The Roses & The Windows

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Author: Rilke, René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria (1875-1926)

Year: 1979

Publisher: Graywolf Press

Place: Port Townsend, WA


101 pages. Small octavo (7 1/4" x 4 3/4") bound in original publisher's green cloth with lettering to spine and rose window design to cover in original jacket. Translated from the French by A Poulin, Jr. Foreword by W D Snodgrass. First edition into English.

This volume presents for the first time in English translation the French poems of Rainer Maria Rilke. Most of the poems were composed after Rilke's great outpouring of 1922, which gave us the Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus, surely among the greatest achievements of modern poetry. We have here the surprising phenomenon of a treat German poet turning at the end of his life to the writing of poems in another language, a 'foreign' language (though Rilke had lived in France and translated the work of Baudelaire, Valery, Mallarme and others). When the poems first appeared in two Paris literary journals, he was attacked in the German press. In Rilke's response to that criticism, he said that he might have called the poems Side-hours "in which, however, a main feeling finds expression." W D Snodgrass points out in his Foreword to this book that in "translating the Sonnets and the Elegies, Poulin was forced to sojourn in Rilke's native tongue, one alien to him. Translating the The Roses and the Windows where Rilke leaves his native language, Poulin is restored to his. A Poulin, Jr follows his magnificent translations of the Elegies and Sonnets with these translations from Rilke's French, these fragile, joyous explorations of the spirit that give us a new and fuller appreciation of Rilke and his work. This translation is accompanied by the French original on facing pages.

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) — better known as Rainer Maria Rilke — was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets", writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke's work as inherently "mystical". His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry, and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers.


Lacks front free end paper. Jacket light lightly soiled else a very good copy in a near fine jacket.

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