This chapter, like Chapter 1, deliberately disrupts the chronological order, taking together Rilke’s four requiems: ‘Requiem’ from the Buch der Bilder (written 1900), the two famous poems published as Requiem (written 1908), and ‘Requiem auf den Tod eines Knaben’ (1915). At about the half-way point, this is a place to think about Rilke’s work synchronically as well as diachronically, to focus on a particular theme and a particular form, and to look back as well as forward. It also provides a counterpoint to the chapters on the Duineser Elegien (mourning-poems, but not for anyone’s death) and on the Sonette an Orpheus (written ‘as a memorial’ for a young acquaintance).
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