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A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke Hardcover – 17 Nov 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (USA) (17 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006185400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061854002
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.1 x 18.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Anita Barrows, a prizewinning poet and clinical psychologist, is the author of four books of her own poetry and the recipient of an NEA grant as well as the Quarterly Review of Literature's Contemporary Poetry Award. She has been a professional translator for more than thirty years. Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Ph.D., is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with four decades of activism. She has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maria De Cruz on 17 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most beautiful collections of poetry I've had the good fortune to discover. I recommend this to anyone who feels the average day could use a little silver lining!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 43 reviews
58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Finally, a Rilke I can love! 25 Jun. 2011
By Bruce Proctor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke is one of those names that have kept coming up for me in my reading through the years, like Jung or Blake, one of those touchstone names.

Off and on I've tried reading Rilke in various translations (I don't read German). I own 8 or 10 books on him. I dip a toe or a foot in, but have found him a singularly difficult poet to like and enjoy. Impressive maybe, but generally cold and imposing, with a strange, Teutonic, convoluted syntax.

I happened on Joanna Macy and Anita Barrow's translation of Rilke's "Book of Hours" and liked it, was intrigued with it, but it's one short volume. When this volume came out, I hemmed and hawed about spending the money on such a doubtful chance, but in fact this book has proven a pleasure and even a treasure.

I cannot speak to the translation's "accuracy." Some Amazon reviewers have had issues with the looseness of this translation. For accuracy, Stephen Mitchell's is the standard, although the intricacies of Rilke's originals are legend. But Mitchell's translation has never warmed me. (So, of course the present volume isn't organized for students.)

But this Macy-Barrow verse is a real pleasure to read. It is written in free verse with a clear and slightly --enjoyably-- feminine warmth to it.

And essentially, it lets me see clearly the depths of Rilke's spirituality. Independent of religious traditions, Rilke, I see now for myself, saw profoundly and with great originality into the depths in human matters far and wide.

I thought such a large collection might be too much for me. In fact --now-- I really appreciate the size. The daily excerpts are easily taken in, and I love that I can roam over the great range of this poet's work.

One caveat: future editions would benefit from better paper.

On the other hand, this book makes a lovely gift. Hardcover, the paper jacket has the most beautiful portrait of Rilke I have ever seen (painted by Boris Pasternak's father on Rilke's trip to Russia). Clearly this book is a labor of love.

A wonderful gift to me, and I imagine to others who have stumbled in reading him.

Warmly recommended.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
A must for Rilke Fans! 11 Oct. 2010
By Webgecko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first found Rilke as a 20 something, his Letters to a Young Poet. I remember I found it amazing, but somehow never followed up on reading his poetry.

I stumbled onto The Book of Hours (Das Stunden-Buch) a couple years ago (the Macy and Barrow's translation.) Initially it drove me crazy their translation style. But after the second read though I found I liked it more than some of the more literal translations. I feel in love with Rilke's work.

This is an amazing book, a chance to spend a year with Rilke reading his poems, letters, and journals. Its a chance to really taste his life and influences.

Highly recommend.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Translations Convey Essence of Rilke 26 Sept. 2012
By Publicagent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I would not have purchased this book if I had initially realized that there was one poem for each day. I find that kind of thing to be rather gimmicky. After reading through the first several months though, I am so glad that I did. I have read quite a bit of Rilke-he is one of my favorite poets-and I think that the translators did a superb job. I don't read German, so I have no idea about original translations or anything like that, but these translators really capture the heart and the mystical insight of Rilke. Most selections stand alone as an insightful work of art, and I love that they chose sections from letters, prose and different books of poetry. Fabulous work. I wish that they would translate his entire canon. I think that they really "get him."
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
well worth your time 27 Jun. 2011
By judith obrien - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
an amazing way to start your day---a fabuous writer whether writing poetry, letters or his journal. His spirituality is the best of christianity, with insights that will appeal to those, like me, who lean more to the eastern traditions.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A different concept of translation 23 July 2011
By Dr Carol EH Scott-Conner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great way to start your day, as at least one other reviewer has noted. If you truly know and love Rilke, some of the translations may throw you off, however. These are as much interpretations and revisions as translations. The authors explain their process in the introduction. One is occasionally "thrown" by a new interpretation of a favorite passage, for example the end of the fourth Duino Elegy. When in doubt as to how faithful their concept is, I've gone back to the German. Doing that has been a refreshing exercise and it is good to see familiar passages through their eyes.
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