Duino Elegies

Duino Elegies

By Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated by Matthew Barton

Available end of October 2019

Price: £10.00

ISBN: 978-1-912524-38-9

Number of pages: 72

Paperback, 135x210mm

English Translation

“…a profoundly poetic sensibility in inexorable dynamic movement … one long intense, sometimes rapturous, sometimes despairing conversation of Rilke with himself … a voice reaching as far as it can into the unsayable…”

Rilke’s Duino Elegies is a mountain of a work, a literary achievement that has enthralled and sometimes baffled its readers. Its author wrestled with it over more than ten years, finally completing it in a tumultuous creative ferment in 1922, the year that also saw publication of Eliot’s The Waste Land. It comes to vivid new life in this version by Matthew Barton, both poet and professional translator, who is attuned as much to its rhythms and music as its meanings, and seeks to recreate here the molten flow of Rilke’s lines. As he says in his introduction, a translation is always also a new work. In making this version he attends carefully to Rilke’s original but at the same time gives life and rhythm to the English, and fashions a work that rings in the ear as poetry.

Matthew Barton has published three collections of poems, the latest being Family Tree (Shoestring Press, 2016). He lives in Bristol, teaches poetry on Oxford University’s Diploma in Creative Writing, and edits the poetry magazine Raceme. Awards include second prize in the National Poetry Competition, a Hawthornden Fellowship, an Arts Council Writers Award, BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year (twice winner) and first prize in the Strokestown (Ireland) poetry competition.