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Tag: Rainer Maria Rilke

Splitting the Difference

Splitting the Difference

    Elegy For a Lesser God   There is a faint noise In the middle of a field Beyond the sea line Above the clashing rocks No Scylla or Charybdis Just nature clapping hard For another beautiful wave A faint noise in the castle And a flickering of candle’s light Draws doves from their resting place Near the world’s sphere The world’s globe The navel of the universe As seen by the writer Before he moves away From the…

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Rilke’s Revolutionary Notebooks

Rilke’s Revolutionary Notebooks

Rilke’s one and only novel is a mysterious, beautifully written, baffling modernist stew. Reading it for the third time, I was struck again by its yearning and incompleteness, its meditative and incantatory qualities, and the sense it gives us of loneliness and despair, without removing hope and the potential for redemption. The protagonist is a struggling young poet, living in Paris, poverty stricken, seemingly quite alone. He is neither successful at his craft, nor completely defeated. Rilke presents Malte in…

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Dimensions: More Than Spatiality

Dimensions: More Than Spatiality

Below, we have a new essay by Robert Mueller. He deals with two fine poets, Barbara Guest and Jill Magi, with imagination and verve. Jill Magi’s author’s page over at Shearsman Books can be found here. Jill’s homepage can be found here.   *     *     *     *     *   The topic of poetic space on the page is an interesting one. How it looks alters our reception and perception. We read it differently to ourselves depending upon topography. Poetry is…

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A Fool on the Hill

A Fool on the Hill

 I didn’t make it to all the way to the Falls. Was within half a mile or so before time ran out. Someone turned out the lights on the great painting in the sky. I still found some green and blue peace and more. I found a vision and learned how certain cameras can not handle what comes out of that great painting in the sky. One has to prepare for such things and I didn’t. Next time. How strange…

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Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago

Rereading Paternak’s epic at the moment. Makes me think about the movie, of course. David Lean’s film shares its epic sweep and grandeur, along with the emotional weight of actual tragedy. But, this reread (so far) brings surprises. I had forgotten how much of the story had been left out of the movie, how many characters never appear, how most of the back-story is missing in the film. It would, of course, have been impossible to include much more. Pasternak…

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Still another writing table: Hemingway and Big Game

Still another writing table: Hemingway and Big Game

 It’s quite possible I couldn’t pick two writers further apart from one another to deal with back to back. Temperamentally, artistically, biographically. Rilke and Hemingway. Yet both men were profoundly influenced by their days in Paris, and both men learned much about their art at the knee of an older woman. Perhaps it’s less than dime-store psychology to also suggest that both men had “issues” with their relationship to female sexuality. Issues that led to very different attempts to resolve…

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The Absence of a Writing Table and Other Bogus Complaints

The Absence of a Writing Table and Other Bogus Complaints

 No, this post won’t be about old Vsevolod. He’s already had more than enough great press lately, I imagine. Just thought his visage captured a certain weariness, bafflement and astonishment at the task of reading and writing, and that this was apropos of other things. The artist Repin was apparently good at that, too–good at painting moments like this, having tackled Tolstoy as well as the composer Rimsky-Korsakov in other portraits. And, of course, old Vsevolod looks like a 19th…

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Rilke: The Panther and the Writing Table

Rilke: The Panther and the Writing Table

 Castle Duino, Italy. Photo by Johann Jaritz.Rainer Maria Rilke was a sublime poet, one of the greatest lyric poets of the 20th century, and quite possibly a lousy human being. His Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus rank among the finest works of art in any language, taking us softly, profoundly to the nexus between life and death, pain and redemption, mourning and new hope. Through his poetry and other writings, he conveyed a level of empathy and understanding toward…

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