counter The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke

Availability: Ready to download

Parallel German text and English translation. The influence and popularity of Rilke’s poetry in America have never been greater than they are today, more than fifty years after his death. Rilke is unquestionably the most significant and compelling poet of romantic transformation, of spiritual quest, that the twentieth century has known. His poems of ecstatic identification Parallel German text and English translation. The influence and popularity of Rilke’s poetry in America have never been greater than they are today, more than fifty years after his death. Rilke is unquestionably the most significant and compelling poet of romantic transformation, of spiritual quest, that the twentieth century has known. His poems of ecstatic identification with the world exert a seemingly endless fascination for contemporary readers. In Stephen Mitchell’s versions, many readers feel that they have discovered an English rendering that captures the lyric intensity, fluency, and reach of Rilke’s poetry more accurately and convincingly than has ever been done before. Mr. Mitchell is impeccable in his adherence to Rilke’s text, to his formal music, and to the complexity of his thoughts; at the same time, his work has authority and power as poetry in its own right. Few translators of any poet have arrived at the delicate balance of fidelity and originality that Mr. Mitchell has brought off with seeming effortlessness. Originally published: New York : Random House, 1982.


Compare

Parallel German text and English translation. The influence and popularity of Rilke’s poetry in America have never been greater than they are today, more than fifty years after his death. Rilke is unquestionably the most significant and compelling poet of romantic transformation, of spiritual quest, that the twentieth century has known. His poems of ecstatic identification Parallel German text and English translation. The influence and popularity of Rilke’s poetry in America have never been greater than they are today, more than fifty years after his death. Rilke is unquestionably the most significant and compelling poet of romantic transformation, of spiritual quest, that the twentieth century has known. His poems of ecstatic identification with the world exert a seemingly endless fascination for contemporary readers. In Stephen Mitchell’s versions, many readers feel that they have discovered an English rendering that captures the lyric intensity, fluency, and reach of Rilke’s poetry more accurately and convincingly than has ever been done before. Mr. Mitchell is impeccable in his adherence to Rilke’s text, to his formal music, and to the complexity of his thoughts; at the same time, his work has authority and power as poetry in its own right. Few translators of any poet have arrived at the delicate balance of fidelity and originality that Mr. Mitchell has brought off with seeming effortlessness. Originally published: New York : Random House, 1982.

