The Everyman's Library Pocket Poets hardcover series is popular for its compact size and reasonable price which does not compromise content. Poems: Rilke contains poems from The Book of Images; New Poems; Requiem for a Friend; Poems, 1906-1926; French Poems; The Life of Mary; Sonnets to Orpheus; The Duino Elegies; Letters to a Young Poet; and an index of first lines.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is one of the greatest lyric German poets. Born in Prague, he published his first book of poems, Leben und Lieber, at age nineteen. He met Lou Salomé, the talented and spirited daughter of a Russian army officer, who influenced him deeply. In 1902 he became the friend, and for a time the secretary, of Rodin, and it was during his twelve-year Paris residence that Rilke enjoyed his greatest poetic activity. In 1919 he went to Switzerland where he spent the last years of his life. It was there that he wrote his last two works, Duino Elegies (1923) and The Sonnets to Orpheus (1923).