Edward Snow has been translating the poetry of Rilke for over a decade, work for which he has received an Academy of Arts and Letters Award, the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets (twice), and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Snow is a professor of English at Rice University and is also the author of A Study of Vermeer and Inside Breughel.Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in 1875 and traveled throughout Europe for much of his adult life, returning frequently to Paris. There he came under the influence of the sculptor Auguste Rodin and produced much of his finest verse, most notably the two volumes of New Poems as well as the great modernist novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Among his other books of poems are The Book of Images and The Book of Hours. He lived the last years of his life in Switzerland, where he completed his two poetic masterworks, the Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus. He died of leukemia in December 1926.
Listen to Paul Muldoon read Rainer Marie Rilke's poem "Archaic Torso of Apollo" and James Wright's poem "Lying in a Hammock on William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota."