New Poems (1908): The Other Part

Rainer Maria Rilka, Author, Rainer Maria Rilke, Author, Edward A. Snow, Translator North Point Press $17.5 (221p) ISBN 978-0-86547-271-6
Rilke's drive toward objectivity made great strides during the 12 years he spent in Paris, living apart from his family, working closely with Rodin. Poetry became a means to appropriate the world around him, and with Rodin's sculpture and Cezanne's paintings as touchstones, he sought to penetrate ""the validity of all things.'' In one celebrated poem, the torso of Apollo imparts its message to the viewer: ``You must change your life.'' Rilke attempted to transform himself by empathizing with a saint's agonies, old women in the streets, a bachelor's isolation, a snake-charmer's music, flamingos ``lightly twisted on pink stems.'' The poet contemplates the Buddha, ``center of all centers, core of cores.'' He recognizes that the dolphin, like humans, loves ``the deep, silent stellar year.'' These are poems of great beauty and power, brilliantly translated in a fluid, convincing idiom. This bilingual edition complements Snow's award-winning translation of Rilke's New Poems 1907. (July 22)
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
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