Rainer Maria Rilke, one of Germany’s greatest poets, began this work in 1912, at the castle of Duino near Trieste. It took him a decade to complete these meditations on love, death, God, and life’s meaning, and he regarded them as his greatest achievement. Innovative and enigmatic, they express his irresolvable conflict between a longing for solitude and a painful loneliness. The elegies’ enduring popularity attests to their vivid reflection of the human condition, in all its joy, terror, sorrow, and splendor.
Translator C. F. MacIntyre declares these works as “among the great and unforgettable poetry of the world.” His interpretations are both true to the originals and poetic in their own right. This dual-language edition features English translations on the pages facing the original German. Poetry lovers, students of German literature and language, and other readers will find this volume an accessible exploration of one of modern literature’s most profound sequences of poetry.