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The reputation of Rainer Maria Rilke has grown steadily since his death in 1926; today he is widely considered to be the greatest poet of the twentieth century. This Modern Library edition presents Stephen Mitchell's acclaimed translations of Rilke, which have won praise for their recreation of the poet's rich formal music and depth of thought. "If Rilke had written in English," Denis Donoghue wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "he would have written in this English." Ahead of All Parting is an abundant selection of Rilke's lifework. It contains representative poems from his early collections The Book of Hours and The Book of Pictures. Also included are many selections from the revolutionary New Poems (which drew inspiration from Rodin and Cezanne), the hitherto little-known "Requiem for a Friend," and a generous selection of the late uncollected poems, which constitute some of his finest work. Included too, are passages from Rilke's influential novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, and nine of his brilliant uncollected prose pieces. Finally, the book presents the poet's two greatest masterpieces in their entirety: the Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus.
"Rilke's voice, with its extraordinary combination of formality, power, speed, and lightness, can be heard in Mr. Mitchell's versions more clearly than in any others," said W.S. Merwin, "his work is masterful."
(Part 1) Selected Poems
From The Book of Hours (1905)
From The Book of Pictures (1902, 1906)
From New Poems (1902, 1908)
From Requiem (1909)
Uncollected Poems (1911-1920)
Uncollected Poems (1922-1926)
(Part 2) Selected Prose
From The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
Uncollected Prose (1902-1922)
(Part 3) Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus
Duino Elegies (1923)
Appendix to Duino Elegies
The Sonnets to Orpheus (1923)
Appendix to The Sonnets to Orpheus