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Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 1, 2005
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From Library Journal
The German poet Rilke wrote his Book of Hours (Das Stundenbuch) between 1899, when he was 23 years old, and 1903. The poems, sacred and intimate and not intended for the public, "came to him" in a highly inspirational way?he described it as "inner dictation"?following a visit to a monastery in Russia, where he was deeply moved by the practice of praying several times daily following a "book of hours." Barrows and Macy, accomplished poets who were born into the Judeo-Christian tradition but who have also embraced Buddhism, have carefully translated 80 of the 135 poems in the original Stundenbuch, culling some poems they felt to be weaker or less relevant to a late 20th-century reader and artfully reducing other poems to their essentials. Thus, this treasurable collection is a collaboration among three poets (or perhaps four, if one counts Rilke's insistence on the contribution of the divine!). Here is just one of many stunning moments in the extensively annotated and thoroughly prefaced collection: "All becoming has needed me./ My looking ripens things/ and they come toward me, to meet and be met." And, striking a contemporary chord: "I am living just as the century ends./ A great leaf, that God and you and I/ have covered with writing/ turns now, overhead, in strange hands." Highly recommended.?Judy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"These poems of spiritual yearning and discovery composed by the young Rilke one hundred years ago feel very fresh and moving in the beautifully transparent, supple versions of Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. With their psalm-like directness and emotional urgencyk, they nourish and quicken the life of the spirit." --Chana Bloch, translator of The Song of Songs
Top customer reviews
Too bad that his later verse leaves the divine in wrapped darkness and angst. He was oriented powerfully toward the divine, oh so powerfully, but could make no personal leap and therefore could make no spiritual claim on his readers. A modernist, finally, who gave us art while desiring so much more.
The translations here bring this early poetry to life without wooden pedantry. It's all fresh and direct.
Most recent customer reviews
Beautiful introduction and preface
by these two women who collaborated
in bringing out the soul of Rilke.