German poet Rainer Maria Rilke(1875-1926) enjoys ever-increasing popularity. His Duino Elegies is considered on of the greatest long poems of the twentieth century. Yet translations from his native German have always presented challenges: the elusiveness of Rilke's imagery, the playful way he both distorts and subverts his own language, and the depth and complexity of his poetry make it difficult for translators to preserve the beauty and meaning of the original text. In his stunning bilingual selection that includes the entire Duino Elegies as well as a number of favorite and less familiar shorter poems, Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann manage to retain power and grace of Rilke's words. Throughout his poetry, Rilke addresses questions of how to live in and relate to a world in a voice that is simultaneoulsy prophetic and intensely personel. These translations offer new insight into this enigmatic German poet whose work will continue to be read and admired throughout the world.
Galway Kinnell is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. His Selected Poems won the Pultizer Prize and the National Book Award in 1982. His most recent volume of peoms is Imperfect Thirst.
Hannah Liebman, a native of Austria, received her Ph.D in English and German literature and philology from the University of Graz. She is managing editor of an international quarterly and editorial assistant of the literary journal caesura