While Shakespeare, for example, thought of the non-human world in terms of the human, Rilke thinks of the human in terms of the non-human, of what he calls Things Dinge. In her book, Rainer Maria Rilke, E. So that his mythological dream, the apotheosis of art, appeared to be founded on delusion. Either art was not as creative as he had thought, or he was not such a great artist. Both these doubts were paralyzing, and quite sufficient to account for the terrible apprehension present in every line of Malte Laurids Brigge.
For this skepticism struck at the roots of his reason and justification for existence. Either he was the prophet of a new religion, or he was nobody. Called Duino Elegies because Rilke began writing them in while staying at Duino Castle on the Italian Adriatic coast, the collection took ten years to complete, due to an inspiration-stifling depression the poet suffered during and after World War I.
When his inspiration returned, however, the poet wrote a total of eleven lengthy poems for the book; later this was edited down to ten poems.
The unifying poetic image that Rilke employs throughout Duino Elegies is that of angels, which carry many meanings, albeit not the usual Christian connotations. The Duino angels thus allowed Rilke to objectify abstract ideas as he had done in New Poems, while not limiting him to the mundane materialism that was incapable of thoroughly illustrating philosophical issues. The revolutionary poetic philosophy that Rilke proposed in Duino Elegies is considered significant to many literary scholars. The dominating mood is joy.
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Rilke suffered from illness his whole life and died of leukemia in while staying at the Valmont sanatorium near Lake Geneva. On his deathbed, he remained true to his anti-Christian beliefs and refused the company of a priest. And at each stage now and again the miracle occurs, his delicate, hesitant, anxiety-prone person withdraws, and through him resounds the music of the universe; like the basin of a fountain he becomes at once instrument and ear.
A poet walks through the Metropolitan Museum's Vollard exhibit, and thinks of Rilke, dogs looking in mirrors, and his Vuillard neurosis. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation. Back to Previous. Rainer Maria Rilke. Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Related Content. Collections World War I Poets. Podcasts Sonnets to Orpheus No. More About this Poet. Region: Germany. Appeared in Poetry Magazine. The Beggars. Charles the Twelfth of Sweden Rides in the Ukraine.
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People at Night. The Rose-Window. Song of the Dwarf. Song of the Little Cripple at the Street Corner. What Will You Do? The Quotations. Rilke Letters to Benvenuta. World War I Poets.
From Apollinaire to Rilke, and from Brooke to Sassoon: a sampling of war poets. Read More. Always Beginning. By David Naimon. Ursula K.
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Prose from Poetry Magazine. By Rachel Corbett. Genius Envy. By Geoff Dyer. How Rodin's failure inspired Rilke, and other curious routes of tribute.
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Appeared in Poetry Magazine Risk Delight. By Michael Klein. Sonnets to Orpheus No. From Audio Poem of the Day May Article for Students.
Stored Magic. By Edward Hirsch. Show More. Larenopfer poems; title means "Offering to the Lares" , Dominicus Prague , Wegwarten poems , Selbstverlag Prague , Eirich Vienna , Advent poems , Friesenhahn, Herter Norton published as Stories of God, Norton, , revised edition, Zur Einweihung der Kunsthalle am Februar Festspielszene, [Bremen], Buch der Bilder poems , Juncker Berlin , , enlarged edition, , Ungar, Die Letzten, Juncker, Requiem poems , Insel, Erste Gedichten, Insel, , Ungar, Das Marien-Leben, Insel, , translation by R.
Poems, translation by Lemont, Wright, Mitsou: Quarante images par Baltusz, Rotapfel, Puppen, Hyperion Munich , Duineser Elegien poems; also see below , Insel, , Ungar, , translation by V. Mellen Press Lewiston, NY , Gesammelte Werke, six volumes, Insel, Erzaehlungen und Skizzen aus der Fruehzeit, Insel, Ueber den jungen Dichter, [Hamburg], Gedichte, edited by Katharina Kippenberg, Insel, , Ungar, Spaete Gedichte, Insel, Der ausgewaehlten Gedichten anderer Teil, edited by Kippenberg, Insel, MacIntyre, University of California Press, Selected Poems, translation by Leishman, Hogarth, Briefe, Verse und Prosa aus dem Jahre , two volumes, Johannespresse, Thirty-one Poems, translation by Ludwig Lewisohn, Ackerman, Gedichte in franzoesicher Sprache, edited by Thankmar von Muenchhausen, Insel, Werke: Auswahl in zwei Baenden, two volumes, Insel, Gedichte, Sammlung der verstreuten und nachgelassenen Gedichte aus den mittleren und spaeteren Jahren, translation, with additions, by Leishman published as Poems to , Laughlin Norfolk, CT , , reprinted, Knopf, Academic journal article German Quarterly.
The same oscillation occurs in critical writing on poetry, with some critics paying closer attention to the ideas explored in the poems, and others focusing on the linguistic expression of these ideas, on such devices as rhythm, assonance, and alliteration, as well as on the use of figurative language. Since Martin Heidegger's essay, "Wozu Dichter? While Heidegger's essay shows great sensitivity to Rilke's poetic voice in attempting to determine the place of poetry in the modern world,1 some critics have taken this philosophizing tendency to a greater extreme, believing that Rilke can be interpreted without reference to the original German, i.
Even when Rilke's poetry is read in German, critics have tended to "translate" his dense metaphors into philosophical language. Since then, some critics have followed his lead in emphasizing this aspect of Rilke's poetry and prose works. De Man's readings introduced a new direction into Rilke studies.
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He argues that the poetry's overt assertions are contradicted by its linguistic structure. Thus, the "promise" of finding significance in poetry coexists with the "lie," or "loss of referentiality" in figural language For de Man, Rilke's notion of "Figur" differs from a traditional metaphor, which suggests "the potential identification of tenor and vehicle"