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review 2016-12-22 07:03
Re-Imagining Rilke's Metaphor in Portuguese: "O Livro das Imagens" by Rilke, Maria João Costa Pereira
O Livro das Imagens - Rainer Maria Rilke,Maria João Costa Pereira

Published 2005.


One of main reasons for having enrolled in German classes was just to be able to read Rilke in the original. That's how much I loved him. I still do. “Das Buch der Bilder” (The book of Images/O Livro das Imagens) was the book that showed me, back in the day, I still had a long road ahead me before I could say I was able to read Rilke in German. Since then I’ve read lots of translations and also the original many times over. The bilingual translation to which I keep coming back is the one I just re-read, Maria João Costa Pereira’s. This is the one that I always close at hand me (I’m not sure which translation I like best when it comes to English; Stephen Mitchell's translation, which for some reason unknown to me is the most famous Rilke translation is just so uninspired and dull). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. “Understanding” Rilke first-hand, so to speak, needs a strong command of German. There’s no way around it. Those who feel like they have their whole life ahead of them to reflect and ponder and wait for the questions to reveal their true meanings and for the fruit to ripen on the tree-- as opposed to the adult who feel like they have no time to ponder, have already wasted the years as it is, and would really, really like to just grab the fruit and run with it however green and sour it may be. A friend of mine rejects Rilke, saying he’s phony. I don't get that feeling at all. I believe, it’s today's generation of so-called modern poets that strike me as somehow faking it. I think Rilke's spirituality, especially as expressed in “The Book of Images”, “Das Stunden-Buch” (The Book of Hours) and “Geschichte vom lieben Gott” (Stories of God), is rather simple and heartfelt.


If you're into Poetry and Rilke in particular, read the rest of the review on my blog.

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text 2016-12-16 17:26
Reading progress update: I've read 51 out of 121 pages.
Briefe an einen jungen Dichter - Rainer Maria Rilke

Und vielleicht sind die Geschlechter verwandter, als man meint, und die große Erneuerung der Welt wird vielleicht darin bestehen, dass Mann und Mädchen sich, befreit von allen Irrgefühlen und Unlüsten, nicht als Gegensätze suchen werden, sondern als Geschwister und Nachbarn und sich zusammentun werden als Menschen, um einfach, ernst und geduldig das schwere Geschlecht, das ihnen auferlegt ist, gemeinsam zu tragen.


Rainer Maria Rilke zu Beginn des 20 Jahrhunderts. 



Davon sollte sich manch ein Internet - "Feminist" sich eine große, große Scheibe abschneiden. 

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quote 2016-12-16 14:26
Sehr geehrter Herr,

Ihr Brief hat mich erst vor einigen Tagen erreicht.

Ich will Ihnen danken für sein großes und liebes Vertrauen. Ich kann kaum mehr. Ich kann nicht auf die Art Ihrer Verse eingehen; denn mir liegt jede kritische Absicht zu fern. Mit nichts kann man ein Kunstwerk so wenig berühren als mit kritischen Worte: es kommt dabei immer auf mehr oder minder glückliche Missverständnisse heraus.
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review 2016-09-09 04:23
The Poetry of Rilke
The Poetry of Rilke - Rainer Maria Rilke

If after finishing “Letter to a Young Poet” I was sure I knew what Rilke was talking about and thought him to be a wise man, then after reading his poems I found myself a bit on the fence. His style was, at times, quite heavy and quite enamoured with its own wording and ideas, going off on mini tangents and personal conversations that were difficult to follow. There were some poems however that were absolutely beautiful, from start to finish. Whether they were one of the shorter ones or a not, some of Rilke’s poems were moving and enchanting. I found myself not a big fan of his more “traditional” works, poems that has a lot of Biblical/religious themes, or which followed the third-person general/sweeping kind of tone. His work takes some warming up to as well as several reads in order for the full scope of his talent to be appreciated. There is certainly something enjoyable in his poems, even if it was hard to read more than a few at a time before getting antsy.

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review 2016-04-26 17:21
Letters to a Young Poet
Letters to a Young Poet - Rainer Maria Rilke,Stephen Mitchell

The fame of “Letters to a Young Poet” has been known to me for some time, though from the negative aspect primarily. Most people complained about the condescending way in which Rilke wrote to Kappus, and how his words are easy to throw away because one if not willing to listen to someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else. For a long time, I didn’t feel compelled whatsoever to pick it up, primarily due to a personal lack of interest. However, having recently been given a copy as a gift, it looks like my avoidance of Rilke has come to an end.


Rilke’s words are valid and quite far from condescending. I wonder now how many of the people who complained about that were actually writers themselves. Rejection emails can easily come with snarky feedback, the same with submission guidelines to a handful of literary journals. Rilke’s words are more honest and level than they are judgmental, and they have quite some weight to them. The question of “must you” is particularly valid, now more than ever I think, given the changes that have occurred in the publishing industry and the image that has been built around writing, art, and other creative forms. There were parts where his writing got a little dull, and the eighth letter in which he talks about God was the one I paid attention to the least due to my own thoughts on the matter. But he, overall, gave very simple yet honest advice, admitting that he is not in the position to give any formal guidance and stating what is, really, the basic truth of writing: you should feel the compulsion to do so and follow it, knowing fully well that you’ll have to create a path for yourself.


To those who wish to write in order to build a name or profit for themselves, Rilke’s words will no doubt wound the ego. For those who perhaps do not take the writing process and writers themselves seriously, his words will be a joke. Those who are neutral or not familiar with the industry will see his advice as cruel and “privileged”. But as a writer myself, I felt Rilke speak to me honestly and calmly, reminding me of everything I already knew, and slightly reassuring me that the burning desire I have within me to create is a good thing.

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