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1. Biography - Rilke, Rainer Maria
2. Wartime letters of Rainer Maria
3. Letters on Cezanne / Rainer Maria
4. Collection Les Lettres. Rainer
5. Das buch der bilder
6. Rodin
7. Rainer Maria Rilke Poems 1912-1926
8. Letters: Summer 1926 (New York
9. Poems, 1906 to 1926.
10. Selected Poems of Rainer Maria
11. Letters on Life: New Prose Translations
12. The Poet's Guide to Life: The
13. Ahead of All Parting: The Selected
14. Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome:
15. Letters on Cézanne
16. Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke
17. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties:
18. Pictures of God: Rilke's Religious
19. Rainer Maria Rilke: Selected Poems
20. Rainer Maria Rilke. Der junge

1. Biography - Rilke, Rainer Maria (1875-1926): An article from: Contemporary Authors
by Gale Reference Team
Digital: 30 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007SESHQ
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Editorial Review

Book Description
This digital document, covering the life and work of Rainer Maria Rilke, is an entry from Contemporary Authors, a reference volume published by Thompson Gale. The length of the entry is 8779 words. The page length listed above is based on a typical 300-word page. Although the exact content of each entry from this volume can vary, typical entries include the following information:

  • Place and date of birth and death (if deceased)
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Professional associations and honors
  • Employment
  • Writings, including books and periodicals
  • A description of the author's work
  • References to further readings about the author
... Read more

2. Wartime letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, 1914-1921 / translated by M.D. Herter Norton - [Uniform Title: Correspondence. English. Selections]
by Rainer Maria (1875-1926) Rilke
 Hardcover: Pages (1940)

Asin: B000XKKMM8
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3. Letters on Cezanne / Rainer Maria Rilke ; edited by Clara Rilke ; translated by Joel Agee
by Rainer Maria (1875-1926) Rilke
 Hardcover: Pages (1986)

Asin: B001014JBE
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4. Collection Les Lettres. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875/1926)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
 Paperback: Pages (1952)

Asin: B0011EH890
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5. Das buch der bilder
by Rainer Maria (1875-1926) Rilke
 Hardcover: Pages (1923)

Asin: B000H3Q6EY
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6. Rodin
by Rainer Maria, 1875-1926. Rilke
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1956)

Asin: B000ZQCLP6
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7. Rainer Maria Rilke Poems 1912-1926
by Rainer Maria Rilke
 Hardcover: 115 Pages (1982-09)
list price: US$17.50
Isbn: 0933806175
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8. Letters: Summer 1926 (New York Review Books Classics)
by Marina Tsvetayeva, Rainer Maria Rilke, Boris Leonidovich Pasternak, Susan Sontag
Paperback: 408 Pages (2001-09-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$9.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0940322714
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Edited by Yevgeny Pasternak, Yelena Pasternak, and Konstantin M. Azadovsky

The summer of 1926 was a time of trouble and uncertainty for each of the three poets whose correspondence is collected in this moving volume. Marina Tsvetayeva was living in exile in France and struggling to get by. Boris Pasternak was in Moscow, trying to come to terms with the new Bolshevik regime. Rainer Maria Rilke, in Switzerland, was dying. Though hardly known to each other, they began to correspond, exchanging a series of searching letters in which every aspect of life and work is discussed with extraordinary intensity and passion. Letters: Summer 1926 takes the reader into the hearts and minds of three of the twentieth century's greatest poets at a moment of maximum emotional and creative pressure. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars these letters should have been kept private
here we have three great poets. sounds inviting, interesting, wonderful. instead boris writes like an infatuated 14 year old. marina is often hysterical. their ego's are so soft, constant reassurance seems to be the name of the game. a polite letter from a bored rilke has marina and boris delirious with happiness, too excited to sleep, pouring over every 'the' and 'and', looking, searching for 'deeper meaning.' if this book is read as letters by three unknowns, i doubt it would be published. boris is a cad. after one letter stating undying love for marina, he wishes to leave his wife, leave his child, pack his suitcase and live happily ever after with an also married marina. i guess their life partners are expendable when it comes to poetry, or, more like it, the rich and pathetic fantasy world of boris and marina. this is one of the most uninteresting books i have read. my advice - stick to the poetry and avoid these sickly sweet letters.

5-0 out of 5 stars A revelation, a model, for the possibility of human communication
This book, the March/Sept. 2001 edition, is for me like a hot springs swimming pool for the tired body, what spring is to the birds, what rain is for parched meadows: a sensory experience that brings well-being to the sore human soul. The jacket cover comments by John Bayley and Mark Rudman give an accurate idea of what the correspondence was between these three writers 80 summers ago: yes, the letters among them are literature, and yes, reading them might make us weep for a vanished golden age of culture.But this collection of letters and poetry is for us today, addresses our global conflicts now; Rilke and Tsvetayeva knew that they were writing for the future; Pasternak knew that, too, but in these letters Boris comes across as more firmly rooted in the present moment (perhaps because he's best known as the author of a novel, Dr. Zhivago, immortalized by a David Lean film in the mid-1960s).

