Long dissatisfied with the highly romantic and often obscure translations in English of Rilke's great poem cycle, brother and sister Willam and Mary Crichton determined to work toward a translation that would be as straightforward and transparent, yet as lyrically beautiful as Rilke's German original. Working over the years, the Crichtons have produced a work in English wo...more
The 10 elegies succeed in finding the world in a word, as William H. Gass advised was the objective of the most earnest poets. Rilke's greatness emanates from his fearlessness in taking on an epic macro-perspective. He is, after all, peering out into the universe and hearing the whispers of angels to inspire him:
"Who, if I cried out ...more
I thought Stephen Mitchell's translation was the best that could ever possibly exist. I was, happily, totally wrong. I picked this up at a friend's house by chance and was completely absorbed.
The Chrichtons bring out a sort of conversational quality in the writing which I hadn't been aware even existed. Rilke's meditations are spectral, evanescent, secular and luminous. I didn't know there were other ways to appraoch the Elegies and now I see that there's a whole new world inside this text I wa ...more
Having read two translations of Duino Elegies by Stephen Mitchell and Edward Snow, I definitely think that Snow has the first half right while Mitchell the second half. I still have a hard time understanding some of the elegies (3, 5, 6, 10), but the ones I think I understand really ring true and strike the right chord, so to speak, in delineating the transience of human desire. My absolute favorites are the First, Second, and Ninth Elegy. It just can't get better than that.
There's not much ...more
How silly of me. One elegy after another,I realized you submit to beauty and its
consequences( which hopefully last in you, or so you wish).
And complete surrender is a journey on a bridge of understanding with cables of faith dangling and holding them. Once over, you light up the bridge to see what new travails unfold before you in the newly surrendered land.
Praise be to beauty. Praise be to eyes that look for it.
Now back to the elegies.
ένα μικρό,καθαρό,διατηρημένο,μια δική μας σπιθαμή
χώμα καρποφόρο ανάμεσα στον ποταμό και στον βράχο.
Γιατί η καρδιά μας η ίδια,όπως κι εκείνους,μας ξεπερνά.
Και πια δε μπορούμε να τη ζητούμε σε απεικονίσεις που
την απαλύνουν,ούτε σε σώματα θεϊκά,όπου το μέγεθος
"Δε θα υπάρξει αγάπη μου κόσμος,μόνο εντός μας.Φεύγει η ζωή μας με μεταμορφώσεις.Κι όλο μικραίνει το έξω και χάνεται..."
try to contain it in our simple hands,
in our brimming eyes, our voiceless heart.
Rilke is both the reason I mistrust translations and the exception to my rule.
It is, in brief, 10 poems ...more
"We have a marvelous, almost legendary, image of the circumstances in which the composition of this great poem began. Rilke was staying at a castle (Duino) on the sea near Trieste. One morning he walked out on the battlements and climbed down to where the rocks dropped sharply to the sea. From out of the wind, which was blowing with great force, Rilke seemed to hear a voice: Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen ...more
Perhaps it is because of his duality; his ability to walk the line between the traditional and the modern---if such a line can be scripted. Reading Rilke often takes me back to the Romantics, particularly Keats, due to the fixation on mortality and natural symbolism. These connections may be heightened even more so within Duino Elegies and its occupations with mortality and the existential, not to mention the sharp drifts between the fatalistic and hop ...more
che il tutto qui ha bisogno di noi, questo
svanire che strano ci accade. A noi,
i più svanenti. Una volta,
ciascuno, solo una volta. Una volta, e non più.
E noi anche una volta. Mai più. Ma questo
esser stato una volta, seppure solo una volta:
esser stato terreno, non sembrava revocabile.]
Dalla Nona elegia
What did I like? Rilke seems to take on themes of death, human consciousness, connection, and "the realm beyond" with both skepticism and grace. By weaving different motifs into and out of each poem, I thought the author used each succeeding poem to ...more
Rainer maria Rilke demonstra uma fluidez e poder lírico nestas 10 elegias que não se perdem com a tradução, criando imagens literárias de beleza ímpar e com uma escrita que deixa a anos-luz de distância grande parte da poesia dos últimos 100 anos.
Uma verdadeira influência para o comum dos poetas contemporâneos (espero-o), a originalidade e espiritualidade de Rilke ultrapassa a necessidade de ...more
Translation is hugely important unless one can read the original. Someone like me would have to read three translations almost concurrently to get hold of the poem. For good or ill, there is not this issue with poets who are available in practically only one translation.
These relatively short, dense mystical poems must be read over and over, not twice or thrice as I have done, and with more attention than I have given. I really like some of Rilke's p ...more
1. El ángel como ser terrible.
Un ser demasiado perfecto para ser soportado por un hombre. Los ángeles de los que habla Rilke no son los ángeles buenos a los que hace referencia la doctrina católica y a quienes podemos acudir como guías, consejeros y protectores. Todo lo contrario, Rilke teme a los ángeles, los ve como seres que pueden destruir al hombre en un abrazo.
2. El hombre como ser pasajero.
Dice en s ...more
quasi d'eternità. Eppure, dopo lo sgomento
dei primi sguardi, e lo struggersi alla finestra
e la prima passeggiata fianco a fianco, una volta per il giardino,
amanti, siete amanti ancora? quando vi sollevate
per porvi alla bocca l'un l'altro -: bevanda a bevanda:
o come stranamente bevendo sfuggite a quel bere.
(Rilke è talmente immenso che segue un filo tutto suo.)
Ma se i morti infinitamente dovessero mai destare un simbolo in noi,
vedi che for ...more
Never in my life... have I called a book, or anything, "enchanting". This one truly is. I had to read the first page 600 times for some reason, but the rest of it was like going down a waterslide. Amazing. Just amazing. The characters. The dialogue. The pacing. The tension. The weirdness. The philosophical aspects/queries. The physical description. I'm just blown away.
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