Cover image for The book of hours : prayers to a lowly god
The book of hours : prayers to a lowly god
Rilke, Rainer Maria, 1875-1926.
Uniform Title:
Stundenbuch. English & German
A bilingual edition.
Publication Information:
Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 234 pages ; 20 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PT2635.I65 S72513 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This is the first complete translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's The Book of Hours ( Das Stunden-Buch ) in more than forty years. This bilingual edition provides English-speaking readers with access to a critical work in the development of the most significant figure in twentieth-century German poetry. Kidder's delicately nuanced translation preserves Rilke's uncomplicated and melodic flow, his rhythm, and, where possible, his rhyme while remaining true to content.

Rilke penned The Book of Hours between 1899 and 1903 in three parts. Readers and experts alike consider the collection among Rilke's most important and enduring works.

Author Notes

More than any other modern German writer, Rainer Maria Rilke seems to match our romantic idea of what a poet should be, though, as with many writers, separating artistry from affectation is often difficult.

Restless, sensitive, reverent, yet egotistical, Rilke often seems to hover in his poems like a sort of ethereal being. He was born in 1875 to a wealthy family in Prague. After a few years devoted to the study of art and literature, he spent most of his adult life wandering among the European capitals and devoting himself single-mindedly to poetry. His early poems reflect his interest in the visual and plastic arts, as he tries to lose himself in contemplation of objects such as an antique torso of Apollo.His later books of poetry, such as Duino Elegies (1923) and Sonnets to Orpheus (1923), on the contrary, focus intently on internal realms. The poetry of Rilke is noted, above all, for metaphysical and psychological nuances.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

First published in German in 1905, Rainer Maria Rilke's The Book of Hours: Prayers to a Lowly God has not been wholly translated into English in more than 40 years. Annemarie S. Kidder, a native German speaker and interim associate pastor at Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, who has previously translated works by Jurgen Becker and others, here presents careful, rhymed versions of the entire three-part work, which reflects on the duties of the artist and his or her relations to various institutions and constituencies, including God, kings and "the house of the poor," which is "like a child's hand." (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Translator's Introductionp. ix
Das Buch vom monchischen Leben Erstes Buch, 1899p. 2
The Book of the Monkish Life First Book, 1899p. 3
Das Buch von der Pilgerschaft Zweites Buch, 1901p. 96
The Book of Pilgrimage Second Book, 1901p. 97
Das Buch von der Armut und vom Tode Drittes Buch, 1903p. 164
The Book of Poverty and Death Third Book, 1903p. 165
Translator's Notesp. 209