I know nothing of the Russian and German languages and cannot judge the translation as a "correct" one, but the reader who benefits from this book is one who wonders what people felt and how they lived during a time when the Soviet government was ratcheting up the tension that led to the period of the commissars and Stalin.When I began reading this book, I knew little about Rilke and Pasternak, and had never heard of Marina Tsvetayeva.But these writers--as human beings--were no different than anyone else in that they were subjected to the same pressures as anyone living in poverty and fear.Rilke, Pasternak, and Tsvetayeva reacted to their circumstances with beautiful words.They have proven to me--beyond a doubt--that even under the worst governmental regimes, the intelligence we give to our emotions and the joy we have in verbal expression will triumph.Today, we merely die of complacency.

Ultimately, this edition is Marina Tsvetayeva's book: her genius is evident in every phrase of her two essays inspired by the death of Rainer Maria Rilke--80 years ago, December 29, 1926--essays of lyrical prose-poetry translated beautifully by Jamey Gambrell, and appended to the end of the correspondence.The reader cannot simply turn to the back of the book and read Tsvetayeva's essay "Your Death"; one must read everything that comes before.This book also reminds me how indebted all writers and readers are to anyone who--often through extraordinary efforts--saved fragile paper documents, also the artistry and science of translators, archivists, and libraries, as well as the descendants and extended family of the writers.Thank you Alexandra Ryabinina, Yevgeny Pasternak and Yelena Pasternak, Konstantin Azadovsky, Margaret Wettlin and Walter Arndt for a truly astounding commitment to culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars In the Company of Angels
Words have tremendous power, and reading the letters written from one person to another often helps us to know that person far more intimately than anythng else ever could.

During the summer of 1926, three extraordinary poets (two Russian and one German) began a correxpondence of the highest order.These three extraordinary people were Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetayeva and Ranier Maria Rilke.Rilke, who is revered as a god by both Pasternak and Tsvetayeva, is seen by them as the very essence of poetry, itself.

None of these three correspondents is having a good year:Pasternak is still living in Moscow, attempting to reconcile his life to the Bolshevik regime; Tsvetayeva has been exiled to France with her husband and children and is living in the direst financial straits, with each day presenting a new hurdle in the struggle to simply "get by;" Rilke's situation is perhaps the worst of all...he is dying of leukemia in Switzerland.

Pasternak and Tsvetayeva have already exchanged years of letters filled with the passion and romance of poetry, itself.Although Pasternak saw Rilke briefly in 1900, Tsvetayeva has never laid eyes on her idol.These three poets are, however, connected by a bond far stronger than the physical.They are kindred spirits, and each find repetitions and echoes of himself in the other.

Tsvetayeva quickly becomes the driving force of this trio.This is not surprising given her character.She's the most outrageous of the three, the boldest, the neediest, the one most likely to bare her inner soul to its very depths.Tsvetayeva's exuberance, however, eventually has disatrous effects.

Although Pasternak and Tsvetayeva consider Rilke their superior by far, these are not the letters of acolyte to mentor, but an exchange of thoughts and ideas among equals.If you've ever read the sappy, sentimental "Letters to a Young Poet," you'll find a very different Rilke in this book.Gone is the grandiose, condescending Rilke.In his place we find an enthusiastic Rilke, one filled with an almost overwhelming "joie de vivre," despite his sad circumstances.

As Susan Sontag says in her preface, these letters are definitely love letters of the highest order.The poets seek to possess and consume one another as only lovers can.But even these lovers haven't suspected that one of their trio is fatally ill.Pasternak and Tsvetayeva are both shocked and devastated when Rilke dies.

Love, many people will argue, is best expressed when the people involved are able to spend time together.There is, however, something to be said for separateness, for there is much that can only come to the surface when the lover is separated from the beloved.

These letters can teach us much about Rilke, Pasternak and Tsvetayeva.They can also teach us much about the very depths of the soul...both its anguish and those sublime, angelic heights...areas not often explored by anyone, anywhere, at any time. ... Read more

9. Poems, 1906 to 1926.
by Rainer Maria, Rilke
 Hardcover: Pages (1968-01)
list price: US$16.00
Isbn: 0811203778
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10. Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Paperback: 240 Pages (1981-05-22)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060907274
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
For poetry lovers and students of literature and literary criticism, Robert Bly, the National Book Award-winning poet, brings his prowess as a translator and critic to bear on the work of one of the major German poets of the century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The greatness of Rilke
What is there in Rilke's poetry which speaks to us, and makes us wish to know it in a deeper way?
Perhaps it is the mysterious philosophical questioning which seems to touch upon his every sense apprehension. It is as ifthe world itself is becoming a metaphor in Rilke and reading itsimply by looking at it or listening in it is transforming it into something more mysterious and more beautiful.
We want to walk down ordinary paths in our lives. But we too want to be surprised by new ways of speaking and thinking and making meaning.
Rilke gives us a feeling of always providing something more than is visibly or audibly immediately present. Reading his poetry is like being on a kind of journey in which one longs to reach the next point only to feel that one is going on without end to a place one does not know.

