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A Year with Rilke

4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  241 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
One of the most beloved poets of the twentieth century, Rainer Maria Rilke is widely celebrated for his depth of insight and timeless relevance. He has influenced generations of writers with his classic Letters to a Young Poet, and his reflections on the divine and our place in the world are disarmingly profound. A Year with Rilke provides the first ever reading from Rilke ...more
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published (first published October 29th 2009)
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James Klagge
This is the second year I have used a book of daily readings. Once again, I didn't do too well keeping up on a daily basis. But I have liked trying to be disciplined.
I have a love/hate relationship with Rilke. 35 years ago I read "Letters to a Young Poet" which I still enjoy and recommend to others. That has led me to want to read his poetry, but that has been tough. I have struggled to appreciate poetry now for about 20 years, with very mixed success. Rilke is someone who seems genuinely deep
Jan 18, 2014 Jenwhitson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
i thought i loved rilke, but it turns out i actually love rilke filtered through the collaborative translations of joanna macy and anita barrows. everybody always hatin on them for being non-literal and taking liberties and so on, but i feel ok about it. rilke through the lens of these two ladies is about the most beautiful and comforting and illuminating thing that has ever existed in the world.
Dec 31, 2014 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
January 4 - "I have experienced a truth more completely than ever before: that life's bestowal of riches already surpasses any subsequent impoverishment. What, then, remains to be feared? Only that we might forget this! But around and within us, how much it helps to remember!"
Kate Forsyth
I first encountered Rainer Maria Rilke when a friend gave me a copy of LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET when I was in my early twenties.

It spoke to me very powerfully, and I went on to read many of Rilke’s poems and letters.

I re-discovered Rilke again when I was writing my latest novel THE BEAST’S GARDEN, which is a retelling of Beauty & the Beast set in Nazi Germany.

I was drawn to read his work again because I remembered that Rilke was obsessed with roses, (a potent motif in the fairy tale) and wro
Nov 23, 2014 Ahsan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
A wonderful introduction to Rilke's poetry that served as my bedtime book for the past 4-5 months. I had read Letters to a Young Poet and a few poems (the Apollo statue poem being a stirring one that stuck in my head for many years) before, so this collection was a magical journey through Rilke's world of deeply spiritual and natural appreciation.

Around 1/10th of the selections are prose items - equally beautiful - from Letters to a Young Poet and his other letters.
Apr 16, 2016 Hella rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is a terrible job they did in translating Rilke. Losing every nuance, every shape and form, every meaning beyond the blablah romanticism they attribute to him.
Only compare this:

They would say an angel came.

Why angel? What came was night,
moving indifferently amidst the trees.
The disciples stirred in their dreams.
Why an angel? What came was night.

The night that came was like any other,
dogs sleeping, stones lying there—
like any night of grief,
to be survived till morning comes.

Angels do not answe
Laura-nassidesa Eschbaugh
I find these daily doses of some of Rilke's works an excellent way to start the day. I admire both his poerty and prose. If you start reading is works, you will thirst for more.
"You said live out loud
and die you siad lightly
and over and over again you said be"
This is part of the entry for Aug 12th.
Jun 09, 2015 Blair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One has to acquire a taste for Rilke, and Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows have done a nice job in helping me gain an appreciation for this deeply existential German writer.

I enjoyed the collection of 366 verses from Rainer Maria Rilke's works, arranged to be read, one per day. The bite-sized chunks were at first hard to digest, and I was initially frustrated to reread many of the passages to understand their meaning.

In time I slowed down, grew accustomed to Rilke's thoughts on life, death, imper
Aug 23, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I stopped reading this after a while. The entries were not as interesting or inspirational as I had hoped. I'll get back to it sometime later.
Janet Tuck
Dec 01, 2012 Janet Tuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I have been dipping in and out of this book with mixed success for a while. Some days readings are extraordinary. Others less so.

Laura Munson
Jul 29, 2010 Laura Munson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has me back in the practice of daily devotional.
Dec 31, 2015 Pilar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very much out of my comfort zone. I'm not the best poetry reader, but it's on my list to read more poetry, so I thought a year-long commitment would be good push off the cliff.
While I can't say that I'm now a poetry person, it was a very good exercise in discipline and a great way to expand my reading horizons.
Dec 09, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grew impatient, and so finished this a few weeks early. My favorite selections were from his Letters to a Young Poet, so I'll read the real thing, next.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now 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 you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke
Mar 06, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just started using this book as a daily reader for 2013. Already a few daily entries have been luminous, and all have been worthwhile. I will say I am ambivalent about the translations, and am finding myself wanting to dig out more familiar translations for comparison to Macy and Barrow's versions. Maybe by the end of the year the turns these authors give Rilke will become familiar too, and I'll warm to them. I'm keeping an open mind.
Mar 21, 2011 Eling rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
As I believe I've read in other reviews, this suffered some from a lack of consistent quality in the daily readings. Had I stuck to reading one page per day as formatted, I would have been very disappointed in a number of the days. Still a lot of good material here -- but it's Rilke, so that should sort of be a given -- and worth a read.
Dec 28, 2009 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rilke's work doesn't really do it for me as a daily reading. While some snippets from his poems, prose, letters and journals are lovely and profound(e.g.Live the Questions, Along with the Laughter), most are too fragmented to provoke the "aha!" moment I look for in this sort of book.
Feb 14, 2014 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book offers a daily thought in the form of poetry of Rilke which I have always loved. Just a small piece of poetry every day--nice. Some of my favorites are not included, but I have read something new too!
Dec 30, 2013 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, poetry, x2013
This was my project read for 2013. It was enlightening to see all the familiar Rilke quotes in context. Overall, a very thoughtful collection.
Sep 15, 2013 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Literally, I started reading this book, and I was like "Where has this author been all my life!" Amazing.
Jan 01, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed doing these one per day. Like a daily meditation.
Apr 14, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this immensely- I highly recommend!
Tim Budge
May 13, 2013 Tim Budge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Rilke, nice to read a bit of him everyday.
Apr 06, 2011 Karyn is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Daily inspiration. Very nice.
David Roberts
Feb 27, 2013 David Roberts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: daily-reading, poetry
One of my Top 5 daily reading books
Jim Angstadt
May 09, 2015 Jim Angstadt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Quit early. No traction.
auntie rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2016
Katherine Newmark
Katherine Newmark rated it liked it
May 03, 2016
Snowynight is currently reading it
Apr 30, 2016
Barbara Wieczorek
Barbara Wieczorek marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
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“Often when I imagine you your wholeness cascades into many shapes. You run like a herd of luminous deer and I am dark, I am forest. You are a wheel at which I stand, whose dark spokes sometimes catch me up, revolve me nearer to the center.” 3 likes
“To speak again of solitude, it becomes ever clearer that in truth there is nothing we can choose or avoid. We are solitary. We can delude ourselves and act as if this were not so. That is all we can do. How much better to realize from the start that that is what we are, and to proceed from there. It can, of course, make us dizzy, for everything our eyes rest upon will be taken from us, no longer is anything near, and what is far is endlessly far. Borgeby gärd, Sweden, August 12, 1904 Letters to a Young Poet” 1 likes
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