The Master's French Solace: THE ROSES by Rainer Maria Rilke, a new English translation of poems Rilke composed originally in French.
THE ROSES, a series of poems by Rainier Maria Rilke, is a gift of solace offered in a new book by poet, N. M. Hoffman, and painter, Gloria Matuszewski. The book is comprised of Rilke's original French, a new English translation and visual images that heighten the beauty of the text.
The many French poems of famed German-language poet Rainer Maria Rilke have been underserved both in French and in translation. This new book, THE ROSES, endeavors to address that for 27 of the poet’s poems originally written in French, here with a new English translation by the poet, N.M. Hoffman.
In an age requiring so much of it, Solace is the force that exudes from these poems. It is a kind of Solace that replicates the Solace enforced by Time, but by means of a cinematographic intimacy with the life of the Rose that startles us from our instant grief. The Rose is, after all, close to us at every turn, in every season. The poet takes us by the hand into his garden and there we are mesmerized by the personal life of the Rose, its extraordinary elegance, reticence, exoticism. In contemplating the Being of the Rose, the reader endures a grief subsumed into a process that is primordial, even shamanistic, but which is always the provenance of the poet.
It is also the provenance of the visual artist who is able to render this intimacy in psychological terms for the mind to grasp through the eyes. In the images supplied for this book by the painter, Gloria Matuszewski, the eerie singularity of the Rose is vivified, a melding of what is spiritual, gestural and contextual. In Matuszewski’s work, the figure of the Rose lives tangentially with everyday life. In this complicity, the images embrace the complexities of Rilke’s Roses and give them a solidity that, with the text, provides a grounding for the exorcism of grief. These images have provided the way forward in understanding the poems and, without them, this book — a tribute and a memorial to those unique individuals we have lost — would never have come into being.
Poetry. Art. Collaborations. Translation.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is one of the most celebrated poets of the twentieth century. Rilke was born in Prague, lived throughout Europe, and spent his final years in Switzerland, where he wrote the Duino Elegies. He died of leukemia in December 1926.Author City: Prague AUT
N. M. Hoffman's poems have appeared in U.S., U.K. and Canadian journals and she has given readings at The Frye Art Museum (Seattle), Commonwealth Club (San Francisco), Les Lectures sous L'Arbre (Chambon-sur-lignon, France), and in NYC at The National Arts Club, Theatre St. Marks and Cornelia Street Cafe. She was the recipient of an Edward Albee Writers Fellowship and holds a PhD from the Poetics Institute of NYU where she was awarded Carnwath-Calendar Fellowships. The poet collaborates frequently with other artists, notably with the painter Gloria Matuszewski (San Francisco) and with the composer Jeffrey Schanzer (who studied with Morton Feldman). Her collaboration with Mr. Schanzer, The Requiem Before the Times of Peace, was performed by The New York Virtuosi Singers at St. Peter's Church and at Merkin Concert Hall of the Kaufman Music Center in NYC under the direction of Harold Rosenbaum. Ms. Hoffman's prose has appeared in The Wallace Stevens Journal and Theatre Review. Poems are available as prints with the work of artists Susan Forste (Manhattan), Henk Pander (Portland, Oregon), Dominique Fournier (Paris) and photographer Cindy Luggery-Babic (Paris). A second art book with painter Gloria Matuszewski, The Chairs, is scheduled for publication by Kearns, Howard & Walker in the fall of 2022. The poet is married to Peter Graasbol Schmidt. They live in Manhattan.
Gloria Matuszewski earned her bachelor's degree in art from the University of California at Berkeley, a secondary teaching credential from San Francisco State University and participated in Graduate Studies at JFK University in Arts and Consciousness. Her artwork has been featured in the Art in Embassies Program in Saudi Arabia and in Myanmar. She has exhibited in many national shows and throughout the state of California for 35 years. Her work is in several collections including Kaiser Hospital, Marin General Hospital, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, William F. Black Collection, the Ron Collins Collection, Stanford Medical Center Collection and the Tempe Public Library in Arizona. Matuszewski is represented by the Lori Austin Gallery in Healdsburg, CA and the Andra Norris Gallery in Burlingame, CA. The artist is also an active member and exhibiting artist at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. She lives in Novato, California.