Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in 1875 and traveled throughout Europe for much of his life, returning frequently to Paris. His last years were spent in Switzerland, where he completed the poetic masterworks Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus. He died of leukemia in December 1926. Edward Snow is a professor of English at Rice University. He is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters award for his Rilke translations and has twice received the Academy of American Poets' Harold Morton Landon Translation Award.