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Sonnets to Orpheus

Rainer Maria Rilke , Martyn Crucefix

Sonnets to Orpheus

• Paperback


Translated by Martyn Crucefix

In 55 sonnets Rainer Maria Rilke plays an astonishing
set of philosophical and sensual variations on the
Orpheus myth. ‘Praising, that’s it!’ he declares; nature,
art, love, time, childhood, technology, poverty, justice –
all are encompassed in poems that spark with insight
and invention, among the most joyful and light-footed
that Rilke ever wrote.

‘All poetry resists translation, and one poem may have many different versions in another language; what I look for first is clarity, and this version supplies that generously. With the presence of the German text and Crucefix’s helpful notes, the English-speaking reader with little or no German will find in this version a welcoming entrance to the path which leads eventually to a full understanding – if a full understanding of this mysterious poetry is ever possible. Crucefix’s translation will have, and keep, a place on my shelves where all the poetry lives.’
Philip Pullman

The Sonnets to Orpheus are some of the greatest philosophical poems of the century. Martyn Crucefix's impressive previous translations of the Duino Elegies have accustomed us to a way of hearing Rilke, but these are, if anything, more beautiful and natural versions, the form falling lightly on the ear, the thought tantalisingly clear in these bold explorations at the edge of sensibility.’
George Szirtes


Martyn Crucefix blog on poetry, teaching and translation: http://martyncrucefix.com

Price Pages Size ISBN


146 216 x 138mm 9781907587221

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