“Not a poet, but the embodiment of poetry.”
Rainer Maria Rilke’s work spans the divide between the decadence of early 20th-century Europe and the modernist revolution that followed the First World War – always struggling to develop, to seek and reach beyond itself.
This selection brings together poems from throughout Rilke’s career, placing poems of similar themes close to one another, making bed-fellows of poems rarely seen together, and catching Rilke’s blend of crafted sensuality and spiritual searching.
"Along with Charles Baudelaire, Rilke is the foremost poet of the erotic from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But there is much more to Rilke's poetry than eroticism... Rilke was nothing if not ambitious with his poetic vision."
"New translations of Rainer Maria Rilke must always be welcome... The power of this poetry is to a great extent in its new angles, but, more important routes to new depths."
Stella Stocker, Weyfarers
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) witnessed the radical new art emerging in Paris before the First World War, meeting Rodin, Picasso and Tolstoy and many other artistic giants of the time. Together with letters and his novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, Rilke’s poetry constitutes one of the great literary achievements of the 20th century.
Ian Crockatt is a Scottish poet. His Original Myths (Cruachan, 2000) was shortlisted for the Saltire Society’s Scottish Book of the Year Award in 2000.
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