59 review for The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav

    Rainer Maria Rilke, the eternal beginner, had troublesome childhood, his birth had been preceded by that of a daughter, who had died in infancy, and his mother apparently tried to console herself for this loss by pretending, so long as she possibly could, that Rene (his original name) was a girl. The early prose tales, he wrote, were more subjective and naturalistic and often reveal, despite some grotesque lapses of taste, that he had a remarkably keen eye for the individuality of people and thi Rainer Maria Rilke, the eternal beginner, had troublesome childhood, his birth had been preceded by that of a daughter, who had died in infancy, and his mother apparently tried to console herself for this loss by pretending, so long as she possibly could, that Rene (his original name) was a girl. The early prose tales, he wrote, were more subjective and naturalistic and often reveal, despite some grotesque lapses of taste, that he had a remarkably keen eye for the individuality of people and things. As J.B. Leishman says that art as a discovery and revelation of the mystery and wonder of life, poets, and artists as the true revealers and, in a sense, creators, of God- this was the conviction, or intuition, into which Rilke escaped from the narrow Catholicism of his early years, and this was the characteristically modified manner in which he accepted that Nietzschean life-worship, insistence on this worldliness and rejection of other-worldliness. The main task of his later life was to correct his overwhelming tendency to subjectivity, reverie, and rhapsody by developing his capacity for objectivity, to find more and more in outwardness, in actually existent things, and to ensure that every poem, however personal, should be not just an utterance but a processed work of art, became more and more task of his life. He was tremendously impressed by the exhibition of Cezanne and called him as a ‘worker’ and ‘masterer of reality’. He developed an altogether new kind of objectivity from the paintings of Cezanne and perhaps later in New poems he achieved a wonderful balance between objectivity and subjectivity, inwardness and outwardness. The entire span of Rilke’s existence may be said as his strive for unification between his art and his life. Behind the innocent trees Behind the innocent trees old Fate is slowly forming her taciturn face Wrinkles travel thither Here a bird screams and there a furrow of pain shoots from the hard sooth-saying mouth Oh and the almost lovers with their unvaledictory smiles- their destiny setting and rising above them constellational night-enraptured Not yet proffering itself to their experience it still remains hovering in heaven's paths an airy form. The collection has around 70 odd poems by Rilke, each of those was intended to be, and usually is, as independent and self-sufficient as any painting, statue, building, while though, some are purely descriptive and suggest nothing beyond themselves, others are in various ways representative or symbolic. The poetry of Rilke is celebration of creative energy which is he is aware of, and which is present in himself. One may think that his poems are ode to God but in essence, those verses are directed towards himself, the self-consciousness which he named as ‘God’. His poetry reflects his incessant insistence for understanding existence of human life, a miscellany of being and nothingness, though not typically religious but, in a sense, inspired from it. The notion of a poet one who just waited for the coming of poetic moods in which he could write ‘poetically’ about ‘poetic’ subjects became more and more distasteful to him. His genius lies in his passion for perfection, artistic integrity and ‘willingness to remain a perpetual beginner.’ He never achieved perpetual satisfaction at whatever stage of achievement he might have been, and perhaps this great dissatisfaction prompted him to keep evolving himself, his verses, as eventually his poems become his visions about existential angst of human beings, though very refined ones, questioning the abstract problems of life. However, one may be tempted to look for philosophical ideas in his verses, only to one’s disappointment; his poetry is in no sense the exposition of anything like a systematic philosophy rather an attempt to communicate, sometimes separately, sometimes in combination, some of Rilke’s most intense, individual experiences. The collection has first and ninth elegies from Dunio Eleges, which is perhaps the fullest and most ambitious attempt at an answer. The section has Rilke’s fullest expression of a gradually and painfully achieved intuition into the inseparability of uniqueness and transience: First Elegy Who, if I cried, would hear me among the angelic Orders? And even if one of them suddenly Pressed me against his heart, I should fade in the strength of his Stronger existence. For Beauty’s nothing But beginning of terror we’re still just able to bear, And why we adore it so is because it serenely Disdains to destroy us. Every angel is terrible. And so I repress myself, and swallow the call-note Of depth-dark sobbing. Alas, who is there We can make use of? Not angels, not men; And even the noticing beasts are aware That we don’t feel very securely at home In this interpreted world. The Ninth Elegy Why, when this span of life might be fleeted away As laurel, a little darker than all The surrounding green, with tiny waves on the border Of every leaf (like the smile of a wind):- oh, why have to be human, and shunning Destiny, Long for Destiny?... Not because happiness really Exists, that precipitate profit of imminent loss. Not out of curiosity, not just to practice heart, That could still there in laurel… But because being here is much, and because all this That’s here, so fleeting, seems to require us and strangely Concerns us. Us the most fleeting of all. Just once, Everything, only for once. Once and no more. And we, too, Once. And never again, But this Having been once, though once, Having been omce on earth- can it ever be cancelled? Sonnets to Orpheus could be said as something extraordinary, not achieved by Rilke earlier, a lifting, not indeed of the mystery but of the burden of it; the achievement, as a reward for much patient endurance of silence, terror and perplexity, of the mood expressed in the beautiful verses. From The Sonnets to Orpheus: First Part XXIII Only when flight shall soar Not for its own sake only Up into heaven’s lonely Silence, and be no more Merely the lightly profiling, Proudly successful tool, Playmate of winds, beguiling Time there, careless and cool: Only when some pure Whither Outweighs boyish insistence On the achieved machine Will who has journeyed thither be, in that fading distance, All that his flight has been. The collection contains some of the best poems by Rilke across the years, there is a most subtle interplay between nature and artifice, formality and informality. Colloquial expressions are transfigured by the extreme precision and elegance of the verse in which they appear, and wonderfully natural speech-rhythms compel these verses to behave in a manner of which we might have supposed them to be incapable. The verses of Rilke seem to be a sort of deconstruction of the world around different expressions of human towards nature, his existential angst. The ever enigmatic themes of death, despair also play role in poetic expression of Rilke. One of things which distinguish his poetry was that Rilke expressed ideas with "physical rather than intellectual symbols unlike other modern greats. The poems are reflections of inner tensions of Rilke, as said by W.B. Yeats-We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. Form The Sonnets to Orpheus: Second Part IV This is the creature there has never been They never knew it, and yet, none the less, They loved the way it moved, its suppleness, Its neck, its very gaze, mild and serene. Not there, because they loved it, it behaved As though it were. They always left some space. And in that clear unpeopled space they saved It lightly reared its head, with scare a trace Of not being there. They fed it, not with corn, But only with the possibility Of being. And that was able to confer Such strength, its brow pit forth a horn. One horn. Whitely it stole up to a maid, -to be Within silver mirror and in her. Autumn The leaves are falling, falling as from far, as though above were withering farthest gardens; they fall with a denying attitude. And night by night, down into solitude, the heavy earth falls far from every star. We are falling. The hand's falling too- all have this falling-sickness none withstands. And yet there's One whose gently-holding hands this universal falling can't fall through As Holroyd concluded, the poetry which Rilke wrote to express and extend his experience . . . is one of the most successful attempts a modern man has made to orientate himself within his chaotic world. *edited on 14.11.17

