Books: Vaulting Transcendence

DUINO ELEGIES AND THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS

by RAINER MARIA'RILKE

Translated by A. POULIN JR.

205 pages. Houghton Mifflin. $10.95.

$4.95 paperback.

Pacing outside Duino Castle near Trieste in early 1912, German Poet Rainer Maria Rilke heard a voice above the Adriatic surf: "And if I cried, who'd listen to me in those angelic orders?" Rilke took this enigmatic question as the signal to begin his chef-d'oeuvre: a series of poems that would unite the visible order of things with the invisible universe of thought—to see the world as the angels might. He finished two...

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