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Duino Elegies and the Sonnets of Orpheus (German Edition) (German) Paperback – April 20, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Bilingual edition (April 20, 2005)
  • Language: German
  • ISBN-10: 0618565892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618565894
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,418,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Drew on April 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
From reading the previous review, I will make the assumption that the reviewer could read Rilke in German. This is not the case for me. It is strictly in the English that I enjoy him, and his "Duino Elegies" and "Sonnets to Orpheus" are both testaments to his poetic power.

I cannot comment on the fidelity of this translation, only that the poetry we get is breathtaking. Rilke is best at those phrases which make one stop and contemplate. Some lines from the book that struck me with their beauty, poetically and philosophically:

"Beauty's nothing but the start of terror we can hardly bear"

"Weren't you always
distracted by hope, as if all this promised
you a lover?"

"Isn't it time our loving freed
us from the one we love and we, trembling, endured."

"For there was one hour for each of you, maybe
less than an hour, some span between two whiles
that can hardly be measured, when you possessed Being.
All. Your veins swelled with existence.
But we forget so easily what our laughing neighbor
neither confirms nor envies. We want to make it
visible, even though the most visible joy reveals
itself to us only when we've transformed, within."

Again, I'm no German expert, and I've read other good translations of Rilke. Most will give you all of the "Duino Elegies" but only sections of "The Sonnets to Orpheus." This edition, being only these two sets of poems, lack other great poems by Rilke. That being said, the more good translations the better, and unless the translation is a travesty, poetically speaking (which it is not), then there is never a situation where Rilke should have 1 star.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A poetry reader on May 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Nonce " doesn't need to wait for another poet to translate Rilke. There are already lots of superb choices, each of which lends a different quality to the work. What's best about these Poulin versions is their clarity. Stephen Mitchell has found a supple, authoritative voice for an American version of Rilke, and Edward Snow has done vivid and forceful translations, too, especially of the New Poems. Recently, the Scots poet Don Paterson has published some superb and muscular renditions of The Sonnets to Orpheus. There's no lack of Rilke to read, and readers who love poetry will probably want more than one version, to come closer to the intent of the poem.
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By Peicong Li on January 25, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nonce on May 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Duino Elegies is one of the most breathtaking turns of 20th-century poetry (I don't want to say "great" or "canonical" here) but it has suffered a long history of bad translations into English that push the agendas of translators over faithfulness to the text. You're better off finding an early translation than picking this up, at least until a (good) poet takes the project on--Jerome Rothenberg, where are you when we need you?
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