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    “Yet, no matter how deeply I go down into myself, my God is dark, and like a webbing made of a hundred roots that drink in silence.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke Rainer Maria Rilke seems to stretch his words from the dirt to the stars with his poems. His verse is my favorite kind of poetry. He is wrestling with angels, looking for the THING, peeling back the skin on tangerines while counting the seeds. This is both the poetry of my youth (I first read Rilke in H “Yet, no matter how deeply I go down into myself, my God is dark, and like a webbing made of a hundred roots that drink in silence.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke Rainer Maria Rilke seems to stretch his words from the dirt to the stars with his poems. His verse is my favorite kind of poetry. He is wrestling with angels, looking for the THING, peeling back the skin on tangerines while counting the seeds. This is both the poetry of my youth (I first read Rilke in HS) and my maturity. Rilke dances in that void between love, sex and death and makes the gravity of it ALL work. I should also mention that I love Stephen Mitchell as a translator. I'm not sure exactly how many languages he reads, but his ability to turn German poetry into English poetry; his ability to turn Latin poetry into English poetry -- hell, it amazes me. Like Pinsky's translation of The Inferno of Dante, Rilke's 'Selectee Poetry' is one of those poet translations I believe is a must in a literate library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    This is a book you might need years to prepare for. Rilke is complex, his images interweave and play off each other. I believe it has something to do with the penchant for puns and hyphenated, conjuncted words that German is prone to. "Archaic Torso Of Apollo" is one of the most powerful, moving pieces in all of 20th Century poetry. Rilke is light years beyond you, dear reader, as he is for 90% of all his readers. But he is accessible in small glimpses if you come correct with an open mind and re This is a book you might need years to prepare for. Rilke is complex, his images interweave and play off each other. I believe it has something to do with the penchant for puns and hyphenated, conjuncted words that German is prone to. "Archaic Torso Of Apollo" is one of the most powerful, moving pieces in all of 20th Century poetry. Rilke is light years beyond you, dear reader, as he is for 90% of all his readers. But he is accessible in small glimpses if you come correct with an open mind and reverence and inquisitiveness... "Who, if I were to cry out, would hear me among the angels' heirarchies?" Splendid. Elegant, aesthetic, cosmopoltian, skeptical, dense, rewarding, compelling. This would change your life, if only you had enough of one to change.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Many poets can distill their thoughts, observations, and feelings into poetry in a way that I could never accomplish, but I don't necessarily view them as wise human beings. They might have all sorts of other strengths, but deep interior wisdom is not what they give me. There are some poets, however, who take me to places that resonate so deeply and do it in language that I would never discover in myself. What they say is suffused with wisdom. Rilke is such a poet for me. Wisława Szymborska is a Many poets can distill their thoughts, observations, and feelings into poetry in a way that I could never accomplish, but I don't necessarily view them as wise human beings. They might have all sorts of other strengths, but deep interior wisdom is not what they give me. There are some poets, however, who take me to places that resonate so deeply and do it in language that I would never discover in myself. What they say is suffused with wisdom. Rilke is such a poet for me. Wisława Szymborska is another. Rilke's poems are so dense with imagery, feeling, and insight they require an on-going relationship and an evolving understanding. So for me this is not a book to read and set aside, but one to savor and turn to repeatedly over the years. Rilke created poems that span a space between the beauty and wonder of life and the recognition of death as an inevitable conclusion. Awareness of that conclusion makes everything more wondrous right now and Rilke is incredible at conveying observed details as well as evoking imagery that make you contemplate the world immediately around you. But the poems remind you that these things -- and ourselves -- are all more precious because they are fleeting. Another reviewer called his writing "vaporous." I think that's an adequate description. It's like they trigger awareness of that sense of transience in life, temporarily sustain the moment for you, and then disappear. But isn't that how insight is? There then gone? Then there again?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yuval

    I'm not the world's biggest poetry buff, but Rilke's work is more like lyric philosophy, and the depth of ideas and richness of imagery is overwhelming. It's been way too long since reading these, and I've thoroughly loved the re-read over the last few weeks. Last time I read this, I did not speak German, so this is the first time I was able to assess Stephen Mitchell's translations of the poems from German. They are truly amazing; accurate, graceful, and lovely. I can't imagine any better.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    I have read many of the poems in this collection dozens of times, by a handful of different translators, and I never, ever tire of Rilke. No modern poet goes as far into himself, into "the invisible, unheard center", and returns with such gems, really revelations. Revelatory image succeeds revelatory image. Am I being a bit too grandiose? That's fine, I think Rilke is the greatest poet of the 20th century, and high praise is not praise enough. A pure writer. Mitchell's translations are gorgeous I have read many of the poems in this collection dozens of times, by a handful of different translators, and I never, ever tire of Rilke. No modern poet goes as far into himself, into "the invisible, unheard center", and returns with such gems, really revelations. Revelatory image succeeds revelatory image. Am I being a bit too grandiose? That's fine, I think Rilke is the greatest poet of the 20th century, and high praise is not praise enough. A pure writer. Mitchell's translations are gorgeous and this should be the edition that introduces the new reader to Rilke. Then read all his letters and the Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Then reread ad infinitum.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Cowley

