Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry has long been a favorite of English translators. Consequently, readers can choose from an abundance of different translations for many of the better-known poems. While that can be confusing, it also offers an opportunity to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the original — even if we don’t know its language. We will jointly read and appreciate multiple translations of three posems by Rilke and discuss how each shapes our enjoyment and understanding. Handouts will be provided.
Barbara Thimm is a writer, translator, and educator. Her translations of selected poems by Timothy Donnelly and Mary Jo Bang were published by luxbooks in Germany. “A Discovery Behind the House,” the translation of a short story by Ror Wolf, appeared in Asymptote. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two sons.