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About the Book
Edward Snow's selection of more than one hundred of Rilke's little-known and neglected poems offers the reader a glimpse into one of the most powerful and underrated accomplishments in all of modern poetry. These poems reveal a freer, more dangerous, less self-fashioning Rilke than the poet of the Elegies and the Sonnets; and Snow's translations of them, while always scrupulously faithful to the German, bring Rilke's power and music into English with unmatched grace and intelligence.
Between the New Poems of 1907 and 1908 and his death in 1926, Rainer Maria Rilke published only two major volumes of poetry--the Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus, both in 1923. But during this period he was writing verse continually, often prolifically--in letters, in guest books, in presentation copies, and chiefly in the pocket-books he always carried with him. This body of uncollected work exceeds five hundred pieces: finished poems of great poise and brilliance, headlong statements that hurtle through their subjects, haunting fragments, and short bursts that arc into the unpursuable. A remarkable number of them are among Rilke's finest poems.Snow's selection of more than a hundred of these little-known works distills the best of the uncollected poetry while offering a wide enough choice to convey Rilke's variety and industry during the years he wrote them. Uncollected Poems will lead students, scholars, and other readers to a fresh--and more accurate--understanding of this great poet's life and work.
"[This] translation of Rilke's neglected later poems is worthy of Snow's [earlier] versions of the two books of New Poems. Something of the non-vatic Rilke, poet of perception and sensation, is best conveyed in English by Snow's meditations." --Harold Bloom"The Snow translation of these little-known Rilke poems is brilliant. Just turn to 'The Spanish Trilogy.' It is quite simply one of [the twentieth] century's most beautiful poems--in German and in English." --Mark Strand
About the Author
Edward Snow has received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his many renderings of Rilke. The author of A Study of Vermeer and Inside Breughel, he teaches at Rice University.