David R. Godine's Reviews > The Inner Sky: Poems, Notes, Dreams

The Inner Sky by Rainer Maria Rilke
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's review
Oct 02, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, translations-and-international
Read from August 03, 2010 to November 09, 2012

"Translating Rilke means entering quite an established literary tradition, one that is not lost on translator Damion Searls. Searls dedicates The Inner Sky to poet Anne Carson and previous Rilke translators and well-known literati Stephen Mitchell and Edward Snow. Winner of PEN and Fulbright awards, Searls endeavors to translate with "vigor and mysterious simplicity"; his rendering is as unconventional as it is enjoyable. His English, as he describes it in the collection's thoughtful afterword, highlights its Germanic ties to Rilke's "tongue-twistingly assonant" original language, oftentimes with an unusual twist in the English. No matter their level of familiarity with Rilke, The Inner Sky belongs on the bookshelf of any literature lover, thanks largely to Searls' deft translation and grouping of Rilke's work. This nontraditional collection predates prose poetry and short-short fiction, yet speaks to these contemporary styles of new craft."
— Rachel Mennies, ForeWord Magazine

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