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Don Paterson Orpheus: A version of Rilke’s Die Sonette an Orpheus Faber £12.99
Rainer Maria Rilke Duino Elegies Translated by Martyn Crucefix, introduction by Karen Leeder Enitharmon £9.95
Probably no other twentieth-century collections of poetry have been translated into English more often than these two cycles; Amazon can currently find you at least twenty-one versions of the Duino Elegies and fifteen of the Sonnets to Orpheus. Something of their aura comes from the myth-like circumstances of their composition: the first elegies taken down from a voice in the wind at Castle Duino in 1912 and followed in the next few days by the first lines of the final poem. The long interim of the war followed and frustrated Rilke’s attempts to find a place and the composure to finish them. After moving to Switzerland in 1919, he spent years looking for the ‘elegy-place’. Helped by many friends, he found