Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in German Poetry. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes (Hackett Classics)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

"The poems of the Poetic Edda have waited a long time for a Modern English translation that would do them justice. Here it is at last (Odin be praised!) and well worth the wait. These amazing texts from a 13th-century Icelandic manuscript are of huge historical, mythological and literary importance, containing the lion's share of information that survives today about the gods and heroes of pre-Christian Scandinavians, their unique vision of the beginning and end of the world, etc. Jackson Crawford's modern versions of these poems are authoritative and fluent and often very gripping.  With their individual headnotes and complementary general introduction, they supply today's readers with most of what they need to know in order to understand and appreciate the beliefs, motivations, and values of the Vikings." —Dick Ringler, Professor Emeritus of English and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

  • Author: Jackson Crawford
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (March 5, 2015)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, History & Criticism
  • ISBN: 978-1624663567
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.72 x 8.5 inches


2. Grendel

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic  Beowulf , tells his own side of the story in this frequently banned book. This  classic and much lauded retelling of Beowulf  follows the monster Grendel as he learns about humans and fights the war at the center of the Anglo Saxon classic epic. This is the book William Gass called "one of the finest of our contemporary fictions."

  • Author: John Gardner
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 14, 1989)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-0679723110
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 0.49 x 7.97 inches


3. Warriors #1: Into the Wild (Warriors: The Prophecies Begin, 1)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

Epic adventures. Fierce warrior cats. A thrilling fantasy world. It all begins here.  Read the book that began a phenomenon—and join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter’s Warriors series a #1 national bestseller. For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their ancestors. But the warrior code has been threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying—and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary housecat named Rusty… who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

  • Author: Erin Hunter
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Illustrated edition (March 17, 2015)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-0062366962
  • Dimensions: 5.12 x 0.64 x 7.62 inches


4. Letters to a Young Poet

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

Rilke's timeless letters about poetry, sensitive observation, and the complicated workings of the human heart. Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke's life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them.

  • Author: Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Revised edition (August 1, 1993)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-0393310399
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.1 inches


5. Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

A FINALIST FOR THE PEN/WEST TRANSLATION AWARD The 100th Anniversary Edition of a global classic, containing beautiful translations along with the original German text. While visiting Russia in his twenties, Rainer Maria Rilke, one of the twentieth century's greatest poets, was moved by a spirituality he encountered there. Inspired, Rilke returned to Germany and put down on paper what he felt were spontaneously received prayers. Rilke's Book of Hours is the invigorating vision of spiritual practice for the secular world, and a work that seems remarkably prescient today, one hundred years after it was written. Rilke's Book of Hours shares with the reader a new kind of intimacy with God, or the divine—a reciprocal relationship between the divine and the ordinary in which God needs us as much as we need God. Rilke influenced generations of writers with his Letters to a Young Poet, and now Rilke's Book of Hours tells us that our role in the world is to love it and thereby love God into being. These fresh translations rendered by Joanna Macy, a mystic and spiritual teacher, and Anita Barrows, a skilled poet, capture Rilke's spirit as no one has done before.

  • Author: Anita Barrows
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; 100th Anniversary ed. edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-1594481567
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.76 x 7.92 inches


6. Autobiography of Red

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

The award-winning poet reinvents a genre in a stunning work that is both a novel and a poem, both an unconventional re-creation of an ancient Greek myth and a wholly original coming-of-age story set in the present. Geryon, a young boy who is also a winged red monster, reveals the volcanic terrain of his fragile, tormented soul in an autobiography he begins at the age of five. As he grows older, Geryon escapes his abusive brother and affectionate but ineffectual mother, finding solace behind the lens of his camera and in the arms of a young man named Herakles, a cavalier drifter who leaves him at the peak of infatuation. When Herakles reappears years later, Geryon confronts again the pain of his desire and embarks on a journey that will unleash his creative imagination to its fullest extent. By turns whimsical and haunting, erudite and accessible, richly layered and deceptively simple, Autobiography of Red is a profoundly moving portrait of an artist coming to terms with the fantastic accident of who he is. A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist   "Anne Carson is, for me, the most exciting poet writing in English today." --Michael Ondaatje "This book is amazing--I haven't discovered any writing in years so marvelously disturbing." --Alice Munro  "A profound love story . . . sensuous and funny, poignant, musical and tender." --The New York Times Book Review "A deeply odd and immensely engaging book. . . . Carson exposes with passionate force the mythic underlying the explosive everyday." --The Village Voice

  • Author: Anne Carson
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; 1st edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-0375701290
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 0.37 x 8 inches


