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Rilke’s ‘Sonnets to Orpheus’ translated by Martyn Crucefix

November 1, 2012

By Holland Park Press

The Poetry Cafe 22 Betterton Street London WC2H 9BX             
Wednesday 28 November at 7.30 pm
Tickets at the door: £5

In fifty-five sonnets Rainer Maria Rilke plays an astonishing set of philosophical and sensual variations on the Orpheus myth. Nature, art, love, time, childhood, technology, poverty, justice – all are encompassed in poems that spark with insight and invention, amongst the most joyful and light-footed that Rilke ever wrote.

Rainer Maria Rilke

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. Among English-language readers, his best-known work is the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Martyn Crucefix

                                              MArtyn Crucefix

Martyn works as poet, teacher, reviewer, critic, translator and competition judge. He is a tutor with the Poetry School in London. Martyn’s first collection, Beneath Tremendous Rain (1990), was published by Enitharmon Press and his Arvon prize-winning poem, At The Mountjoy Hotel, appeared with Enitharmon in Spring 1993. A second collection, On Whistler Mountain, was published by Sinclair-Stevenson in 1994 and his third book, A Madder Ghost by Enitharmon in 1997.    

An English Nazareth (2004) and his translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies (2006) were published by Enitharmon with the latter being shortlisted for the Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation and hailed as “unlikely to be bettered for very many years” (Magma). His collection Hurt appeared in 2010, and Martyn’s new translation of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus has just been published by Enitharmon.

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