1-0 out of 5 stars Rilke was WORD
I'm very sorry to disappoint readers at this point. But as I see it, there is practically no way to translate Rilke into English. This book here does it - but Rilkes poems nevertheless are reduced almost to zero.
Rilke wrote in German. Like only very few other poets known throughout history, he was able to discover shades of German words and was able to put them in a way that in short, concrete lines and pictures entire feelings of our culture, our history and the intrinsic beauty of German language came to life.
English is an entirely different language, it also belongs to a different cultural and historic background. And while in German many words have magnificent many shades of meanings, English is constructed in a way, that there are some number of words for one German word - but each word meaning exactly ONE thing, not many. And because of this intrinsic difference in language and culture, I am convinced, that it is absolutely impossible to carry Rilke into the English language.
Besides language differences, there is also something, that I find to be specifically German, which is something that the English language doesn't even have a word for, and which is "Gemuet".
It's a state of feeling and calm intensity in experiencing, something that I have never discovered in people or literature anywhere else but in Germany. And I believe, it cannot be communicated through another language.

This book therefore can be used to see, what topics Rilke wrote about.
In order to understand him, though, one has to learn German.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Translator as a Lense and Filter =b
I haven't read as many different translations of Rilke as I would like and my German is minimal (though improving). That said, I find Bly's translations heartbreakingly beautiful. How much of this is Bly himself and how much is Rilke is, I suppose, what is up for debate. If, studying further translations, I find it necessary to call thisbook more a co-authorship than a literal translation I don't think that would be any kind of slight on either author. Translation is deeply associated with interpretation. Language and meaning are personal so each translation, quite properly shows as much of the translator as the author. The style that I associate with Rilke - the simplicity and the inexpressable depth - comes through very very clearly in these poems. The flavour of them seems more right to me than in most other translations I have read. I only skimmed a few of the reviews here but if indeed there is a debate raging about the job of a translator some people might enjoy reading Douglas Hofstadter's book Le Ton Beau de Marot. It's an interesting examination of the difficulties and delights of translation (with a focus on poetry) inspired and informed by his work with translators of his better known work, Godel, Escher, Bach. Scholarly bit said, Bly's translations grabbed me the moment I read them and I consider this book one of my most precious possessions. And Bly, I think, gains himself some artistic license (more than he would have otherwise...) by including the German so that a passionate reader with some knowledge of German can evaluate his translations for his or herself. Sorry for the rambliness of this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Translation is only an Exquisite Failure
Honestly, I shouldn't have been so surprised to see the contreversy over this work, but I was. I can certainly agree that a poet trying to write his own poetry in the shoes of a truely great writer is a sad thing to watch, but actualy, that was not the impression I got from Bly's work.

For a native English speaker to learn enough German to understand Rilke (with the use of a good German-English Dictionary) would be well worth the effort.

Once you have read Rilke in German, of course nothing in any language can duplicate it - but why do we need duplication? I would not need to buy translations if they were simply duplicates of the same books I already had in German.

On the other hand, I can understand if one does not want to learn German simply to understand Rilke, however can one not still enjoy these translations all the more without the burden of comparing them to the originals?

In the end, though, reading Rilke is an expansive, luminous experience which is no doubt different for everyone. Reading Bly's translations, compared in my head to my own, is like having a discussion about Rilke with a good friend, who is nonetheless very different from you.

Bly's differences on how to translate Rilke seem to stem not from ignorance or incompotence, but from a significantly different outlook on life and literature than my own. These differences are what make for interesting people and great poets. Although Bly may not be as great as Rilke in the end, I enjoy seeing his thoughts on what Rilke means in the English Language.

Above all else, though, I think that the standard complaint against translators is juvenile and intollerant of the diversity in our world. Can we really say that there is only one way to see the world? Can we really say that there is only one right way to explain a poem in the English language?

Is it not the case that translation is at best an exquisite failure?

Isn't it a shame that some people cannot enjoy the beauty that is right before them simply because all they can think of is all the beauty that isn't?

I sit in the Japanese Garden in Seattle, and for a moment, do not wish I was in Kyoto. You should read this book the same way.

