Black Lawrence Press

Into the Blue Reach: Selected Poems and Prose by Rainer Maria Rilke

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 from the 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 the translators came together to do the Rilke translations adds a unique element to this book and an understanding of the relationship 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 the printed 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
  • "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
  • "In their sensitive approach to Rilke’s poems and prose the translators 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
  • "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 achieved the nuances, atmosphere, and above all, a voice that rings true to Rilke’s extraordinary sentient oeuvre."
    —Gabriele Glang

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Ingrid Amalia Herbert

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Alison Kolodinsky

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