The Essential Rilke (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Almost unbearably beautiful. The temptation is to tumble headlong into the ever lovely, ever necessary "Duino Elegies" but consider stopping for the subtle grandeur of "Autumn Day" or passing a little while in the Jardin des Plantes with the muscular fury of "The Panther". Galway Kinnell's poetic voice with Hannah Liebmann's native ear combine to conjure my very favorite translation of this truly essential poet.

— From Lara


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.

About 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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060956547
ISBN-10: 0060956542
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: September 5th, 2000
Pages: 176
Language: English