    I first discovered Rilke earlier this month when one of my friends posted a snippet of his poetry for National Poetry Month. The lines entranced me, and I decided I wanted to read more. So I found this selection of his poetry and read it from start to finish. I loved the critical introduction by Robert Haas--it was a fascinating look at Rilke's life and poems, and helped me get a lot more out of my reading, by understanding the context. My impression of Rilke is that his poems describe the beaut I first discovered Rilke earlier this month when one of my friends posted a snippet of his poetry for National Poetry Month. The lines entranced me, and I decided I wanted to read more. So I found this selection of his poetry and read it from start to finish. I loved the critical introduction by Robert Haas--it was a fascinating look at Rilke's life and poems, and helped me get a lot more out of my reading, by understanding the context. My impression of Rilke is that his poems describe the beauty of loneliness, the meaning in emptiness, and the self-discovery in loss. In one of his requiems, Rilke writes: I have my dead, and I have let them go, and was amazed to see them so contented, so soon at home in being dead, so cheerful, so unlike their reputation. Only you return.... The brilliantly crafted ten elegies that make up Duino Elegies were incredibly sorrowful, bringing death close, but in some ways transcending death itself. In one of his sonnets to Orpheus, Rilke writes: Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by. One of my favorite poems is Rilke's first sonnet to Orpheus: A tree ascended there. Oh pure transcendence! Oh Orpheus sings! Oh tall tree in the ear! And all things hushed. Yet even in that silence a new beginning, beckoning, change appeared. Creatures of stillness crowded from the bright unbound forest, out of their lairs and nests; and it was not from any dullness, not from fear, that they were so quiet in themselves, but from simply listening. Bellow, roar, shriek seemed small inside their hearts. And where there had been just a makeshift hut to receive the music, a shelter nailed up out of their darkest longing, with an entryway that shuddered in the wind-- you built a temple deep inside their hearing. Reading Rilke makes me want to look, to see, to experience the world more deeply. It makes me want to stop running from my sorrows, and instead let myself experience them. Since I've never read Rilke before, I can't comment on this particular translation or edition in comparison to the others. This one does have the original German on the opposite page, for those who happen to read German (I do not). I need more poetry in my life. Reading Rilke has made that clear to me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Miroku Nemeth

    Rilke's words spring from a compassion and nobility that plunges into the depths and rises to the heights of human experience. Spend time with this book. You will increase your humanity. Everywhere transience is plunging into the depth of Being....It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its essence can rise again, 'invisibly,' inside us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to Rilke's words spring from a compassion and nobility that plunges into the depths and rises to the heights of human experience. Spend time with this book. You will increase your humanity. Everywhere transience is plunging into the depth of Being....It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its essence can rise again, 'invisibly,' inside us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to store it in the great golden hive of the visible." (Rilke in a letter Witold Hulewicz, 1925). "For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation....Love does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person...Rather, it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for another's sake...." Rilke "The bird is a creature that has a very special feeling of trust in the external world, as if she knew that she is one with its deepest mystery. That is why she sings in it as if she were singing within her own depths; that is why we so easily receive a birdcall into our own depths; we seem to be translating it without residue into our emotion; indeed, it can for a moment turn the whole world into inner space, because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between her heart and the world's" Rilke "Letter to Lou Andreas-Salome" 1914) Angel!: If there were a place that we didn't know of, and there, on some unsayable carpet, lovers displayed what they never could bring to mastery here--the bold exploits of their high-flying hearts, their towers of pleasure, their ladders that have long since been standing where there was no ground, leaning just on each other, trembling,--and could master all this, before the surrounding spectators, the innumerable soundless dead; Would these, then, throw down their final, forever saved-up, forever hidden, unknown to us, eternally valid coins of happiness before the at last geniunely smiling pair on the gratified carpet? Rilke, Duino Elegies, the Fifth Elegy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    Rilke is truly incredible. his style is so vaporous- the images linger and cloud together, broken up by indefinite semicolons and dashes, and the final lines are like cold glass against the cheek. he's overwhelmingly receptive to beauty and intensity in the world; in letters, he wrote to a friend about the hours he spent watching deer at the zoo. i recognized a lot of romantic sublimity in his earlier poems, in the descriptions of potential in the animals' limbs and gazes, the latent power sugge Rilke is truly incredible. his style is so vaporous- the images linger and cloud together, broken up by indefinite semicolons and dashes, and the final lines are like cold glass against the cheek. he's overwhelmingly receptive to beauty and intensity in the world; in letters, he wrote to a friend about the hours he spent watching deer at the zoo. i recognized a lot of romantic sublimity in his earlier poems, in the descriptions of potential in the animals' limbs and gazes, the latent power suggested everywhere in nature. he's radically unlike any English-speaking poets that i've read, so much so that reading his poetry is like bedding someone who doesn't speak your native tongue, it's simultaneously very intimate and very alienating. you feel very close but you can barely communicate. he's so sincere, and his yearnings, untempered by self-consciousness, are painful to read. part pioneer, part shepherd, the androgynous Rilke is a wandering eye. stangely, he reminds me of lot of jeff mangum from neutral milk hotel.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    There are not enough stars on Goodreads for Rilke. I loved this book, which included a little sampler from each of his books, chronologically, except the Duino Elegies, which was here in its entirety. I read the Duino Elegies first and was hooked, but the others are almost as good. The Sonnets to Orpheus especially are great, and some of his stand alone poems. Also because this was roughly chronological, you can see his progression as a poet, and how he developed his ideas, themes, and writing. There are not enough stars on Goodreads for Rilke. I loved this book, which included a little sampler from each of his books, chronologically, except the Duino Elegies, which was here in its entirety. I read the Duino Elegies first and was hooked, but the others are almost as good. The Sonnets to Orpheus especially are great, and some of his stand alone poems. Also because this was roughly chronological, you can see his progression as a poet, and how he developed his ideas, themes, and writing. He's not one of those writers who repeats the same poem throughout his career. Every book here has a different flavor and feel to it, he seemed to be perpetually striving. Stephen Mitchell's translations are very satisfying. I've read a few other translations on the web, but none approached the ones in this book. If you read Rilke before in another translation, I urge you to give this one a try. In a bad translation, Rilke can seem overly dramatic, overly romantic, or just plain "icky". But rest assured, he is not. Here was my original review of Duino Elegies (on 9/16/2008): I just finished this. It's incredible. I can't believe I hadn't read this before. Poets don't write like this anymore. Who dares to tackle the enormity of these themes, the meaning of life, death, god, love, pain? All conveyed in sometimes concrete sometimes abstract language but always avoiding the easy conclusions. There are so many beautiful passages here where he just tips things slightly so that you see them askew & anew. Then in elegy 9 he almost sounds like Stevens, talking about thing-ness and language. Just a little taste, here's the opening of Eighth Elegy: With all its eyes the natural world looks out into the Open. Only our eyes are turned backward, and surround plant, animal, child like traps, as they emerge into their freedom. We know what is really out there only from the animal's gaze; for we take the very young child and force it around, so that it sees objects--not the Open, which is so deep in animals' faces. Free from death, We, only, can see death; the free animal has its decline in back of it, forever, and God in front, and when it moves, it moves already in eternity, like a fountain.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tortla

