In response to:
Rilke in Life and Death from the September 27, 1984 issue
To the Editors:
At the time I wrote my review of the two biographies of Rilke by Wolfgang Leppmann and J.F. Hendry, and of Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, I was not aware of Mitchell’s translation of The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (Random House 1982). If I had been, I should not have been so positive about the untranslatability of Rilke. I eat my words; Mr. Mitchell gives a very good idea of some of the poems.
My review of Professor Hendry, incidentally, should not have said that his spelling of Hoff-nung and ab-gelesen in “Der Tod” was explained by these words appearing at line endings in the original edition since I am informed that they are hyphenated in other editions as well.
December 6, 1984