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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books EVER.
This book of poetry absolutely glows. I remember when I discovered _Letters to a Young Poet_, how the language and perception transported me, made me feel as though Rilke could look right into my soul and advise me personally. This book of poems affects me the same way -- he has written about God in ways that I wasn't even aware that I felt until I read them! I've...
Published on 21 Feb 1999

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like the translation
Rilke is my favorite poet, but this translation does not do justice to him. I think it is very unfair for modern translators to assume that a contemporary reader would find meter and rhyme "too singsong to convey accurately the seriousness of Rilke's meaning" (quote from the translators' "Notes on the Translation"). Rilke's subject matter and...
Published on 22 July 1999


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like the translation, 22 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (Paperback)
Rilke is my favorite poet, but this translation does not do justice to him. I think it is very unfair for modern translators to assume that a contemporary reader would find meter and rhyme "too singsong to convey accurately the seriousness of Rilke's meaning" (quote from the translators' "Notes on the Translation"). Rilke's subject matter and ideas are captivating on their merit alone, but one cannot separate meaning from style in poetry. I believe that to change Rilke's style in a translation is to depart completely from what he felt about his own work, and to drastically weaken what gives his poems their power. Therefore, I prefer the work of stricter translators of Rilke's poetry, such as C. F. MacIntyre.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, destructive translation, 28 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (Paperback)
The Book of Hours is one of the greatest text that I know, having read it in the original German, this English translation is an insult to the poet and the reader. They have edited the text down, omitting essential sentences and paragraphs. Skip this one until there is a better translation available.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Political correctness destroys the effect., 10 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (Paperback)
While the intro should have alerted me to potential disappointment, the poetry drew me in and I found Rilke's voice to be wonderful. AND THEN I read the translators' commentary -- their explanations for not including a poem or the rest of a poem or the middle of one; their justifications for "keeping the sense while changing the words" in order to make it more palatible to late 20th century readers. Most of their justification for exclusion and change lies in what seems to be politically correct to feminism. Truly a destruction of what started out as a mystically sensitive English language version of Rilke's work.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books EVER., 21 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (Paperback)
This book of poetry absolutely glows. I remember when I discovered _Letters to a Young Poet_, how the language and perception transported me, made me feel as though Rilke could look right into my soul and advise me personally. This book of poems affects me the same way -- he has written about God in ways that I wasn't even aware that I felt until I read them! I've used quotes from these poems in sermons, and as email signature lines. The book can be read as a breathtaking whole, but also as a collection of beautiful poems, lines, images, single words. Though I can not speak as someone who does not believe in God, I think these poems could also be powerful for those who are not actively practicing any religion. There are poems that do not mention God directly, but which refer to the mighty presence of a creator and bestower of grace, as in these lines: "I love you, gentlest of Ways, who ripened us as we wrestled with you. You, the great homesickness we could never shake off, you, the forest that always surrounded us..."
If you are a lover of Rilke, a lover of poetry, especially a lover of GOOD religious poetry, this book is not to be missed.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book., 28 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (Paperback)
This is not a literal translation, but translations never can be. Authors do a fine job of honoring the mystical core in Rilke's work.
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Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God by Rainer Maria Rilke (Paperback - 12 May 2004)
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