His poems must be some of the most difficult to translate, because he creates wonderful word-trains… in the German language one can tie words together without a hyphen to create a new meaning or a sharper definition.
The above linked translation is well done and pretty accurate, but the rhymes are lost and so the sound of the poem is changed completely.
Years ago a friend showed me a book of Rilke translations by Stephen Mitchell – it might have been this one – and I commented that Mitchell had written new poetry inspired by the Rilke poems, but I felt that they were not translations. Fine line, of course. What is translation and what is re-writing (neudichten)?
Sometimes I marvel at our human ability to communicate complex meanings at all!
Now if I can only find some nice poetic titles for the new album (my cue to get up and walk over to the studio and work…)