Duino Elegies

ISBN: 0393328848
ISBN 13: 9780393328844
By: Rainer Maria Rilke David Young

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Classics Currently Reading Favorites Favourites German German Literature Literature Poems Poetry To Read

About this book

We have a marvelous, almost legendary, image of the circumstances in which the composition of this great poem began. Rilke was staying at a castle (Duino) on the sea near Trieste. One morning he walked out on the battlements and climbed down to where the rocks dropped sharply to the sea. From out of the wind, which was blowing with great force, Rilke seemed to hear a voice: Wer, wenn ich schriee, horte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen? (If I cried out, who would hear me up there, among the angelic orders?). He wrote these words, the opening of the first Duino Elegy, in his notebook, then went inside to continue what was to be his major work and one of the literary masterpieces of the century.

Reader's Thoughts

Matt Ambs

I would really love to read this in German. Rilke expresses human nature's imperceptible forms; moving through love, the dead youth, the hero, lamentations, death, life, to trace the soul and distinguish the being, and define that vastness or "the open" which man demarcates with his degree of consciousness. Yet, it is this awareness of death in our very hearts which creates life in an insurmountable and incalculable form. " We live our lives, forever taking leave." -R.M. Rilke-

Mara Shaw

This is absolutely gorgeous! Plumbing life to all its depths. Recognizing our solitariness, yet standing in wonderment at the physical world which is so often overlooked. Extolling the "here and now" as heaven on earth almost a century before Eckhard Tolle.Not all elegies resonated equally with me, but some phrases were so moving and affirming and thought-provoking that it was a joy to read. Definitely one to re-read again with equal attention.I loved the joy of the 7th!

Jesse

These poems blew my mind, kicked my ass and sent chills down my back. Never have poems so resonated with that dark secret place I keep hidden from view. But these poems threw back the curtain and shined with angelic vengeance upon my internal cowardice. And this, really, is what I want poems to do: let me know I am not alone and that others have felt as despondant and helpless (in a very mental and spiritual way) as I have. I almost didn't finish reading the poems because I felt my heart being stabbed (literally) and I couldn't take, what Henry James calls, the surprise of recognition. Only this was a brutal and beautiful surprise. One that changed the way I saw poetry and myself . This was some sort of poetical acid: sinister and illuminating, horrifying and unforgetable.

Darice

Beautifully written on the topics most subtle and high of life, the myths all humans live, all the unsaid is revealed in these poems. The Duino Elegies changed my life, shattered the illusion of the material plane and reminded me that poetry is a conduit of truth and elation. These poems are melancholic and take many readings to truly experience the unfolding of its emotion and relevance. I cried in ecstasy the first time I read them, and they changed my life.

Elizabeth

This is a lyrical and beautiful set of 10 elegies...it is bittersweet, brings forth feelings of longing, of desire, nostalgia--but the longing is at once for the past, for the future, for what is inevitable: death, and the nostalgia for the same, with the knowledge that death must come and a feeling of longing to know the god/spirit/creature that is all-knowing. The poems evoke the journey of life by feeling, by relationships, to family (mother, father), lover, and god.It is, in brief, 10 poems that encapsulate the collapse between life and death--that life means death, and both can be beautiful, because of the spaces of longing and unknowing. this is captured in such lines as:Throw the emptiness out of your armsto add to the spaces we breathe; maybe the birdswill feel the expansion of air, in more intimate flight.(First elegy)from the 7th elegy:Nowhere, beloved, will world be, but within. Ourlife passes in change. And ever-shrinkingthe outer diminishes. the 8th elegy, in my opinion, is the most poignant. An excerpt: And how dismayed anything is that has to fly,and leave the womb. As if it wereterrified of itself, zig-zagging through the air, as a crackruns through a cup. As the trackof a bat rends the porcelain of evening.And we: onlookers, always, everywhere,always looking into, never out of, everything.It fills us. We arrange it. It collapses.We arrange it again, and collapse ourselves.Who has turned us round like this, so that,whatever we do, we always have the aspectof one who leaves?

Trevor Pardon

two thoughts, related- 1. why do people quote the bible so much? 2. why isn't this the bible??????

Laura Stone

Poetry has generally been a difficult medium for me to appreciate, but I was thoroughly engrossed in Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies. I would love to be able to read it in it's native form (German, alas, I do not understand you nearly well enough!)What did I like? Rilke seems to take on themes of death, human consciousness, connection, and "the realm beyond" with both skepticism and grace. By weaving different motifs into and out of each poem, I thought the author used each succeeding poem to explore and also build on these themes. There was something so emotionally honest and intimate about Rilke's phrasing, which drew me in and left me captivated. I wish I could say more but I'm finding that the connection with the book was very emotional, less intellectual, and thus difficult for me to describe. Regardless, I recommend it for fans of poetry and skeptics alike.