    Honorary "dragons" shelving for being just that awesome. EDIT: Also, I think I've read all the poems and most of the extra stuff, but I'm not sure if I consider this as "read," yet. I think it's going to stay on the currently-reading shelf until I learn German and French so as to be able to read the pre-translated half (so it's quite possible that this book shall never be "read"). Seriously, Rilke has made me want to learn German and French so I can read his stuff in the original languages (and un Honorary "dragons" shelving for being just that awesome. EDIT: Also, I think I've read all the poems and most of the extra stuff, but I'm not sure if I consider this as "read," yet. I think it's going to stay on the currently-reading shelf until I learn German and French so as to be able to read the pre-translated half (so it's quite possible that this book shall never be "read"). Seriously, Rilke has made me want to learn German and French so I can read his stuff in the original languages (and understand it...I've read parts of the the French/German and been able to tell what some of the words were, but it'd be nice to understand them without their translations, since translated poetry probably loses a lot of its meaning). ...I'm feeling pretty pretentious. I think Rilke was a feminist. Case in point: "We are only just now beginning to consider the relation of one individual to a second individual objectively and without prejudice, and our attempts to live such relationships have no model before them. And yet in the changes brought about by time there are already many things that can help our timid novitiate. The girl and the woman, in their new, individual unfolding, will only in passing be imitators of male behavious and misbehaviour and repeaters of male professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions, it will become obvious that women were going through the abundance and variation of those (often ridiculous) disguises just so that they could purify their own essential nature and wash out the deforming influences of the other sex....This humanity of woman, carried in her womb through all her suffering and humiliation, will come to light when she has stripped off the conventions of mere femaleness in the transformations of her outward status, and those men who do not yet feel it approaching will be surprised and struck by it." -letter to Franz Xaver Kappus, May 14, 1904 I mean, his portrayal of females tends to be a little outdated, but this was the early 20th century, so I think he has every right to be outdated. I think it's pretty adorable how much he seems to admire women so much that he says things like "The breaking away of childhood / left you intact." (in Antistrophes). I also really like Palm. That poem's so sweet. re-EDIT: Okay nevermind about the keeping it on currently-reading indefinitely thing. It's read. I should re-read it, but still.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abeer Abdullah

    Rilke was a sensitive introverted person who was completely driven by the concept of solitude and all it's fruits. And this was my first attraction to him as a thinker. But I had no idea what he was like as a poet. This specific collection was perfect because it gathered a few poems from all of his poetic work through the years, and getting to see his evolution was wonderful. The beautiful style only gets better around his last works but the themes and ideas are what interested me most, he start Rilke was a sensitive introverted person who was completely driven by the concept of solitude and all it's fruits. And this was my first attraction to him as a thinker. But I had no idea what he was like as a poet. This specific collection was perfect because it gathered a few poems from all of his poetic work through the years, and getting to see his evolution was wonderful. The beautiful style only gets better around his last works but the themes and ideas are what interested me most, he starts with a sort of painting of beautiful and mournful images through his poems, but then evolves into deeper concepts, and finally reaches his absolutely most beautiful work, The Duino Elegies. In which he, through several elegies, explores the concepts of faith and humanity and what would Angels think of us? Absolutely spectacular. "Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies? and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart: I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying. And so I hold myself back and swallow the call-note of my dark sobbing. Ah, whom can we ever turn to in our need? Not angels, not humans, and already the knowing animals are aware that we are not really at home in our interpreted world. Perhaps there remains for us some tree on a hillside, which every day we can take into our vision; there remains for us yesterday's street and the loyalty of a habit so much at ease when it stayed with us that it moved in and never left. Oh and night: there is night, when a wind full of infinite space gnaws at our faces. Whom would it not remain for-that longed-after, mildly disillusioning presence, which the solitary heart so painfully meets. Is it any less difficult for lovers? But they keep on using each other to hide their own fate. Don't you know yet? Fling the emptiness out of your arms into the spaces we breathe; perhaps the birds will feel the expanded air with more passionate flying." - The First Elegy, Rainer Maria Rilke. I have read good poetry sure, and Rilk's is not the best I've read, not in my opinion anyway, but the more I read or his life and thoughts and progressions the fonder of him I grow. He has seems like a humble and deeply passionate person who is ever exploring and ever curious.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    There are times when I can't read Rilke; there are times when I can't put him away. His images are always occupying space in my head, though. This collection was given to me by a friend about 10 years ago. Over time, the pages have begun to come loose, but they still bear the notes and highlights of past readings. Re-reading it now, those highlighted passages and dog-eared pages are even more beautiful than I remembered. And I love the Robert Haas introduction, which sweeps you up in Rilke. Bewa There are times when I can't read Rilke; there are times when I can't put him away. His images are always occupying space in my head, though. This collection was given to me by a friend about 10 years ago. Over time, the pages have begun to come loose, but they still bear the notes and highlights of past readings. Re-reading it now, those highlighted passages and dog-eared pages are even more beautiful than I remembered. And I love the Robert Haas introduction, which sweeps you up in Rilke. Beware: reading this is an indulgence - as in the end of the Third Elegy, it will stir "primordial time" in you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Gallaway