2-0 out of 5 stars Interpretations, not translations!
I've just unearthed my copy of Bly's so-called translation of Rilke, and have tossed it into the box headed for the used-book store. I can't understand why Mr. Bly calls his many efforts with other poets' works "translations," when they would be most generously described as free interpretations.(He's done a similar disservice to Lorca, and I shuddered when I saw that he's now ventured into Arabic with his most recent volume... ) I guess it's nice to see that some readers find them appealing; to me, though, many of them seem to willfully discard the poetic elements which make them great in the original! I completely agree with a previous reviewer, who praises the Mitchell translation, which is brilliant.Translating poetry is a dangerous business, particularly when the translator has deep feelings about the texts-- the temptation to "help" the reader is too great for some people. Unfortunately, their personal interpretations may not be at all what the poet had in mind! ( For more along these phiosophical lines, read Kundera's "Testaments Betrayed," which gives some fascinating -- and horrible -- examples of Kafka translations by his most devoted disciples.) If you love Bly, by all means look on these as his loving, if misguided, re-writing of some of his favorite poetry. If you're interested in Rilke, go with Mitchell. ... Read more

11. Letters on Life: New Prose Translations (Modern Library Classics)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Paperback: 272 Pages (2006-04-11)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812969022
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Gleaned from Rainer Maria Rilke’s voluminous, never-before-translated correspondence, this volume offers the best writings and personal philosophy of one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets. The result is a profound vision of how the human drive to create and understand can guide us in every facet of life. Arranged by theme–from everyday existence with others to the exhilarations of love and the experience of loss, from dealing with adversity to the nature of inspiration–here are Rilke’s thoughts on how to infuse everyday life with beauty, wonder, and meaning.
Intimate, stylistically masterful, brilliantly translated and assembled, and brimming with the passion of Rilke, Letters on Life is a font of wisdom and a perfect book for all occasions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tremendous feat of sympathetic translation
I am astonished that this wonderful book has not been widely reviewed by Rilke fans.Ulrich Baer is a superb translator and just as crucially he has a deep understanding of Rilke's intention and meaning - vital for opening a window to appreciating one of the greatest poets of the last century (Rilke died in 1926).It is Rilke's prose that is on show here - Baer has made his selection from many thousands of letters, and gathered countless insights that would otherwise be unavailable to English-language readers. ... Read more

12. The Poet's Guide to Life: The Wisdom of Rilke (Modern Library)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2005-03-22)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679642927
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
“You have to live life to the limit, not according to each day but by plumbing its depth.”

In this treasury of uncommon wisdom and spiritual insight, the best writings and personal philosophies of one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, are gleaned by Ulrich Baer from thousands of pages of never-before translated correspondence.

The result is a profound vision of how the human drive to create and understand can guide us in every facet of life. Arranged by theme–from everyday existence with others to the exhilarations of love and the experience of loss, from dealing with adversity to the nature of inspiration, here are Rilke’s thoughts on how to live life in a meaningful way:

Life and Living: “How good life is. How fair, how incorruptible, how impossible to deceive: not even by strength, not even by willpower, and not even by courage. How everything remains what it is and has only this choice: to come true, or to exaggerate and push too far.”

Art: “The work of art is adjustment, balance, reassurance. It can be neither gloomy nor full of rosy hopes, for its essence consists of justice.”

Faith: “I personally feel a greater affinity to all those religions in which the middleman is less essential or almost entirely suppressed.”

Love: “To be loved means to be ablaze. To love is: to shine with inexhaustible oil. To be loved is to pass away; to love is to last.”

Intimate, stylistically masterful, brilliantly translated, and brimming with the wonder and passion of Rilke, The Poet’s Guide to Life is comparable to the best works of wisdom in all of literature and a perfect book for all occasions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars "It is possible to love to such an extent that the shortcomings of one's beloved begin to appear touching , even wonderful, ...
This is a profound and beautiful book. Ulrich Baer, editor and translator of the volume has gone through the more than seven- thousand letters Rilke wrote in his lifetime and selected those he felt had the most to say about living and loving in the world. He orders the letters into sections which begin with his title and are followed by a line from Rilke.

1) On LIfe and Living You have to live life to the limit
2) On Being with othersTo be a Part, that is Fulfillment for us
3)On Work: Get up Cheerfully on Days You have to Work
4) On Difficulty and Adversity The Measure by which we may know our Strength
5)On Childhood and Education;This Joy in Daily Discovery
6) On Nature It Knows Nothing of Us
7)On Solitude The Lonest People Above all Contribute Most to Commonality
8)On Illness and Recovery Pain Tolerates No Interpretation
9)On Loss, Dying and Death Even Time Does not 'Console' It puts things in Place and creates Order
10) OnLanguage That Vast, Humming and Swinging Syntax
11)On Art Art Presents Itself as a Way of Life
12) On Faith ADirection of the Heart
13) On Goodness and Morality Nothing Good, Once it Has Come into Existence May be Suppressed
14) On Love There is no Force in the World but Love

