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Sonnets to Orpheus

Sonnets to Orpheus

By Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation and notes by C.F. MacIntyre

Rainer Maria Rilke was one of Germany's most inportant poets. His influences include the paintings of the Worpswedders and the French Impressionists, the sculpture of Rodin (to whom he was both friend and secretary), and the poetry of Baudelaire, Verlaine, Mallarme and other symbolists. His poetry is innovative, enigmatic, and entertainingly idiosyncratic. C.F. MacIntyre's translations are both true to the original and poetic, and in each book he includes an introduction and notes. 

Written with astonishing rapidity in two weeks of February, 1922, when Rilke was finally completing the Duino Elegies that had occupied him intermittently for a decade, Sonnets to Orpheus is a series of fifty-five brilliant and affirmative songs. It is in a sense a spontaneous creative dividend generated by a larger work. Because the sonnets were written only four years before Rilke's death, they belong properly to his final and philosophic period, and offer a sharp and striking contrast to the less mystical "Das Buch der Bilder" and "Neue Gedichte".

Paperback
142 pages
Text in German and English
University of California Press
ISBN 9780520229228

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