Ahead of All Parting, The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke. Translated by Stephen Mitchell. Modern Library, 1995.
This has to be the best translation of Rilke I’ve ever read. Mitchell’s work doesn’t leave a single flaw on Rilke’s perfection.
This book reads like a silent and deep meditation–somewhat desperate, yet beautifully deep and still. Thanks to Mitchell’s English translation, one has the opportunity to read and soak in Rilke’s words as the poet intended. I effortlessly forget that the works were not originally written in English, which is a marvelous attribute to Mitchell’s ability to not only translate text but also the poet’s intent, his vivid imagery, and his soulfulness.