In his rich repetitive introduction to the volume Baer discusses the special place letter-writing had in Rilke's life and work. Rilke in his letters has a spontaneity and poetic freedom beyond that in his very disciplined and exacting poems. But of course the themes of both forms of writing are common ones, and the letters a source of ideas and inspirations for the Poetry. What distinguishes the Letters from another form Rilke used to great advantage ' the Diary' is the consciousness of the 'you' at the other end.
Baer suggests one particular strength of Rilke's writing in the Letters is his nuanced awareness of the person at the other end, and his ability to reach out and feel and know how to express a message which will resonate in the heart of the recipient.
Baer gives a picture of Rilke the legendary Poet- waiting for the fruit to ripen ,as most notably in the great period in which he suddenly in weeks time wrote the 'Duino Elegies' and 'Sonnets to Orpheus'- in contrast tothe daily workman letter-writing Rilke. Baer underlines that Rilke expresses in the letters his own rare and special vision of life, one which conjoinsthe everyday with the cosmic, which feels in the rhythms of rhyme our inner rhythm of biology and mind, which senses in its internalization of the worlds objects a fullness of being and lived life. Baer presents the picture of a poet of holy immanence whose idea of the aesthetic is not in the pretty only, but who forges and finds beauty in the ugly aspects of reality also.
Baer also tells the not always admirable tale of Rilke's personal life, the marriage to Clara Westhoff, the birth of their sole daughter Ruth, Rilke's abandonment of them, his seeking out his own fate but not without his fawning at aristocratic patrons, his love of love but often cruel abandonment of those loved, his loyalty to his own faith and vocation as poet, his apprentice- admiring relationship with Rodin and wisdom in being free of it, his great fame. And what is in a way most touching his keeping in touch through the letters as he deepened into a solitude which for him was far more blessing than curse.
It seems there now is a fashion started perhaps by Alain de Botton with his volume on Proust, of selecting out from the total work of great literary creators passages best encapsulating their wisdom and vision of life.
Many of the statements of this volume may seem exaggerated and in need of qualification. Yet even these statements are richly poetically suggestive. The work of a great poet for whom ripeness is within, and richness in feeling infuses all.

" The strings of sorrow may only be used extensively if one vows to play on them also at a later point and in their particular key all of the joyousness that accumulates behind everything that is difficult, painful and that we had to suffer, and without which the voices are not complete."

"I believe that one is never more just than at those moments when one admires unreservedly and with absolute devotion. It is in this spirit of unchecked admiration that the few great individuals whom our time was unable to stifle ought to be presented, precisely because ourage has become so very good at assuming a critical stance."

"After all, life is not even close to being as logically consistent as our worries; it has many moreunexpected ideas and faces than we do."

... Read more

13. Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke (Modern Library)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Hardcover: 640 Pages (1995-08-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$14.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679601619
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (13)

2-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the original poetry, 1 star for the translations
Rilke is just about my favourite poet... a true master.In the German, his verse is just sublime.

These translations, however, are shockingly bad.Not only does the translator completely ignore (or distort) some of the key images, he invents new ones for no apparent reason. Mitchell seems to think he is there to improve on the original.He doesn't.

If you don't read German, you should only buy this to read Mitchell's verse.You won't be getting Rilke's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lush,Alive and Vivid Addition to Your Rilke Collection
I am a passionate, ardent admirer of Rilke so
before I even opened this book I knew I would
be delighted because of its sheer weight and size.

Oh, YES! I thought to myself.

And then I opened it - and the very first selection
is Rilke's evocative poem, "I live my life in
Widening Circles" with the German on one page
and the English on the facing page.

I don't even speak German - but I love looking
at Rilke's original words - just LOOKING at them
elevates me. I also think that the side-by-side
translation says something of translater Stephen
Mitchell's love for the original.

I also enjoyed the Selected Prose. In reading it
I felt like I was stepping into Rilke's den for
a chat and either strong coffee or a cocktail.

This would be an excellent introduction to Rilke
or a fine compliment to anyone's Rilke Library.

5-0 out of 5 stars poetry from the soul
I recently discovered Rilke, and am much the better for it - his craft with words literally gives one goosebumps.The poetry portion of _Ahead of All Parting_ is dual language, so readers of German can enjoy the original as well as Mitchell's translations.The book also contains copious notes about many of the poems (when they were written, what was going on in Rilke's life) as well as a section of his published and unpublished prose, which I found almost as vivid and beautiful as his poetry.The book itself is also physically beautiful - the pages are delicate, further adding to the sensusousness of the reading experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars eloquent and thought provoking
ahead of all parting is a book that i treasure above all others. after reading a friends copy, i immediately ran to the bookstore that same night, and paid full price for it. something i rarely do, by the way. rilke is one of the most eloquent and beautiful writers that i know of. his poetry is some of the most thought provoking and uplifting that i have ever read. he saw things and felt things differently than the average person, and in turn used that to build his poetry and prose. mitchell is the best english translator for rilke's work, it's not perfect, but it's not bad. i have nothing but praise for rainer maria rilke. for all poetry lovers out there, i definately recommend you pick up a copy of this book, you will not regret it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Suspicious Translation
The three stars I give this book are more for Rilke than for his rather poor translator.

