The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
The influence and popularity of Rilke's poetry in America have never been greater than they are today, more than fifty years after his death. Rilke is unquestionably the most significant and compelling poet of romantic transformation, of spiritual quest, that the twentieth century has known. His poems of ecstatic identification with the world exert a seemingly endless fascination for contemporary readers. In Stephen Mitchell's versions, many readers feel that they have discovered an English rendering that captures the lyric intensity, fluency, and reach of Rilke's poetry more accurately and convincingly than has ever been done before. Mr. Mitchell is impeccable in his adherence to Rilke's text, to his formal music, and to the complexity of his thought; at the same time, his work has authority and power as poetry in its own right. Few translators of any poet have arrived at the delicate balance of fidelity and originality that Mr. Mitchell has brought off with seeming effortlessness. The generous and unusual selection that the translator has made from Rilke's large body of work has been praised by scholars for the judicious picture it offers of the breadth and depth of Rilke's greatness. The German text is printed facing the translations, and the poems have been extensively annotated with relevant quotations from Rilke's correspondence and other essential information. Noted poet and critic Robert Hass's searching introduction, "Looking for Rilke," discusses the span of Rilke's career and his importance for the American poetic tradition.
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A simple marvel of a book, that now 26 years later, dog-eared, and with bookmarks to my favorite passages, it serves quite simply as the single most important book in all of my library. Not an uncommon thing for a poet to say. The cover art, the translations, everything combine to make it the finest of all the collections in tribute to Rainer Maria Rilke.
Having read almost all the others, this is the most comprehensive and complete. All the others were returned to the public library.
if you can score the original, gently used by a kind soul like mine, with tears-stained pages of joy, or even a reissue. Do get it.
Review: The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria RilkeUser Review - Goodreads
I am so grateful to have had a chance to read the Rilke poetry in a translation to poetic English, which I am assured by the scholars is as close as one could imagine to what Rilke would have himself ... Read full review
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