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75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too splendid for words ..., September 14, 2001
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This review is from: The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke: Bilingual Edition (English and German Edition) (Paperback)
"You are not my favorite poet. That implies comparison. You are poetry itself." in a letter from Marina Tseteyeva to Rilke.
Since I do not speak German, I can speak neither to the accuracy of translation nor interpretation (realizing that they are separate concepts). But I can tell you that this keeps me coming back for more (so much so I have 2 copies, plus a hardback, which differs slightly in content). It's the sort of book that if I loan it, I'm astonished to get it back. And don't really mind.
Mitchell has included in his notes excerpts from diaries and letters which I otherwise would never have had the joy of knowing, nor insght into not only the heart of the poet, but the heart of God as well.
Mitchell also has the integrity to refrain from attempting to translate some works which, I believe, he would have otherwise loved to share. His rationale, from the intro to the "Notes" section, follows:
"Translating poems into equivalent formal patterns is to some extent a matter of luck, or grace, and this is especially true of rhymed poems. Rilke called rhyme "a goddess of secret and ancient coincidences" and said that "she is very capricious; one cannot summon or foresee her; she comes as happiness comes, hands filled with the achievement that is already in flower." Some of my favorite poems never got beyond a rough draft, because that sweet goddess refused to make even the briefest appearance."
This poetry is a love letter to life, no matter what an acedemic might say about the relative merits of the translation/ interpretation. Reading Rilke, I understand why Jung (I think it was Jung) said, "Everywhere I go, I find the poet is there before me." (or words to that effect) Enjoy.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 8, 2013, 8:09:22 PM PST
Actually, it was Freud.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2013, 8:12:51 PM PST
Wayne Scott says:
I stand corrected. Thanks.
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