7. The Haiku Handbook -25th Anniversary Edition: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

The Haiku Handbook is the first book to give readers everything they need to begin appreciating, writing, or teaching haiku. In this groundbreaking and now-classic volume, the authors present haiku poets writing in English, Spanish, French, German, and five other languages on an equal footing with Japanese poets. Not only are the four great Japanese masters of the haiku represented (Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki) but also major Western authors not commonly known to have written poetry in this form, including Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac and Richard Wright. With a new foreword by poet, translator, and author Jane Reichhold ( Basho: The Complete Haiku ), this anniversary edition presents a concise history of the Japanese haiku, including the dynamic changes throughout the twentieth century as this beloved poetry form has been adapted to modern and urban settings. Full chapters are offered on form, the seasons in haiku, and haiku craft, plus background on the Japanese poetic tradition and the effect of translation on our understanding of haiku. Other unique features are chapters on teaching and sharing haiku, with lesson plans for both elementary and secondary school use; a seasonal word index of poetic words; a comprehensive glossary; and a list of enduring classic resources for further exploration. By any standard, The Haiku Handbook is the defining volume in the genre.

  • Author: William J. Higginson
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; 25th ed. edition (September 27, 2013)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-1568365404
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 5.5 inches


8. The Dark Interval: Letters on Loss, Grief, and Transformation (Modern Library Classics)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

From the writer of the classic Letters to a Young Poet, reflections on grief and loss, collected and published here in one volume for the first time. “A great poet’s reflections on our greatest mystery.”—Billy Collins “A treasure . . . The solace Rilke offers is uncommon, uplifting and necessary.”— The Guardian Gleaned from Rainer Maria Rilke’s voluminous, never-before-translated letters to bereaved friends and acquaintances, The Dark Interval is a profound vision of the mourning process and a meditation on death’s place in our lives. Following the format of Letters to a Young Poet, this book arranges Rilke’s letters into an uninterrupted sequence, showcasing the full range of the great author’s thoughts on death and dying, as well as his sensitive and moving expressions of consolation and condolence. Presented with care and authority by master translator Ulrich Baer, The Dark Interval is a literary treasure, an indispensable resource for anyone searching for solace, comfort, and meaning in a time of grief. Praise for The Dark Interval “Even though each of these letters of condolence is personalized with intimate detail, together they hammer home Rilke’s remarkable truth about the death of another: that the pain of it can force us into a ‘deeper . . . level of life’ and render us more ‘vibrant.’ Here we have a great poet’s reflections on our greatest mystery.” —Billy Collins “As we live our lives, it is possible to feel not sadness or melancholy but a rush of power as the life of others passes into us. This rhapsodic volume teaches us that death is not a negation but a deepening experience in the onslaught of existence. What a wise and victorious book!” —Henri Cole

  • Author: Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Publisher: Modern Library (August 14, 2018)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-0525509844
  • Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches


9. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

By combining the ancient mysteries of Sappho with the contemporary wizardry of one of our most fearless and original poets,  If Not, Winter  provides a tantalizing window onto the genius of a woman whose lyric power spans millennia.  Of the nine books of lyrics the ancient Greek poet Sappho is said to have composed, only one poem has survived complete. The rest are fragments. In this miraculous new translation, acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson presents all of Sappho’s fragments, in Greek and in English, as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them, inviting a thrill of discovery and conjecture that can be described only as electric—or, to use Sappho’s words, as “thin fire . . . racing under skin.”  "Sappho's verse has been elevated to new heights in this gorgeous translation." -- The New York Times "Carson is in many ways Sappho's ideal translator....Her command of language is hones to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth." --Los Angeles Times

  • Author: Sappho
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (August 12, 2003)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-0375724510
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.88 x 7.9 inches


10. Purgatory (The Divine Comedy)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in German Poetry - August 2021

A new translation by Anthony Esolen Illustrations by Gustave Doré   Written in the fourteenth century by Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy is arguably the greatest epic poem of all time—presenting Dante’s brilliant vision of the three realms of Christian afterlife: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise . In this second and perhaps most imaginative part of his masterwork, Dante struggles up the terraces of Mount Purgatory, still guided by Virgil, in a continuation of his difficult ascent to purity. Anthony Esolen’s acclaimed translation of Inferno, Princeton professor James Richardson said, “follows Dante through all his spectacular range, commanding where he is commanding, wrestling, as he does, with the density and darkness in language and in the soul. It is living writing.” This edition of Purgatory includes an appendix of key sources and extensive endnotes—an invaluable guide for both general readers and students.

  • Author: Dante
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Modern Library Classics edition (March 9, 2004)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry
  • ISBN: 978-0812971255
  • Dimensions: 5.22 x 1.12 x 8 inches