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(11/07/2008) Duino Elegies & The Sonnets To Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke. Boston. 1977. Houghton Mifflin. Translated From The German by A. Poulin, Jr. keywords: Literature Poetry Germany Translated. 205 pages. 0395250153. January 1977.

A great translation of Rilke's DUINO ELEGIES.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   No modern poet has had a more profound and lasting effect upon the literature of this century than Rainer Maria Rilke, who died in Switzerland in 1926 at the age of fifty-one. It was at the castle of Muzot in Valais, in February 1922, that Rilke finished the DUINO ELEGIES and the SONNETS TO ORPHEUS, the two masterworks which crowned his career, and which stand among the very greatest achievements of modern poetry. The ELEGIES were begun in the winter of 1912, at the castle of Duino near Trieste; but it was only ten years later that they reached fruition, along with their 'natural overflow' the SONNETS, in a prodigious outpouring of creative energy described by Rilke as 'the most magnificent dictation I have ever held through and achieved.' Together, the ELEGIES and SONNETS constitute an ecstatic and visionary affirmation of human life whose sublime power has remained unmatched. A. Poulin, Jr. 's translations of these two fundamentally united works are the first to take their interdependence fully into consideration, and the first in English to appear together in one volume. His versions remain faithful to the spirit and letter of Rilke's German, but they speak in a full-fledged contemporary American idiom. The result is a translation of rare authority and beauty, itself living poetry, which has already won singular praise from poets and critics alike. Here is Rilke for our time, in a translation whose immediacy and sympathy with its original will bring this superlative poet to a whole new generation of readers. The translation is accompanied by the German original on the facing page, and by explanatory notes. These translations have received an award from the Translation Center at Columbia University, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for Arts.

A. Poulin, Jr. , was born in Lisbon, Maine in 1938, and graduated from Francis College, Loyola University, and the University of Iowa. He is the author of IN ADVENT: POEMS and editor of the highly regarded anthology CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY, published by Houghton Mifflin Company. A contributing editor of the AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW, he was from 1972 to 1975 director of the Writers' Forum at the State University College at Brockport, New York, where he is an Associate Professor of English. Mr. Poulin lives in Brockport with his family.

 

 

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