I first became suspicious of Stephen Mitchell when I noticed some rather careless mistakes in this book (for instance, translating the German word for Moon into sun).

But I was no longer suprised by these flaws when I noticed some other works that Mitchell has translated:
the Bhagavad-Gita
The Book of Job
The Gospel
The Tao-Te-Ching

I suppose it is theoretically possible for there to exist an individual that is so immensely talented with languages that he is capable of translating adequately texts from Sanskrit, Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, and German.... But I don't think Mitchell is that individual.

That being said, the poetics of the translation are very nice and the poems to feel pretty close to Rilke.However, to do this (whom I consider the most profound poet to ever take up a pen) author justice, I am just going to have to learn German for myself ... Read more

14. Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome: The Correspondence
by Rainer Maria Rilke, Lou Andreas-Salome
Hardcover: 424 Pages (2006-06-26)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$24.29
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Asin: 0393049760
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
The complete extant correspondence between a key fin-de-siècle intellectual and one of the most revered poets of the twentieth century.

He would become one of the most important poets of the twentieth century; she was the über-muse of Europe's turn-of-the-century thinkers and artists. In this never-before-translated collection of letters spanning almost thirty years, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé, a writer and intellectual fourteen years his senior, pen a relationship that moves from that of lovers to that of mentor and protégé, to that of deepest personal and literary allies. From the time of their first meeting and consequent affair to Rilke's death in 1926, Rilke and Salomé reeled through extremes of love, pain, annoyance, desire, and need—yet guided each other in one of the most fruitful artistic exchanges in twentieth-century literature. Despite illness, distance, and emotional and psychological pain, they managed to cultivate, through strikingly honest prose, an enduring and indispensable friendship, a decades-long heartfelt dialogue that encompassed love, art, and the imagination. 16 pages of illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Strange and intimate
Wow!!It lets you inside so much intimacy and thoughts.A great read and an interesting learning experience. ... Read more

15. Letters on Cézanne
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Paperback: 112 Pages (2002-09-15)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$7.33
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Asin: 086547639X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Rilke's prayerful responses to the french master's beseeching art

For a long time nothing, and then suddenly one has the right eyes.

Virtually every day in the fall of 1907, Rainer Maria Rilke returned to a Paris gallery to view a Cezanne exhibition. Nearly as frequently, he wrote dense and joyful letters to his wife, Clara Westhoff, expressing his dismay before the paintings and his ensuing revelations about art and life.

Rilke was knowledgeable about art and had even published monographs, including a famous study of Rodin that inspired his New Poems. But Cezanne's impact on him could not be conveyed in a traditional essay. Rilke's sense of kinship with Cezanne provides a powerful and prescient undercurrent in these letters -- passages from them appear verbatim in Rilke's great modernist novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Letters on Cezanne is a collection of meaningfully private responses to a radically new art.
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars How to create in seeingas poet and artist
Rilke understands Cezanne as one ' who lived in the innermost center of his work for forty years'. The old man who he describes being thrown stones at by children on his way to his studio where he worked and worked, and only worked from the time he found his vocation at the age of thirty, is the example to Rilke of the totally dedicated artist. This artist has that kind of patience which slowly lets his work enfold, layer upon layer. In this as always with Rilke remarkably beautiful and haunting collection of letters he tells of his encounter with the work of Cezanne and how the true artist brings into fuller being the object he sees and creates. Rilke is quoted in the introduction as he talks of " the scales of an infinitely responsive conscience.. which so incorruptibly reduced a reality to its color content that that reality resumed a new existence in a beyond of color, without any previous memories".
This statement so suggestive is typical of the Rilkean text which seems like poetry itself to offer more meanings than any single reading can grasp.
My brief remarks comment upon a few of those suggestions. I believe readers of this work will be inspired to seeing , reading, and in their own minds through the reading, creating of their own on a higher level.

4-0 out of 5 stars Letters about the spirituality of art
The encounter with the work of Cezanne was one of the milestones in the life of the poet Rilke. The letters which are collected here show why. Rilke, like Cezanne, was a man who was religious in an unconventional way. He was not interested in any particular concept of God, but in the process of discerning the divine in the sheer existence of things as they are: "All talk is misunderstanding. Insight is just in work." What he admired most in Cezanne's work was his "devout objectivity", the ability to let objects speak for themselves without the intellectual interference by the artist and without preconceived notions. Rilke felt that when Cezanne painted the mountain Sainte Victoire, for example, he wanted to show the essence of the mountain, the mountain pure and simple, nothing more, nothing less.

The German edition of the Letters on Cezanne contains an excellent afterword which quotes the philosopher Martin Heidegger who wrote, "we come too late for the Gods, and too early for being," meaning we do not live in the safety of believing in the Gods any more, and we do not trust in simply being yet. Rilke was acutely aware of this state of suspension, and the collection of his letters on Cezanne gives us an idea of how Rilke as an artist intended to make sense of this life in suspension.

