My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Having adored Letters to a Young Poet, I reached for this slim volume wanting to be well-introduced to Rilke’s poems. This collection did not connect for me. There are moments in a few of the poems that grabbed me (“Autumn”; “The Panther”; “Faded”; “Piano Practice”; and “The Child”), but I found most to be indecipherable.
MacIntyre’s introductory essay and closing notes are dull and impenetrably obscure. I don’t read German but can’t help wondering if Rilke’s poems would connect with me more in a different translation or, also possible, if German Romanticism just isn’t my thing. I will be interested to read these five poems in different translations to find out.