Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in 1875 and traveled throughout Europe for much of his adult life, returning frequently to Paris. His last years were spent in Switzerland, where he completed his two poetic masterworks, the Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus. He died of leukemia in December 1926. Edward Snow is a professor of English at Rice University. He is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for his Rilke translations and has twice received the Academy of American Poets' Harold Morton Landon Translation Award.
"Edward Snow is doing important work. Robert Lowell once wrote that it was hard to imagine Rilke first written in English, that the poems were sealed in German. Snow is unsealing them." --Robert Phillips, Houston Chronicle "[This] translation of the Elegies is the finest that I have ever read . . . Snow has gradually been building a reputation as Rilke's best contemporary translator in English. His version of the Elegies should cement that reputation, and elevate it: Snow may be the best translator that Rilke has ever had." --Brian Phillips, The New Republic on the Duino Elegies "Snow has rendered with great skill and accuracy a work both familiar and unknown, more complicated and more immediate than many have suspected, at once grave, mysterious, and beautiful." --Edward Hirsch on The Book of Images "With these sorrowing and luminous poems . . . it is possible to gain, for the first time in English, a consistent perspective of Rilke's difficult canon, here restored and disclosed to stunning effect." --Richard Howard on The Book of Images "Something of the non-vatic Rilke, poet of perception and sensation, is best conveyed in English by Snow's mediations." --Harold Bloom on Uncollected Poems "The Snow translation of these little-known Rilke poems is brilliant." --Mark Strand on Uncollected Poems "Rilke's first great work . . . [Snow's translation] is clear, accurate, and fluent." --Stephen Mitchell on New Poems