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Uncollected Poems: Bilingual Edition

Overview

Between the New Poems of 1907 and 1908 and his death in 1926, Rainer Maria Rilke published only two major volumes of poetry—the Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus, both in 1923. But during this period he was writing verse continually, often prolifically—in letters, in guest books, in presentation copies, and chiefly in the pocket-books he always carried with him. This body of uncollected work exceeds five hundred pieces: finished poems of great poise and brilliance, headlong statements that hurtle through ...

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Uncollected Poems: Bilingual Edition

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Overview

Between the New Poems of 1907 and 1908 and his death in 1926, Rainer Maria Rilke published only two major volumes of poetry—the Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus, both in 1923. But during this period he was writing verse continually, often prolifically—in letters, in guest books, in presentation copies, and chiefly in the pocket-books he always carried with him. This body of uncollected work exceeds five hundred pieces: finished poems of great poise and brilliance, headlong statements that hurtle through their subjects, haunting "fragments," and short bursts that arc into the unpursuable. A remarkable number of them are among Rilke's finest poems.

Snow's selection of more than a hundred of these little-known works distills the best of the uncollected poetry while offering a wide enough choice to convey Rilke's variety and industry during the years he wrote them. Uncollected Poems will lead students, scholars, and other readers to a fresh—and more accurate—understanding of this great poet's life and work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[This] translation of Rilke's neglected later poems is worthy of Snow's [earlier] versions of the two books of New Poems. Something of the non-vatic Rilke, poet of perception and sensation, is best conveyed in English by Snow's meditations."—Harold Bloom

"The Snow translation of these little-known Rilke poems is brilliant. Just turn to 'The Spanish Trilogy.' It is quite simply one of [the twentieth] century's most beautiful poems—in German and in English."—Mark Strand

Library Journal
The poems collected here were written between 1908, the year Rilke published New Poems, and 1923, when Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus appeared. The work of those intervening years was considered to be of lesser accomplishment, poems about the decline of inspiration or the crisis of writer's block. On the contrary, Snow, an award-winning translator of Rilke (Book of Images, LJ 6/15/91, and New Poems, LJ 9/1/87), claims this was a period of great florescence, with some of the poems ranking with Rilke's finest achievements. If they had been published together, Snow believes, they "would stand as one of the great volumes of poetry in 20th-century literature." There is an intimate immediacy to these poems that shows a contrasting side to the oracular voice of the Elegies and Sonnets. The German originals are arranged en face, with Snow's sensitive, skillful translations. Highly recommended, especially for collections strong in 20th-century poetry. [See also Ralph Freedman's Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke, reviewed on p. 108-Ed.]-Christine Stenstrom, Brooklyn P.L.
Mark Strand
The Snow translation of these little-known Rilke poems is brilliant. Just turn to "The Spanish Trilogy." It is quite simply one of this century's most beautiful poems-in German and in English.
Harold Bloom
Edward Snow's translation of Rilke's neglected later poems is worthy of Snow's versions of the two books of New Poems. Something of the non-vatic Rilke, poet of perception and sensation, is best conveyed in English by Snow's mediations.
John Hollander
Snow has not only outdone the power and refinement of his fine versions of the New Poems in a manner that deploys remarkably well-tuned diction and supple syntax. He has also given us the added benefit of his judicious selection and editorial commentary. These poems have never been done so beautifully in English: for readers without German, they will be great discoveries; for those who have known some of them previously, they will deepen their resonance. This is a splendid achievement.
Denise Levertov
Edward Snow is far and away Rilke's best contemporary translator-one who never imposes his own personality or idiosyncrasies of style between us and the original, but gives to it that respect which proves him worthy of the task.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865475137
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Language: German
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 669,975
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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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