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Rilke's book of hours: love poems to god
     

Rilke's book of hours: love poems to god

4.4 7
by Rainer Maria Rilke, Joanna Macy (Translator), Joanna Macy (Translator), Anita Barrows (Translator)
 

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At the beginning of this century, a young German poet returned from a journey to Russia, where he had immersed himself in the spirituality he discovered there. He "received" a series of poems about which he did not speak for a long time - he considered them sacred, and different from anything else he ever had done and ever would do again. This poet saw the coming

Overview

At the beginning of this century, a young German poet returned from a journey to Russia, where he had immersed himself in the spirituality he discovered there. He "received" a series of poems about which he did not speak for a long time - he considered them sacred, and different from anything else he ever had done and ever would do again. This poet saw the coming darkness of the century, and saw the struggle we would have in our relationship to the divine. The poet was Rainer Maria Rilke, and these love poems to God make up his Book of Hours.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The German poet Rilke wrote his Book of Hours (Das Stundenbuch) between 1899, when he was 23 years old, and 1903. The poems, sacred and intimate and not intended for the public, "came to him" in a highly inspirational way-he described it as "inner dictation"-following a visit to a monastery in Russia, where he was deeply moved by the practice of praying several times daily following a "book of hours." Barrows and Macy, accomplished poets who were born into the Judeo-Christian tradition but who have also embraced Buddhism, have carefully translated 80 of the 135 poems in the original Stundenbuch, culling some poems they felt to be weaker or less relevant to a late 20th-century reader and artfully reducing other poems to their essentials. Thus, this treasurable collection is a collaboration among three poets (or perhaps four, if one counts Rilke's insistence on the contribution of the divine!). Here is just one of many stunning moments in the extensively annotated and thoroughly prefaced collection: "All becoming has needed me./ My looking ripens things/ and they come toward me, to meet and be met." And, striking a contemporary chord: "I am living just as the century ends./ A great leaf, that God and you and I/ have covered with writing/ turns now, overhead, in strange hands." Highly recommended.-Judy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573225854
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.51(d)

Meet the Author

RAINER MARIA RILKE was born in Prague in 1875 and died in Valmont, Montreux, in 1926. Throughout his life he travelled restlessly around Europe, meeting Tolstoy in Russia (1900), working as ‘secretary’ to Rodin in Paris (1905–6), enjoying some aristocratic hospitality (especially at Castle Duino, near Trieste, as guest of Marie von Thurn und Taxis, between 1910 and 1914), working as a clerk in Austria during the war, but finally settling at the Château de Muzot, Valais, after 1922.

The turning-points in his career are the Neue Gedichte (‘New Poems’) of 1907–8, together with the journal-novel of the same period, Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge (1910); and Duineser Elegeien and Die Soneete an Orpheus of 1922. His final interest was Paul Valéry whose poems, Charmes, he translated in 1925 and imitated in his own Poèmes français.

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Rilke's book of hours: love poems to god 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely gorgeous poetry and inspiring to read. The words flow remarkably, in spite of translation, and Rilke has a way of making the words move your heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Haplessly, this publication is an affront to the venerable legacy of Rilke. A myriad poems have been truncated, or superfluously emended, simply because Rilke's poetry smacks of piety that might corrupt twenty-century readers? This is not the voice of Rilke.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has been my introduction to Rainer Maria Rilke. The poems (addressed to God) and their translations are wonderful, and the prefatory matter adds to their impact. The facing-page bilingual format makes the paper version easier to read than the e-book.
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