Synopses & Reviews
The fifty poems presented here in chronological order were written by Rilke between 1897 (he was twenty-one) and 1926, the year of his death from leukemia at the age of fifty-one. They come from his early poems, his volumes "The book of images", "New poems, I & II", and from the uncollected poems of his last twenty years. They were chosen for their rhymed and metered composition, characteristic of Rilke's art in the major part of his poetical oeuvre, except for the Duino Elegies, which were written in free verse. Rilke considered as a betrayal of his poetry any translation that would not reproduce, together with his thinking, the internal movement, the rhythm, the rhyme, the music of the original. The goal of the translator has been to make that music "heard" as much as possible, to try and reproduce the structure, rhyme and rhythm, of the poems, in order for these translations to sound as echoes of the originals.