A new year, a new Malvernite to meet! Say hello to Annar, an aspiring writer who is currently finishing up her degree at St. Edward’s University. We’re delighted to introduce her to you, and she, in turn, is delighted to introduce you to Roses by Rainer Maria Rilke…
As someone with a profound respect for the modernist era, it is absolutely thrilling to see Rilke’s final batch of poems flawlessly translated and accompanied by such beautiful art and design. This bilingual collection was published posthumously, and it is rare in that it was originally written in French (telling for the Austrian writer). Roses also poses as a great contrast to the dramatic and serious collection Duino Elegies. The poems in Roses are fluid, tinged with love, warmth, wonder, and extraordinary depth. Translator David Need goes above and beyond, providing phenomenal insight and commentary throughout the second half of the book—bringing us closer and closer to mapping the mind of Rainer Maria Rilke.
Rose, oh pure difference, joy
to be No-One’s sleep under so many
With that quote, I leave you with one final, haunting statement: the story goes, Rilke died from an infection due to a prick from gathering roses for one last amoureuse. Perfect, right?