Bonny

Excerpt from the Eighth Elegy:And we, spectators always, everywhere,looking at, never out of, everything!It fills us. We arrange it. it decays.We re-arrange it, and decay ourselves.Who’s turned us round like this, so that we always,do what we may, retain the attitudeof someone who’s departing? Just as he,on the last hill, that shows him all this valleyfor the last time, will turn and stop and linger, we live our lives, for ever taking leave.

Garrett Peace

Actual score: 3.5. I'll place some blame on the translation for now, as I just grabbed whatever the library had, but I wasn't as in love with these as I thought I would be. The Eighth and Ninth Elegies are the most striking on first read and made reading all ten worth it (this is not to disparage the other eight elegies: they're quite good), but as a whole it lacked an emotional resonance that I'm looking for with poetry like this. Disappointing but definitely worth a read. I will be researching different translations for further (re)reading.

Μαρία

"Μακάρι κι εμείς ένα κομμάτι γης να βρίσκαμε ανθρώπινο,ένα μικρό,καθαρό,διατηρημένο,μια δική μας σπιθαμήχώμα καρποφόρο ανάμεσα στον ποταμό και στον βράχο.Γιατί η καρδιά μας η ίδια,όπως κι εκείνους,μας ξεπερνά.Και πια δε μπορούμε να τη ζητούμε σε απεικονίσεις πουτην απαλύνουν,ούτε σε σώματα θεϊκά,όπου το μέγεθοςτη μετριάζει.""Δε θα υπάρξει αγάπη μου κόσμος,μόνο εντός μας.Φεύγει η ζωή μας με μεταμορφώσεις.Κι όλο μικραίνει το έξω και χάνεται..."

Xavier

I can't write it better than this editorial review. Read on."We have a marvelous, almost legendary, image of the circumstances in which the composition of this great poem began. Rilke was staying at a castle (Duino) on the sea near Trieste. One morning he walked out on the battlements and climbed down to where the rocks dropped sharply to the sea. From out of the wind, which was blowing with great force, Rilke seemed to hear a voice: Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen? (If I cried out, who would hear me up there, among the angelic orders?). He wrote these words, the opening of the first Duino Elegy, in his notebook, then went inside to continue what was to be his major work and one of the literary masterpieces of the century."

Taka

Good!Having read two translations of Duino Elegies by Stephen Mitchell and Edward Snow, I definitely think that Snow has the first half right while Mitchell the second half. I still have a hard time understanding some of the elegies (3, 5, 6, 10), but the ones I think I understand really ring true and strike the right chord, so to speak, in delineating the transience of human desire. My absolute favorites are the First, Second, and Ninth Elegy. It just can't get better than that.There's not much else to say but that I need to come back again and again and spend more time with each elegy to decoct, glean, and soak up Rilke's incredibly condensed, profound, and at the same time elusive verse. It's amazing poetry, and as such, it takes time to really understand it (in your own way, at least), absorb it, and make it your own.Will be reading again.

Alessandro

[Ma perché essere qui è molto, e perché pareche il tutto qui ha bisogno di noi, questosvanire che strano ci accade. A noi,i più svanenti. Una volta,ciascuno, solo una volta. Una volta, e non più.E noi anche una volta. Mai più. Ma questoesser stato una volta, seppure solo una volta:esser stato terreno, non sembrava revocabile.]Dalla Nona elegia

Stringbean

The question is what I have learned from this book, and my response is difficult to give. Rilke offers so much to us; it is kind of him. Everybody should read this, not out of courtesy for the genius but for self-benefit. The poems here are often overwhelming and will touch your mind in places you have never before been touched in. It is beautiful, intrusive, and works better than a mirror.

Sophie

Πουθενά, Αγαπημένη, δέν θα ύπάρχει Κόσμος, παρά έντός μας.Μέ μεταμόρφωση διαβαίνει ή ζωή μας, τό έξωτερικό μας πάντοτεφθίνει και λιγοστεύει.από τις πιο όμορφες ποιητικές συλλογές που διάβασα φέτος. Ενώ τα προηγούμενα έργα του Rilke, τα οποία διάβασα, δε μου άρεσαν ιδιαίτερα ή απλώς δε με ξετρέλαναν, οι ελεγείες του Ντουίνο με επηρέασαν ψυχικά.Η συλλογή αποτελείται από δέκα ελεγείες τις οποίες άρχισε να γράφει ο ποιητής όντας στον πύργο του Duino, κοντά στην Τεργέστη. Όταν συμπληρώθηκε, μέσα σε μία δεκαετία, η γραφή των Ελεγειών, ο ποιητής τις συγκέντρωσε κάτω απ' τον τίτλο Duineser, δηλαδή του Duino.Σίγουρα ένα έργο που αξίζει να διαβάσει ο καθένας.

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