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Review: Pure Contradiction: Selected Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke

Jan Fortune, Envoi Issue 161, February 2012

from the article Twelve for 2012

There is a wealth of poetry books out there from the established lke Bloodaxe to the new and excellent like Pindrop Press, who are publishing poetry that is not to be missed. So in the spirit of the first issue of the year this is my personal pick of eleven collections that came out in 2011 (plus one brand new from early 2012) that everyone should read in 2012.

And a final word for an Arc collection just published. Ian Crockatt's translations of Rilke range across the poet's work arranging pieces by theme. Presented bilingually, it is an elucidating and powerful selection that captures Rainer's 'radical inconclusiveness' to the last line:

At the very centre of the young vines moves
a young girl's head in red scarf,
like a dot offered to each i