The Essential Rilke

The Essential Rilke

By Galway Kinnell (Selected by); Rainer Maria Rilke; Hannah Liebmann (Translator)

Ecco Press, Paperback, 9780060956547, 176pp.

Publication Date: September 5, 2000

Description

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 (1927 2014) was a former MacArthur Fellow and state poet of Vermont. In 1982 his Selected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. For many years he was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University, as well as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. For thirty-five years from What A Kingdom It Was to The Book of Nightmares to Three Books Galway Kinnell enriched American poetry, not only by his poems but also by his teaching and his powerful public readings.

Rainer Maria Rilke (also Rainer Maria von Rilke) (4 December 1875 - 29 December 1926) is considered one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets. His haunting images 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 poets. He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. His two most famous verse sequences are the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. He also wrote more than 400 poems in French, dedicated to his homeland of choice, the canton of Valais in Switzerland.

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