    This book is worth fifty stars alone for the opening essay by Robert Hass, which traces the evolution of Rilke from an artist who craves an understanding of the unknown space within him, to his comprehension that this space represents death, and finally to the idea that writing poetry about this space is the life that arises from death. (I'm not really doing it justice, but just to give you an idea.) As for the poems themselves, the translations seem very adept and beautiful to me (not that I ca This book is worth fifty stars alone for the opening essay by Robert Hass, which traces the evolution of Rilke from an artist who craves an understanding of the unknown space within him, to his comprehension that this space represents death, and finally to the idea that writing poetry about this space is the life that arises from death. (I'm not really doing it justice, but just to give you an idea.) As for the poems themselves, the translations seem very adept and beautiful to me (not that I can read German), and I was left wanting more, as many of the selections -- particularly Orpheus -- are incomplete. That's not a criticism, though, because the book doesn't pretend to be "complete."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Winston O'Toole

    Beautiful. "But because truly being here is so much. Because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all. Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too, just once. And never again. But to have been this once, completely, even if only once: to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Anybody who tells you that Germans are a gruff, unromantic bunch never read Rilke. This is the most delicate, romantic poetry I've ever read. "If you are the dreamer, then I am the dream. But when you want to wake, I am your wish."

  17. 5 out of 5

    E. G.

    Introduction from The Book of Hours --34. 'The day is coming when from God the Tree' from The Book of Images --Childhood --Autumn Day --Autumn --Annunciation --The Spectator from New Poems: First Part --Joshua's Council --The Departure of the Prodigal Son --The Olive Garden --The Poet's Death --The Cathedral --The Panther --The Donor --Roman Sarcophagi --A Feminine Destiny --Going Blind --In a Foreign Park --Parting --The Courtesan --The Steps of the Orangery --The Merry-go-Round --Orpheus, Eurydice, Hermes from New Poem Introduction from The Book of Hours --34. 'The day is coming when from God the Tree' from The Book of Images --Childhood --Autumn Day --Autumn --Annunciation --The Spectator from New Poems: First Part --Joshua's Council --The Departure of the Prodigal Son --The Olive Garden --The Poet's Death --The Cathedral --The Panther --The Donor --Roman Sarcophagi --A Feminine Destiny --Going Blind --In a Foreign Park --Parting --The Courtesan --The Steps of the Orangery --The Merry-go-Round --Orpheus, Eurydice, Hermes from New Poems: Second Part --The Island of the Sirens --The Death of the Beloved --Adam --Eve --The Site of the Fire --The Group --Song of the Sea --The Parks, II --Late Autumn in Venice --Falconry --Portrait of a Lady of the Eighties --The Old Lady --The Stranger --The Abduction --The Bachelor --The Apple Orchard --The Dog from Requiem --For Wolf Graf von Kalckreuth from The Duino Elegies --The First Elegy --The Ninth Elegy from The Sonnets to Orpheus: First Part --VII. 'Praising, that's it! As a praiser and blesser' --IX. 'Only by him with whose lays' --XXIII. 'Only when flight shall soar' --XXVI. 'You that could sound till the end, though, immortal accorder' from The Sonnets to Orpheus: Second Part --IV. 'This is the creature there has never been' --X. 'Long will machinery menace the whole of our treasure' --XV. 'O fountain mouth, you mouth that can respond' --XVII. 'Where, in what ever-blissfully watered gardens upon what trees' from the Uncollected Poems of 1906 to 1926 --The Raising of Lazarus --The Spirit Ariel --'Shatter me, music, with rhythmical fury!' --'Behind the innocent trees' --The Great Night --'Beloved, lost to begin with, never greeted' --'Exposed on the heart's mountains. Look, how small there!' --'Time and again, however well we know the landscape of love' --To Music --From the Poems of Count C. W. --'Meaningful word, "inclination"!' --'Strongest star, not needing to await' --The Fruit --Early Spring --'Gods, for all we can tell, stride as richly bestowing' --'The sap is mounting back from that unseenness' --'On the sunny road, within the hollow' --'The one birds plunge through's not that trusty space' --For Count Karl Lanckoronski --Epitaph Notes on the Poems

