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A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  490 ratings  ·  51 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, 384 pages
Published November 17th 2009 by HarperOne (first published October 29th 2009)
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Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Elena Sala
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A YEAR WITH RILKE (2009) offers a short reading of Ranier Maria Rilke's writings for every day of the year: some of his poetry is included in this book, as well as fragments of his letters, journals and prose.

Anita Barrows, poet, clinical psychologist and translator and Joanna Macy, a scholar of systems theory and Buddhist thought, worked together in order to select and translate the short(ish) pieces selected for this book. I can read no German, so I am not able to comment on the quality of the
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 02, 2014 rated it liked it
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!" ...more
Julie  Capell
I was inspired to pick up this book after hearing one of the two translators, Joanna Macy, on an episode of "On Being." I knew next to nothing about Rilke, but her enthusiasm for his work was so infectious I knew I needed to read more. This book seems to be the perfect way to gain access to his work, since it contains selections from a wide range of his writings, including The Book of Hours, Uncollected Poems, Sonnets to Orpheus and Letters to a Young Poet.

In a case of finding the right reading
Hoda Marmar
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hoda by: ريم الرافعي
Shelves: ana-w-rim, e-book
Reading one Rilke quote or poem per day, every day of the year 2017. How cool and exciting! Something to look forward to every day ♥
Thanks Rim for suggesting this marvelous idea!

December 31, 2017:
I just read the last quoted Rilke excerpt. I feel bittersweet about finishing this book and turning the last page. It has been there for me throughout the whole of 2017. Some days, the passage was ok, other days it was butterflies-in-my-stomach amazing!!
I highly recommend this awesome experience.
Happy 2
Jimmy Ele
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredible poetical depth exhibited by one of my favorite poets of all time. The translation from German is superb and I think that the meaning behind Rilke's poetry does not lose any of the original substance. I for one, do not subscribe to those who think that translations hinder the work, especially if the translators did their best to remain true to the meaning. I think that if the poetry has substance, then any faithful translation cannot escape it, and must bring it forth in that particula ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Time with Rilke is always time well spent.
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 wrote m
Laura-nassidesa Eschbaugh
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-books
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.
Laura Munson
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book has me back in the practice of daily devotional.
Janet Tuck
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
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.

May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is OK, but you don't need it. Just read Rilke is his entirety, I think. Letters to a Young Poet, and then Duino Elegies or Sonnets to Orpheus. ...more
Ariel Fiona
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't read a lot of poetry as a rule - I don't really have the brain to appreciate it, I think. But this is a beautiful, beautifully curated and translated* collection of poems and letters from a German poet of uncommon depth and thoughtfulness which I have read through and returned to repeatedly, my favorite selections all dog-eared. The presentation of 365 (366?) short entries, one for each day of the year, is brilliant, as this is a book to drag with you up a mountain and into nature, to sl ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary book to live with for a year...a poem or short passage a day and that's how I started my day: reading it before I got out of bed and it had a tremendous cumulative effect on me. Good translations and fantastic selections. I am not equipped to critically review Rilke but commend this project, this approach which indeed changed how I think gradually and cumulatively. ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
I hardly ever wait to finish these all in a year but I do like the idea of having them around later to pick a reading.

I especially like this because it was indeed like a survey of Rilke. It was a buffet from his journals, poetry and letter across his life. I only knew a couple of Rilke’s poems so this felt like a great introduction.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was my daily ritual: tea with Rilke. It was the perfect year to read this book. There were so many uncertainties and heartbreaks this year, but daily words from Rainer Maria Rilke were always there for me. I'll read this again when I'm older as I've found with age there are things that become better, deeper, clearer. ...more
Josh Richards
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
My introduction to Rilke was having Taika Waititi reduce me to a weeping mess at the end of Jojo Rabbit. This is a far gentler but no less profound collection of Rilke's gorgeous & insightful poetry, and I'm sure to be reading it over & over again in the years to come ...more
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
I had put this aside for a very long time, then started reading one entry per day last January 2020. Finished it the end of the year. It contains several of my favorites of his writings and some lovely ones that were new to me.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could read his original work instead of translations. His work leaves me awestruck each time. I would read him again and again.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
A pile of fragments that are often too short to resonate with me. The proses within iterate ideas of grandeur. I don't find myself caring at all. Show, don't tell. ...more
Bev Long
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Useful way to engage with this writer; I have frequently found him hard work previously.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I love poetry.
Jessica Santoriello
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
You're supposed to read this over the course of a year, but I loved it too much to only read one passage a day. ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of my all time favorite books of poetry. Everything is just so beautifully written. Still reread excerpts years later.
Susan Fiddes
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Uplifting and profound daily readings for difficult times or just life
Mar 09, 2021 rated it liked it
I’d give this book 3.5. If you don’t know anything about Rilke, German lyrical poet and thinker, it’ll give you a glimpse into his poetry and philosophy.
Susan in
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Every episode of WSIRN ends with the quote by Ranier Maria Rilke, “Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.” Hearing this every single week prompted me at the end of 2017 to purchase the bargain Kindle version of this book, thinking that Rilke might be a good poet to read. Well, let’s just say he didn’t quite meet expectations. His religious references were all over the place, so no telling what he believed. He was born in “Bohemia-Czechia” and was an “Austrian” poet, according to ...more
I don't have the patience to read this day by day. Read all at once. The letter excerpts were my favorite, followed by Book of Hours poems. ...more
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