Black Lawrence Press
May 10, 2010

Into the Blue Reach

Into The Blue Reach is a new translation of Rilke poems, many of which have never before been made available to English-speaking readers. The power of these translations comes fromthe collaborative efforts of an English-speaking poet and a native German speaker, both passionate Rilke devotees.


In “Love Song” Rilke describes best what this translation does, it brings the German poetry and the English translation together like the stroke of a bow that draws one voice from two strings.  And “Oh sweet song” emerges.  The story of how thetranslators came together to do the Rilke translations adds a unique element to this book and an understanding of therelationship through which the  translators have achieved that difficult balance of faithfulness to the original Rilke and musicality in the English. Like singers reading the notes on theprinted page into voice, they have the technical training and deep knowledge of other voicings of the same poems by Rilke in English, but the spirit that transfuses the lyric lines here is fresh and alive to the wondrous predicaments of mind and body in which the world entangles the Rilkean sensibility. –George McWhirter, Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate and former head of the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing Literary Translation Program

Herbert and Kolodinsky’s new Rilke translations are indeed both welcome and necessary. Into the Blue Reach inevitably provides fresh insights, sensibilities, and pleasures to Rilke’s canon in English translation. –Daniele Pantano, translator of The Possible is Monstrous: Selected Poems by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

In their sensitive approach to Rilke’s poems and prose thetranslators of this collection are truthful to the poet’s spirit and language. The translation reflects Rilke’s achievements in his “Dichtung”, the poetic creation of “densification” thus bringing forth the essence of common human experience through the sparse yet aesthetic economy of language. The reader experiences an ongoing transformation, being witness to a provocative insight into our existential transience as well as to a vision of transcendence beyond all things and silence: a divine song “into the blue reach.” –Susanne Eules, Ph.D., German Studies, Stetson University

To those of us brought up on the Anglo-American imagist and confessional poetry of the 20th century, Rilke is an exotic hothouse flower. Translating his hermetic poetry is a painstaking labor of love that, in itself, deserves respect. Herbert and Kolodinsky deserve accolades for having achievedthe nuances, atmosphere, and above all, a voice that rings true to Rilke’s extraordinary sentient oeuvre. –Gabriele Glang, German-American bilingual author of Stark Naked on a Cold Irish Morning

About the Translators

Ingrid Amalia Herbert was a student of English in Bournemouth, Great Britain. She has worked as a trainer and teacher at the Lufthansa Flight Training Center in Frankfurt. A native of Bavaria, she lives with her husband Andreas in Alzenau, Germany. Her passions include travelling, gardening, winemaking from their own apple orchard,  and of course, Rilke.

Alison Kolodinsky is a poet and translator, and the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Arts Council. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, magazines and reviews including Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Cream City Review. Her first collection of poetry is forthcoming in the fall of 2010 from MotesBooks and is entitled Inventing the Wind. Kolodinsky also has a Master of Science Degree in Community/Clinical Psychology. She and Rick, her husband of 30 years, divide their time between New Smyrna Beach, Florida and Bowen Island, British Columbia.

Into the Blue Reach is available from Black Lawrence Press.