Poetry International

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You can book a maximum of two tickets per event. If you require more tickets or would like to make a group booking, please contact info@acflondon.org


Poetry International

  • 17 Jul 2014 — 21 Jul 2014
Imported 2003
Imported 2003

Southbank Centre

Belvedere RoadLondon SE1 8XX



Poetry International is a bold and inspiring festival of poetry, film and spoken word as part of our summer Festival of Love. For, after all, ‘at the touch of love everyone becomes a poet’ (Plato).   Over a week there are readings, music, poetry films, translations, new commissions, free events and innovative spoken-word performances throughout Southbank Centre – from the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, to the renowned Saison Poetry Library at Royal Festival Hall and the gardens, bars and the public space that surrounds our venues.    With poets from all over the world including Robert Hass, Carolyn Forché, Don Paterson, August Kleinzahler, Durs Grünbein,Ana Blandiana, Caroline Bergvall, Mohamed El Deeb, Nikola Madzirov,Serhiy Zhadan, Bejan Matur.

Of particular interest to ACF audiences might be:

Sunday 20 July, noon
What if Not Transformation: Poetry After Rilke
Bhatt, Grünbein, McGuinness, Paterson & Leeder

Hear five contemporary poets read and discuss the work of Rainer Maria Rilke's - one of the greats of European literature in the 20th century. His life and poetry have inspired poets from Auden to Zwetayava, but that legacy continues today.

Poets Sujata Bhatt, Durs Grünbein, Patrick McGuinness and Don Paterson, present their translations, versions and responses to Rilke including newly commissioned work.

One hundred years after the first translations of his work appeared in English Poetry International explores the legacy of Rainer Maria Rilke.

Rilke - the 'perfection' of the German poem
Robert Musil famously asserted that Rilke was 'the greatest lyric poet the Germans have seen since the Middle Ages,' that he 'did nothing but perfect the German poem for the first time'. It is hardly an exaggeration. In Rilke's oeuvre, we find some of the most beautiful and moving lyrics of the 20th century, many of which resonate as if they had been written today.

Works such as The New Poems, The Duino Elegies or Sonnets to Orpheus and a flowering of late work in French, less well-known perhaps but equally influential, continue to inspire.

His influence on English-language poetry
Despite Rilke's ambivalent attitude to the Anglo-Saxon world his poetry also has a vital afterlife in English.

'Poet of Death' for the poets of Second World War, prophet of inwardness in the 1960s USA, love poet and self-help guru for the modern age, Rilke has inspired and enraged.

His is perhaps the ultimate 'poetry of translation', driven as always by his desire for transformation, transition and change in every sense, from the poetic to the essential.

'You must change your life' read the injunction of his famous poem 'Archaic Torso of Apollo'.

The Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall from 2pm - post-performance event. Poets Don Paterson, Durs Grünbein, Sujata Bhatt and Patrick McGuinness discuss with Karen Leeder what has brought them to Rilke and his work, and what the abiding fascination with him says about poetry today. Free

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