Rainer Maria Rilke

02008-03-12 | Poetry | 0 comments

Rainer Maria Rilke – Der Einsame – The lonely

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…)

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