The Book of Images

Overview

Now substantially revised by translator Edward Snow, this bilingual edition of The Book of Images contains a number of Rilke's previously untranslated poems, as well as many of his best-loved lyrics, including "Autumn," "Childhood," "Lament," "Evening," and "Entrance." First published in 1902 and greatly expanded in 1906, The Book of Images gives us Rilke at his most open and experimental. These poems reflect the tumult of Rilke's life over a period of seven years. They reveal with great poignance a poet often at...
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Overview

Now substantially revised by translator Edward Snow, this bilingual edition of The Book of Images contains a number of Rilke's previously untranslated poems, as well as many of his best-loved lyrics, including "Autumn," "Childhood," "Lament," "Evening," and "Entrance." First published in 1902 and greatly expanded in 1906, The Book of Images gives us Rilke at his most open and experimental. These poems reflect the tumult of Rilke's life over a period of seven years. They reveal with great poignance a poet often at the sweet best of his form, sometimes struggling painfully within a poem, occasionally falling back on tired mannerisms, but more often pushing forward to surprising and beautifully voiced conclusions.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Not quite literal and not quite poetry, these translations arrive on the heels of Snow's version of Rilke's New Poems: The Other Part (1908; LJ 9/1/87). Snow's assertion that Rilke's output needs to be read in the sequences assembled in his lifetime justifies this project, the first complete edition in English, but it begs to be superseded. M.D. Herder Norton, who did not venture the complete Book of Images , remains the most welcoming of Rilke's career translators, while Robert Bly's adaptations are more magical. Snow is most successful in matching the tension in Rilke's poetic line and his calculatedly awkward vocabulary. One finishes this book with the appropriate breathless, disoriented sensation of having read a lot of Rilke. Though ``images'' were still important at this stage in his development (1902-06), this is already the poet who hears ``words which mean nothing certain/ and yet go, go inside the ear, keep going/ into the brain and secretly on the nerve-branches/ through every limb try out leap after leap.''-- Rob Schmieder, Boston
Booknews
A bilingual edition of Rilke's 1906 collection of poems Buch der bilder, with facing pages of the German original, and English translations by Edward Snow, whose translations of other Rilke volumes have been highly praised. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Richard Howard
How much setting straight Edward Snow's new translation of The Book of Images accomplishes! With these sorrowing and luminous poems to lead up to Snow's two volumes of the New Poems, it is possible to gain, for the first time in English, a consistent perspective of Rilke's difficult canon, here restored and disclosed to stunning effect.
Edward Hirsch
Edward Snow, who so insightfully translated two volumes of Rilke's New Poems, has now turned to The Book of Images, one of the poet's most startling and diverse masterworks. Snow has rendered with great skill and accuracy a work both familiar and unknown, more complicated and more immediate than many have suspected, at once grave, mysterious, and beautiful.
From the Publisher
"Snow, who so insightfully translated the two volumes of Rilke's New Poems, has now turned to The Book of Images, one of the poet's most startling and diverse masterworks. Snow has rendered with great skill and accuracy a work both familiar and unknown, more complicated and more immediate than many have suspected, at once grave, mysterious, and beautiful."—Edward Hirsch

"How much setting straight Snow's new translation of The Book of Images accomplishes! With these sorrowing and luminous poems to lead up to Snow's two volumes of the New Poems, it is possible to gain, for the first time in English, a consistent perspective of Rilke's difficult canon, here restored and disclosed to stunning effect."—Richard Howard

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865474680
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/1/1991
  • Edition description: A bilingual ed
  • Pages: 288

Meet the Author

Edward Snow has received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his many renderings of Rilke. The author of A Study of Vermeer and Inside Breughel, he teaches at Rice University.

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