  18. 5 out of 5

    Szplug

    Achingly beautiful German poetry from the arboreal mists of Central Europe. My German is pitiful and leaves me with no way of knowing how faithful Stephen Mitchell remained to his brilliant source, but I do know that his English renderings are lovely and sublime in and of themselves. Although the famous Duino Elegies, Requiem and Sonnets to Orpheus are ripe with concentrated genius, the entire compendium is a breathtaking achievement, my favorite poetry collection of recent years and, along with Achingly beautiful German poetry from the arboreal mists of Central Europe. My German is pitiful and leaves me with no way of knowing how faithful Stephen Mitchell remained to his brilliant source, but I do know that his English renderings are lovely and sublime in and of themselves. Although the famous Duino Elegies, Requiem and Sonnets to Orpheus are ripe with concentrated genius, the entire compendium is a breathtaking achievement, my favorite poetry collection of recent years and, along with Residence on Earth , the most thumbed book on my bedside shelves. Check out the lean, taut elegance of Mitchell's version of The Panther: His vision, from the constantly passing bars, has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else. It seems to him there are a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world. As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, the movement of his powerful soft strides is like a ritual dance around a center in which a mighty will stands paralyzed. Only at times, the curtain of the pupils lifts, quietly--. An image enters in, rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles, plunges into the heart and is gone. It would be remiss of me to fail to include the consonantal, guttural Schönheit of Rilke's original German: Sein Blick ist vom Vorübergehn der Stäbe so müd geworden, dass er nichts mehr hält. Ihm ist, als ob es tausend Stäbe gäbe und hinter tausend Stäben keine Welt. Der weiche Gang geschmeidig starker Schritte, der sich im allerkleinsten Kreise dreht, ist wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte, in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht. Nur manchmal schiebt der Vorhang der Pupille sich lautlos auf -. Dann geht ein Bild hinein, geht durch der Glieder angespannte Stille - und hört im Herzen auf zu sein.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mr.

    Du im Voraus Verlone Geliebte, Nimmergekimmene, Nicht weiss ich, welche Tone dir lieb sind. Nicht mehr versuch ich, dich, wenn das Kommenende wogt, Zu erkennen. Alle die grossen Bilder in mir, im Fernen erfahrene Landschaft, Stadte und Turme und Brucken und un- Vermutete Wedung der Wege Und das Gewaltige jener von Gottern Einst durchwachsenen Lander: Steigt zur Bedeutung in mir Deiner, Entgehende, an. You who never arrived In my arms, Beloved, who were lost From the start, I don't even know what Du im Voraus Verlone Geliebte, Nimmergekimmene, Nicht weiss ich, welche Tone dir lieb sind. Nicht mehr versuch ich, dich, wenn das Kommenende wogt, Zu erkennen. Alle die grossen Bilder in mir, im Fernen erfahrene Landschaft, Stadte und Turme und Brucken und un- Vermutete Wedung der Wege Und das Gewaltige jener von Gottern Einst durchwachsenen Lander: Steigt zur Bedeutung in mir Deiner, Entgehende, an. You who never arrived In my arms, Beloved, who were lost From the start, I don't even know what songs Would please you. I have given up trying To recognize you in the surging wave of the next Moment. All the immense images in me-the far-off, deeply-felt landscape, Cities, towers, and bridges, and un- Suspected turns in the path, And those powerful lands that were once Pulsing with the life of the gods- All rise within me to mean You, who forever elude me. This has been a passage from Rilke's `You who never arrived', one of the many beautiful and profound poems in this extraordinary collection, provided with an equally extraordinary translation by Stephen Mitchell. Rilke is almost universally established as the most important European poet of the 20th century. The poems in this collection will stay in your mind and in your heart long after you finish reading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    The side by side German/ English text is most welcome and encouragement enough to learn Deutsche. I have read only a few other translations of Rilke and Stephen Mitchell's flows very well, although I cannot speak to how many liberties he takes with the original German. This book contains arguably Rilke's best works: the Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, and others that he wrote during different stages of his life. The poems are arranged chronologically, and its fascinating to see his developmen The side by side German/ English text is most welcome and encouragement enough to learn Deutsche. I have read only a few other translations of Rilke and Stephen Mitchell's flows very well, although I cannot speak to how many liberties he takes with the original German. This book contains arguably Rilke's best works: the Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, and others that he wrote during different stages of his life. The poems are arranged chronologically, and its fascinating to see his development and gradual awakening as an artist and seeker. Certainly Rilke isn't for everybody. His work is almost religiously austere; nearly devoid of humor and lighthearted playfulness. I remember attempting to read the Sonnets to Orpheus for the first time as a teenager finding them inscrutable and arcane. Those with mystical or romantic inclinations will certainly find much to love, and Rilke's early works are more straightforward and accessible. The Sonnets to Orpheus are rightfully considered his masterwork, a rapturous alchemy of language that can be appreciated on so many different levels. This is poetry that you can return to year after year and be rewarded with new meanings and insights.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wordsmith