3-0 out of 5 stars Painting thru the eyes of a poet
This book gives one a glimpse of a painters genius as seen through the eyes of a poet.Rilke possesses the poetic sensitivity to shed some light on Cezannes paintings.This along with Delacroixs Journal and Van GoghsLetters to Theo really afford one a literary appreciation of the greatEuropean artists. ... Read more

16. Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke
by Ralph Freedman
 Paperback: 640 Pages (1998-05-27)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$17.65
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Asin: 0810115433
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Combining empathetic insight into the poet's life with intimate understanding of the poet's work, exhaustive research with a storyteller's flair, Freedman creates portraits of the young Rilke living out the poetic imagination, an older Rilke realizing his calling as one of the century's greatest poetic visionaries,culminating in such works as the Duino Elegies and Letters to a Young Poet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars a postcard of a church
Some biographers get inside the spiritual life of their subjects and are able to capture its intimate movements in such a way that the life takes on a magical coherence and wholeness. Others, less sympathetically endowed, are content to record external circumstances and events, with perhaps some brief overtures toward explaining inner motives and passions. One would think a poet of Rilke's fierce inwardness demands primarily the former form of biography - and he does - but the latter form also offers some interesting insights, especially for readers who might be unfamiliar with the milieu he lived and worked in. This biography is very much in the latter camp. Freedman's prose suffers from frequent bouts of groaningly bad academese ("His words adumbrate the divine tension between Word and World" - yuck!), but his narrative does give the imaginative reader some purchase on the shaping forces behind many of Rilke's most powerful works. The last few hundred pages are something of a slog since you know that felicitous insights into Rilke's inner life (and there are some) will be consistently overwhelmed by a rather distant-sounding reportage of his travels, housing troubles, and publishing concerns. For a poet whose mission was to transform external vicissitude into internal truth... the effect is something like viewing a postcard of a church. Rilke was notorious for flooding his lovers with passion before withdrawing from their intimacy, and in a way Freedman, who never really seems to get under Rilke's skin (although it it is clear he would like to), takes his place among those spurned souls.

2-0 out of 5 stars messy
This is a sprawling, lazy account. It was moderately useful as a complement to Donald Prater's far more concentrated 'A ringing glass', but if I hadn't read that book first I wouldn't have formed much of a picture of Rilke's life. There are a few interesting stories found here which don'tappear in the other book, but on the whole it is totally inferior.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life of a Poet:An Engaging Biography
Freedman does an outstanding job of chronicling the life of Rilke without an over-analytical style that so often plagues other artistic biographies.I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it to anyoneinterested in Rilke, the most important German-language poet since Goethe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary tale of an extraordinary man
This biography sensitively and thoroughly investigates the life of Rilke.We follow not only his life's events, but his intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and poetic development, all of which are closely intertwined.Freedman himself writes the tale so well--it is a pleasure to read!Thebook features plenty of photographs of Rilke, his family and friends. Rilke was a complicated and troubled man, but the wonder is seeing how outof such human frailties arose a transcendent body of work. ... Read more

17. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Translations and Considerations
by Rainer Maria Rilke, John J. L. Mood
Paperback: 128 Pages (2004-08)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.88
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Asin: 0393310981
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
An anthology of Rilke's strongest poetry and prose for both aficionados and new readers.

Here is a mini-anthology of poetry and prose for both aficionados and those readers discovering Rainer Maria Rilke for the first time. John J. L. Mood has assembled a collection of Rilke's strongest work, presenting commentary along with the selections. Mood links into an essay passages from letters that show Rilke's profound understanding of men and women and his ardent spirituality, rooted in the senses.

Combining passion and sensitivity, the poems on love presented here are often not only sensual but sexual as well. Others pursue perennial themes in his work—death and life, growth and transformation. The book concludes with Rilke's reflections on wisdom and openness to experience, on grasping what is most difficult and turning what is most alien into that which we can most trust. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Rilke,Less Mood
This translation and selection is really made with love. Yet I could not fail but noticing an unbalance between Rilke's radical work on Love and the difficulty of the translator and critic to approach it without being surrendered. As the title suggests. Read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars "The point is to live everything"
"Do not seek the answers which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now." Perhaps then without noticing it everything will resolve gradually along some distant day into the answer."

Rilke is a poet who brings mystery and existensial questioning into every rich and suggestive line he writes. His poetry is ripe and weighted with meaning.
In this small book there are selections from his letters, in which he spontaneously reflects on Love as he addresses intimately his correspondents. There are too his poems on Love whose metaphoric questioning and ambiguity also seem to bring the reader into a poetic space of special mystery and beauty.

"The more one is, the more abundant is everything one experiences. If you want to have a deep love in your life, you must save up for it and collect and gather honey."

Rilke's own personal love life bears not only the mark of his questioning , and deep search for meaning. It also marks the record of his meeting and abandonment. The real love of his life despite his many deep love connections was with his own vocation for which he left his wife and young daughter.

