Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Translations and Considerations
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Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Translations and Considerations

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  714 ratings  ·  51 reviews
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 s...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 17th 1994 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1975)
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vivian flash
Jul 31, 2012 vivian flash rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: careless love
i was reading this book on my quick one day flight to new hampshire to confront some haunting diffuculties of my own.
this was a tremendously anxious moment for me. i was immediately comforted by rilkes gentle manner in which he approached human relationships.i was definitely searching for some answers myself. i want to share a passage that really opened up my eyes and heart and an endless row of doorways to walk through.

" All companionship can consist only in the strengthening of two neighboring...more
Rilke siempre sera uno de mis autores favoritos porque sabe como explicar, en palabras muy simples, las emocions y piensamientos de los humanos. En este libro Rilke tiene muchos teorías y piensamientos que razonan con la idea del amor y la muerte. La parte que mas me toco en el libro fue su teoria sobre la juventud y el amor...y su teoria que uno tiene que vivir su propio soledad. Que uno no debe buscar a otro humano que llene sue soledad, sino debe buscar a otro humano para que compartan sus so...more
Casey Kelley
The man understand relationships, what can I say? Homeboy won't stifle you, he trusts you, and he loves your beautiful soul. Plus, anyone who does me the favor of translating their own works gets 5 stars in my book. Sometimes, late at night, I weep when I consider what I've lost in translation reading the interpretations of others.

My absolute favorite quote regarding what I hope my lifelong commitment is like comes from this book.
Mar 19, 2008 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of good poetry
I'm not a German speaker, so my concept of how this translation compares to the original is non-existant. However, I think that the beauty of the poetry in English is captivating and the essays retain what must be a logical, lyrical beauty in the German. Rilke's work is sublime and thoughtful and reminds us that losing oneself in love is never as wonderful as finding oneself.
"I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other..." p. 27

This book is packed with wisdom.
My first intimate reading of Rilke. I read the section entitled "Princess Dragon" around the campfire on the Yampa to a captive audience. Insightful and beautiful writing.
Anna Cate
The letters and essays are beautiful, the poetry fragments less so.

Here's one:

Ah! but verses amount to so little when one writes them young. One ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness a whole life long and a long life, if possible, and then, quite at the end, one night perhaps be able to write ten lines that were good. For verses are not, as people imagine, simply feelings (those one has early enough)–they are experiences.

For the sake of a single verse, one must see many cities, men, and t...more
Aug 03, 2007 Catherine rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
The 1 star review is not a reflection on Rilke, but the editor and his "considerations," Mr. John Mood. If you're thinking of reading Rilke, please try Letters to a Young Poet instead.

Mr. Mood is quite clear from the get go that this collection is the way he sees Rilke and his hope is to remedy the state of affairs in which Rilke is praised for the spirituality of his works, instead of the sex. I was skeptical - it's not like our culture is so spirituality based to begin with.

But the real kicker...more
Jag var inte så särskilt bekant med Rilke innan jag läste den här boken, vilket var en ren slump. Däremot så tror jag att man måste läsa mer av hans poesi än den som nämns i boken för att ta till all fakta och kunskap om hans skrivande som nämns i den. Det jag uppskattade mest var inledningen då Rilke beskriver sin syn på och filosofi rörande kärleken. Greppbart och intressant vilket gör att jag skulle kunna tänka mig att läsa mer av honom.

I gave 3 stars not because I did not enjoy Rilke's writing. I loved it actually. He had some rather profound things to say on love and relationships, but as other reviewers have previously stated, I was not as big of a fan of the commentary attached. I found myself bored at times and just skipped over them to get back to Rilke!
Wow!! a MUST HAVE, though I recommend not going through the boring introduction!
It's a sort of book that I think anyone can have different interpretations based on her/his coordination and state in life. Though it is called: On love and other difficulties, but I found it quite meditating. A poetic version of a meditation book, and a great example of what great literature means...
Every page of it, is really more than a page. I write a segment of the book's first paragraph:
'...Do not now seek the...more
I really enjoyed Mood's interpretations and selections here. I also appreciated the inclusion of the original German opposite the translations. Particularly thoughtful was Mood's interpretation of Rilke's epitaph

Rose, oh reiner Widerspruch, Lust,
Niemandes Schlaf zu sein unter soviel

Rose, oh pure contradiction, desire,
To be no one's sleep under so many

Check it out. As Mood summarizes in his epilogue, the themes in Rilke's rich, rich prose and poetry (life, death, solitude, space, long...more
I don't think this is an especially great translation, but I love Rilke so much I couldn't give it anything lower than 4 stars. It was a quick, enjoyable, and easy read nonetheless.
Joe Dwyer
The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
That I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.

– Rainer Maria Rilke, "Moving Forward"
i honestly have never been a massive fan of poetry. it's probably because i haven't taken the time to read much of it, however i have never read poetry quite like rilkes and it makes me want to learn german just so i can read the originals. i especially love autumn. also would like to thank the wolves of mercy falls series for introducing me to this poet!
Some of the letter/essay material is gorgeous. But the editor has hacked up the poetry beyond recognition -- you literally get 3 lines at any given time. I'm making 5 stars for the first bit and 1 star for the second bit equal to four, just cause some of the first bit was so nice.
"I tell you that I have a long way to go before I am - where one begins...." this text is one to be cherished again and again, and, of course, when it comes to matters of the heart, Rilke saves lives ... "resolve to be always beginning - to be a beginner!"
some of the best writing i've encountered, both in content and in beautiful translation. Rilke's approach is characteristically nuanced, but this is beyond mere aesthetics; he treats his subject matter with profound depth and nuance.
The translations to the poems aren't so great, in my opinion (luckily the originals are included), but the essays are very well done (as far as I can tell without the originals). I definitely have to reread this one.
Not one of the best compilations of Rilke's work, but it does include works of his that I haven't encountered elsewhere yet, which was nice. The pieces chosen fit together nicely to compliment the themes.
johanna asterisk
john j. l. mood translated the copy i have ... and i'll admit that i've been reading this book over and over and over and over ever since i bought it ... that was about nine years ago ..
This book got me through my divorce and many other years after that. There are better books or collections of Rilke, but this has a special place in my heart and my perspective.
Jim Bauerlein
Beautiful...a primer for us all. love being that which we seek in many forms. Rilke speaks from experience of both the lower and higher and speaks as only he can...
Rilke is amazing, the translation was poetic (not sure how accurate though), but I thought the editor's intros, notes, and essays were unnecessary.
Stephanie Roberts
a must have for the lover of rilke, and the inclusion of his sensual works, but there is a lot of repetition from Letters to a Young poet.
Reading Rilke needs a special mood, a bit romance, a bit sadness, a bit ..., and it must be early morning, or late evening, not at bed ...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2012 Kelsi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
The poems are good but the letters are incredible, especially considering Rilke was so young when he wrote it.
Excellent selection of Rilke's letters, questionable translation of his poetry, tedious analysis of his epitaph.
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Rainer Maria Rilke is considered one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets.

His haunting images tend to focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety — themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. His two mos...more
More about Rainer Maria Rilke...
Letters to a Young Poet The Selected Poetry Duino Elegies The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

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“And those who come together in the night and are entwined in rocking delight do an earnest work and gather sweetnesses, gather depth and strength for the song of some coming poet, who will arise to speak of ecstasies beyond telling.” 5 likes
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