Poems from the Book of Hoursby Rainer Maria Rilke, Babette Deutsch (Translator), Ursula K. Le Guin (Preface by)
First published in 1941 by New Directions as part of the Poets of the Year Series, Babette Deutsch's now classic translations from Rainer Maria Rilke's The Book of Hours ("Das Stundenbuch") are available at last in a paperbound edition. The original German text, as in the earlier book, appears en face. "Rilke's Book of Hours," Miss Deutsch writes in her preface, "falls into three parts: The Book of Monkish Life (1899), The Book of Pilgrimage (1901), and The Book of Poverty and Death (1903). Although these poems were the work of Rilke's youth, they contain the germ of his mature convictions. The God they celebrate is not the Creator of the Universe, but seems rather the creation of humanity, and, above all, of that most intensely conscious part of humanity: the artists. Rewarding alike for the richness of their harmonies and the suggestiveness of their imagery, these lyrics allow of interpretations acceptable both to the religious and to the philosophical mind. While the sense was never sacrificed to the exigencies of the pattern, the translator's effort was to carry over into the English verse as much as the language allowed of the original music."
Meet the Author
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is considered one of the greatest poets who ever wrote in the German language. His most famous works are Sonnets to Orpheus, The Duino Elegies, Letters to a Young Poet, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.
His collected work is comprised of hundreds of other poems, essays, plays, and stories.
Babette Deutsch (1859–1982) was a poet, critic, and novelist, as well as a translator.
Ursula K. Le Guin has written over fifty books of prose and poetry. Winner of many prizes including a National Book Award, she is perhaps best known for her six Books of Earthsea which have sold millions of copies and been translated into sixteen languages.
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