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The Best of Rilke: 72 Form-True Verse Translations with Facing Originals, Commentary, and Compact Biography
Rilke, Rainer Maria. Walter Arndt, trans.; Cyrus Hamlin, fwd.
I was never a devotee of Rilke’s, but reading Walter Arndt’s translation has made a convert of me. His renderings are an ideal introduction to Rilke for a literate and lyrically receptive general readership. Frost used to say that poetry is what is lost in translation, but Arndt has made me question that simplistic statement.
RAINER MARIA RILKE was born in Prague in 1875. After a motley education at military and business schools and at Prague’s Charles University, he traveled in Europe, Russia, Egypt, and Tunsinia. In addition to Sonnets to Orpheus, Rilke’s works include the Duino Elegies, The Book of Pictures, Poems from the Book of Hours, New Poems, and The Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge. Rilke died in 1926.
WALTER ARNDT is Sherman Fairchild Professor of Humanities and Professor of Russian Language and Literature, Emeritus, at Dartmouth College. His verse translations include Goethe’s Faust (1976) and Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin (1963).