    POEMS by Rainier Maria Rilke 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆ and numerous lyrical notes ♪♪♪♪♪♪( ´θ`)ノ (OK, so I love this man! Does it "show?") “The only way I know to describe the beauty of Rilke's poetry is to say it this way: Imagine God Himself or His choir invisible or a Seraphim Angel breathing soft, ohhh, with such pure divine tranquility, akin to a whispered, mellifluous lullaby, with all the transcendence that IS the sublime Word Painter Rilke, being sung directly into your heart, indeed, to the deepest cor POEMS by Rainier Maria Rilke 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆ and numerous lyrical notes ♪♪♪♪♪♪( ´θ`)ノ (OK, so I love this man! Does it "show?") “The only way I know to describe the beauty of Rilke's poetry is to say it this way: Imagine God Himself or His choir invisible or a Seraphim Angel breathing soft, ohhh, with such pure divine tranquility, akin to a whispered, mellifluous lullaby, with all the transcendence that IS the sublime Word Painter Rilke, being sung directly into your heart, indeed, to the deepest corner of your soul. There is no other Poet like Rainier Maria Rilke. Any person who ever loved a sentence should read at least one compilation of this divinely guided prose master's genius and feel this heart song for your own pleasure. Highly, Highly Recommended.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cristian Iglesias

    I haven't read a poem since high school. In fact, I had forgotten how to read poetry. Best advice I found was to read it literal. And so I did. And let me tell you, from the first poem to the last, I fell in love with Rilke over and over and over again. Some touched my heart while others played with my mind. They riddled my thoughts giving me the opportunity to dig deeper, for an understanding. And the deeper I dug the more profound the verses became. I highly recommend Rilke to anyone who likes I haven't read a poem since high school. In fact, I had forgotten how to read poetry. Best advice I found was to read it literal. And so I did. And let me tell you, from the first poem to the last, I fell in love with Rilke over and over and over again. Some touched my heart while others played with my mind. They riddled my thoughts giving me the opportunity to dig deeper, for an understanding. And the deeper I dug the more profound the verses became. I highly recommend Rilke to anyone who likes to complicate the easiest things in life only to understand how simple it really was in the first place.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Shuffield

    I've worn this book out. Stephen Mitchell's translations of Rilke are still the ones I prefer. They eschew Rilke's original meters and rhyme structures in favor of capturing his precise images and moods. Other translations attempt the rhymes but seem awkward, and still others seem little more than pale, New Agey impressions of the orignals. I wish there was a complete Mitchell translation of the Book of Hours, but if you love poetry and have not read Rilke, this will be a wonderful introduction I've worn this book out. Stephen Mitchell's translations of Rilke are still the ones I prefer. They eschew Rilke's original meters and rhyme structures in favor of capturing his precise images and moods. Other translations attempt the rhymes but seem awkward, and still others seem little more than pale, New Agey impressions of the orignals. I wish there was a complete Mitchell translation of the Book of Hours, but if you love poetry and have not read Rilke, this will be a wonderful introduction to the greatest of modern German poets.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    I keep this little book close and go back to it again and again. Each time, I discover yet another profound insight or turn of phrase. One reason I love it so much is there's the original poem in German on the left, and the translation on the right. And the translator has tried his very best to stay true to Rilke's simple, plain-spoken language. I particularly appreciate how ... quietly contemplative Rilke was without being too flowery or trying too hard. A real gem.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Robson

    The introduction and the notes were excellent but of course it is the Duino Elegies that will haunt me. I feel I really need to read them again and again. They are so layered and challenging. I would actually like to own my own copy of the Elegies but without any other poems added to the collection. Not sure if they are available by themselves. I also have liked, for a long time - You Who Never Arrived and hope to read one of his last poems written at the next Poetry at the Pub.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marck Rimorin

    I've always been somewhat partial to Robert Bly's translations, but this was amazing in its own right. Skipped the German parts because I didn't understand, but I loved the two poems from "The Book of Hours" (which is something I should probably find soon), and of course, "You who never arrived" and "As once the winged energy of delight."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy Joslyn

    This is one of my favorite poets...on ongoing read...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Morrison

    this is my absolute favorite book in the world. it's so much a favorite, i didn't even add it to my favorites list. it's even more favoriter than that!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Oh sweet mysteries of life I have found you...over and over again, here.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn

  31. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

  32. 4 out of 5

    Joe Ross

    This man could write poetry better than 90% of those who tried in the last century. He wrote with a haunting and unflinching eye toward humanity at its best and its worst.

  33. 4 out of 5

    daniel

  34. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

  35. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Rilke is amazing. The Ninth Elegy is the best. "Because truly being here is so much".

  36. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    for favorite poems, see http://www.poetrypagetat.blogspot.com/ for favorite poems, see http://www.poetrypagetat.blogspot.com/

  37. 5 out of 5

    Minzy

  38. 5 out of 5

    Nate

  39. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

  40. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  41. 4 out of 5

    folasade

  42. 4 out of 5

    Tim.

    There's a wonderful stillness about his work. Reading both translations is interesting given dramatic shifts in meanings as I read them...

  43. 4 out of 5

    powei

  44. 5 out of 5

    Nick Capodice

  45. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Marshae

  46. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

  47. 5 out of 5

    justin

  48. 5 out of 5

    Erik

  49. 4 out of 5

    ruzmarì

    A beautiful translation, and a beautiful collection. The perfect way to begin to read Rilke.

  50. 5 out of 5

    jacqui

  51. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  52. 4 out of 5

    Vinny

    my personal bible.

  53. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  54. 4 out of 5

    Bennett

  55. 5 out of 5

    Dani

  56. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  57. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

  58. 4 out of 5

    John

  59. 5 out of 5

    Eric

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.