The Essential Rilke

The Essential Rilke

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by Rainer Maria Rilke
     
 

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German poet Rainer Maria Rilke(1875-1926) enjoys ever-increasing popularity.  His Duino Elegies is considered on of the greatest long poems of the twentieth century.  Yet translations from his native German have always presented challenges: the elusiveness of Rilke's imagery, the playful way he both distorts and subverts his own language, and

Overview

German poet Rainer Maria Rilke(1875-1926) enjoys ever-increasing popularity.  His Duino Elegies is considered on of the greatest long poems of the twentieth century.  Yet translations from his native German have always presented challenges: the elusiveness of Rilke's imagery, the playful way he both distorts and subverts his own language, and the depth and complexity of his poetry make it difficult for translators to preserve the beauty and meaning of the original text.  In his stunning bilingual selection that includes the entire Duino Elegies as well as a number of favorite and less familiar shorter poems, Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann manage to retain power and grace of Rilke's words.  Throughout his poetry, Rilke addresses questions of how to live in and relate to a world in a voice  that is simultaneoulsy prophetic and intensely personel.  These translations offer new insight into this enigmatic German poet whose work will continue to be read and admired throughout the world.

Editorial Reviews

San Diego Union Tribune
Smoothly elegant and unhurriedly paced, [these translations] seem almost effortless, yet they resonate with lyrical intensity and allusive brio.... It would be hard to come away from The Essential Rilkewithout a profound sense of who this great early modernist poet was and what he had to say (and say beautifully of the self and the world.
Booknews
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Kinnell and Austrian-native editor Liebmann include the of course, the German poet's most famous work. They also include 24 shorter poems by Rilke (1875-1926), some favorites and some unfamiliar. The arrangement is chronological by collection, with a section for uncollected poems. A short introduction presents the rationale for the new translation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060956547
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Edition description:
First Paperback Edition
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,065,798
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.39(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was so immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials,
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

The Essential Rilke. Copyright © by Galway Kinnell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Galway Kinnell is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. His Selected Poems won the Pultizer Prize and the National Book Award in 1982. His most recent volume of peoms is Imperfect Thirst.

Hannah Liebman, a native of Austria, received her Ph.D in English and German literature and philology from the University of Graz. She is managing editor of an international quarterly and editorial assistant of the literary journal caesura

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