like 'oh, this is a sonnet', even if it's not iambic pentameter with rhymes in translation. Plus, they have the German. My favorite poet.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Philip Dodd

    The name Rainer Maria Rilke I have seen mentioned many times, so I thought I would read a book of his poems. I have no idea how well his poems have been translated into English in the book, Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, but I enjoyed reading them, nonetheless. A collection of fine poems by a man who was clearly spiritually alive, I thought it to be. A good introduction to his works.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Doug Burns

    Ich bin Neimand und werde auch Niemand sein. Jetzt bin ich ja zum Sein noch zu klein; aber auch spater. For those who love the sound of Rilke's German, but don't read it well enough to really feel the punch of it, this is an absolutely delicious parallel edition. Ich bin Neimand und werde auch Niemand sein. Jetzt bin ich ja zum Sein noch zu klein; aber auch spater. For those who love the sound of Rilke's German, but don't read it well enough to really feel the punch of it, this is an absolutely delicious parallel edition.

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