The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke MOBI Ý The


The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke “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 RilkeRainer 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 workI 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 I'm not the world's biggest poetry buff but Rilke's work is 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 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 poetryRilke 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 inuisitivenessWho if I were to cry out would hear me among the angels' heirarchiesSplendid Elegant aesthetic cosmopoltian skeptical dense rewarding compellingThis would change your life if only you had enough of one to change 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 anotherRilke's poems are so dense with imagery feeling and insight they reuire 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 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 precious because they are fleeting Another reviewer called his writing vaporous I think that's an adeuate 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 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 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 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 reuiems Rilke writesI have my dead and I have let them goand was amazed to see them so contentedso soon at home in being dead so cheerfulso unlike their reputation Only youreturnThe 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 writesBe ahead of all parting as though it already werebehind you like the winter that has just gone byOne of my favorite poems is Rilke's first sonnet to OrpheusA tree ascended there Oh pure transcendenceOh Orpheus sings Oh tall tree in the earAnd all things hushed Yet even in that silencea new beginning beckoning change appearedCreatures of stillness crowded from the brightunbound forest out of their lairs and nests;and it was not from any dullness notfrom fear that they were so uiet in themselvesbut from simply listening Bellow roar shriekseemed small inside their hearts And where there had beenjust a makeshift hut to receive the musica shelter nailed up out of their darkest longingwith 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 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 poetry in my life Reading Rilke has made that clear to me 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 Parallel German text and English translationThe influence and popularity of Rilke’s poetry in America have never been greater than they are today than fifty years after his death Rilke is unuestionably the most significant and compelling poet of romantic transformation of spiritual uest that the twentieth century has known His poems of ecstatic identification with the world exert a seemingly endless fascination for contemporary readersIn 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 accurately and convincingly than has ever been done beforeMr 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 effortlessnessOriginally published New York Random House 1982 I have read this edition of Rilke’s poetry several times since 1993 and I am sure that my recent reading will not be my last Stephen Mitchell has done a good job of editing and translating Rilke’s work and this bilingual edition would seem ideal for those readers who read German alas I do so poorly Included in the book are poems from several of Rilke’s collections as well as selections from his prose work The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge There are no selections from Letters to a Young Poet but Mitchell has published a translation of that complete work independently The Sonnets to Orpheus are also published incompletely and I wish all of them had been included But the highlight for me of this book are the complete Duino Elegies of which Mitchell’s translations are masterfulRilke 1875 1926 was Bohemian Austrian by birth but traveled widely throughout Europe working for a time as secretary to the sculptor Rodin His poetry is intensely lyrical and often highly introspective Here are some examplesTHE SWANThis laboring through what is still undoneas though legs bound we hobbled along the wayis like the awkward walking of the swanAnd dying – to let go no longer feelthe solid ground we stand on every day –is like his anxious letting himself fallinto the water which receives him gentlyand which as though with reverence and joydraws back past him in streams on either side;while infinitely silent and awarein his full majesty and ever indifferent he condescends to glideTHE LAST EVENINGAnd night and distant rumbling; now the army’scarrier train was moving out to warHe looked up from the harpsichord and ashe went on playing he looked across at heralmost as one might gaze into a mirrorso deeply was her every feature filledwith his young features which bore his pain and were beautiful and seductive with each soundThen suddenly the image broke apartShe stood as though distracted near the windowand felt the violent drum beats of her heartHis playing stopped From outside a fresh wind blewAnd strangely alien on the mirror tablestood the black shako with its ivory skullAnd these three lines from ReuiemWe need in love to practice only thisletting each other go For holding oncomes easily; we do not need to learn itI wish that I were able to select lines from the Duino Elegies to share but they are too rich and too dense to pluck lines from I like them the best of all Rilke’s poetry 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 humanityEverywhere transience is plunging into the depth of BeingIt 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 1925For 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 preparationLove does not at first mean merging surrendering and uniting with another personRather 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 RilkeThe 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 1914Angel If there were a place that we didn't know of and thereon some unsayable carpet lovers displayedwhat they never could bring to mastery here the boldexploits of their high flying heartstheir towers of pleasure their laddersthat have long since been standing where there was no ground leaningjust on each other trembling and could master all thisbefore the surrounding spectators the innumerable soundless dead; Would these then throw down their final forever saved upforever hidden unknown to us eternally validcoins of happiness before the at lastgeniunely smiling pair on the gratifiedcarpetRilke Duino Elegies the Fifth Elegy 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


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About the Author: Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke is considered one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets His haunting images tend to focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief solitude and profound anxiety — themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poetsHe wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose His two mos