Poet of Sacrifice

“Der Weg von der Innigkeit zur Grösse geht durch das Opfer” (“The way from intense inwardness to greatness leads through sacrifice”).[^1] These words of the essayist Rudolf Kassner form the epigraph to Rainer Maria Rilke’s fateful poem “Wendung” (Turning Point) of 1914, in which the poet acknowledged that his shortcomings, …

Two Poems by Tomas Venclova

NIGHT DESCENDED ON US WITH A CHILL For Marina Kedrova Night descended on us with a chill. The low-roofed and soot-blackened archways Looked onto ten stations as well As ten parks, or more, sunk in November— That settlement, circle, or zone Where on the blind …