A FINALIST FOR THE PEN/WEST TRANSLATION AWARD
The 100th Anniversary Edition of a global classic, containing beautiful translations along with the original German text.
While visiting Russia in his twenties, Rainer Maria Rilke, one of the twentieth century's greatest poets, was moved by a spirituality he encountered there. Inspired, Rilke returned to Germany and put down on paper what he felt were spontaneously received prayers. Rilke's Book of Hours
is the invigorating vision of spiritual practice for the secular world, and a work that seems remarkably prescient today, one hundred years after it was written.
Rilke's Book of Hours shares with the reader a new kind of intimacy with God, or the divine—a reciprocal relationship between the divine and the ordinary in which God needs us as much as we need God. Rilke influenced generations of writers with his Letters to a Young Poet, and now Rilke's Book of Hours tells us that our role in the world is to love it and thereby love God into being. These fresh translations rendered by Joanna Macy, a mystic and spiritual teacher, and Anita Barrows, a skilled poet, capture Rilke's spirit as no one has done before.
Anita Barrows, a prize-winning poet and a clinical psychologist, is the author of four books of her own poetry and the recipient of an NEA grant as well as the Quarterly Review of Literature
's Contemporary Poetry Award. She has been a professional translator for more than thirty years.
Joanna Macy is a scholar of systems theory and Buddhist thought, and a student of German. Also a spiritual teacher and ecologist, she has spoken at the White House about ecology and spirituality.
"These poems of spiritual yearning and discovery composed by the young Rilke one hundred years ago feel very fresh and moving in the beautifully transparent, supple versions of Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. With their psalm-like directness and emotional urgencyk, they nourish and quicken the life of the spirit." --Chana Bloch, translator of The Song of Songs