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 re-creation 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; "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.
About the Author
Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in 1875 and traveled throughout Europe for much of his adult life, returning frequently to Paris. There he came under the influence of the sculptor Auguste Rodin and produced much of his finest verse, most notably the two volumes of "New Poems "as well as the great modernist novel "The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge." Among his other books of poems are "The Book of Images" and "The Book of Hours. "He lived the last years of his life in Switzerland, where he completed his two poetic masterworks, the "Duino Elegies" and "Sonnets to Orpheus." He died of leukemia in December 1926.
Stephen Mitchell's many books include the bestselling Tao Te Ching, Gilgamesh, and The Second Book of the Tao, as well as The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, The Gospel According to Jesus, Bhagavad Gita, The Book of Job, and Meetings with the Archangel.