"What ruthless magnificence and yet how terrible to ignite love; what conflagration, what disaster, what doom.To be on fire yourself, of course , if one is capable of it: that may well be worth life and death."

One may not always understand, one may not always agree, one may not always approve but when one reads Rilke what knows one is in the presence of great and deep poetry.

5-0 out of 5 stars A journey through the roots of the speech!

There have been very few poets with such creative mind, potency and inexhaustibleness as R.M.R. He was a cosmic poet of introspective flight loaded if you want of musical intimacy, his thoughts seem to be Chopin's Nocturnes and he sings his rapture homage to the night as a few indeed but the most impressive character is behind that radiant language's use there is a shaman speaking by him.

You may not argue the lack of time concerning to Rilke: the poetry simply doesn't understand about absences and coordinates of space or time, simply it appears and seduces you with the exemplary serenity of an astonished child. O course his nocturnal visions were expanded by Nietzsche and Lou Andreas Salomé.

This fundamental text will lead you to another spheres where the Fourth Wall, in what dreams and love walk freely without rules, engagement in the most absolute disobey 's spirit , the essential premise of the artists, children and heroes.

"Life and death: they are one, at core entwined. Who understands himself from his own strain, presses himself into a drop of wine and throws himself into the purest flame".

5-0 out of 5 stars Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Considerations, etc.
Some 25 years ago i was given a copy of this enlightening book by the author, himself. It continues to be one i re-read and enjoy. Dr. Mood is an inspiration, in that he is both a sexy man as well as one who has been blessed with the love of an extraordinarily brilliant woman, which leads me to believe he's eminently qualified to speak on the subject as one who has given, as well as enjoyed a great love in spite of difficulties. An excellent addition to the library of anyone in search of truths.

5-0 out of 5 stars Self Discovery For The Strong Willed
Approximately 1 year ago, I was introduced to Rilke.Since then I have purchased a few of his books.This is one of my favorites, at this point in my life.He seems to have this way of reaching into your inner soul andgrabbing a hold of your reality and making you face it, in a verynon-threatening, passionate sort of way.I would highly recommend thisbook to anyone on a self-discovery path. ... Read more

18. Pictures of God: Rilke's Religious Poetry, Including 'The Life of the Virgin Mary'
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Paperback: 192 Pages (2005-06)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.65
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Asin: 1928623654
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This is the first comprehensive collection of poems of Rainer Maria Rilke's work on religious and biblical themes. The collection also contains the complete poetic cycle of "The Life of the Virgin Mary," and constitutes the first English translation from German in over fifty years. This is a book for lovers of Rilke, as well as those interested and engaged in the intersection of religion and the arts, beauty and the transcendent. (In German with English translation.) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars translations of his religious poetry
In recent years many critics have come to admire Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 in Prague, Austria-Hungary - 29 December 1926 in Valmont (Switzerland)) as the German language's greatest poet of the 20th century. After he died of leukemia at the age of 51, the critical edition of his collected works in German eventually filled 12 volumes. More modest readers like myself, then, will be grateful for Kidder's original translations of sixty-one of his religious poems that cover a thirty-year period of his life. She previously translated Rilke's book The Book of Hours; Prayers to a Lowly God (Northwestern University Press, 2001).

Rilke grew up in an unhappy home, including a brief stint in a military academy. From very early he always knew that his life was meant for literature, poetry, and writing. His mother was zealously Catholic and outwardly pious, according to Kidder, both of which backfired on Rilke who rejected such displays as "grotesque and meaningless." Instead, Rilke cultivated an "inward piety" that in his poetry explored the problems and possibilities of religious faith in an age of unbelief and personal anxiety. "A frequent theme," Kidder remarks, "is the human heart's insatiable longing for the transcendent, the divine," which for Rilke expressed itself in religious proclivities that were decidedly unorthodox.

After her brief introduction, Kidder organizes Rilke's religious poetry according to five themes: God, The Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, The Pilgrimage, and Poverty. The lefthand page contains the original German, and the right side her translations, accompanied by brief notes about the possible time, place, and origins of the poems. In addition to the Christian story, Greek mythology figured large as a source for Rilke's poetic imagination. Rilke readers new and old can now enjoy the first-ever collection of his specifically religious and Biblical poetry thanks to Kidder's expertise. ... Read more

19. Rainer Maria Rilke: Selected Poems
by R. Rilke
Paperback: 240 Pages (1986-01-22)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$14.95
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Asin: 0415904056
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Book Description
No online description is currently available. If you would like to receive information about this title, please email Routledge at info@routledge-ny.com ... Read more

20. Rainer Maria Rilke. Der junge Dichter 1875-1906 / Der Meister 1906-1926.
by Ralph Freedman
Hardcover: 625 Pages (2002-01-01)
-- used & new: US$110.49
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Asin: 345817124X
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