Rainer Maria Rilke - The Duino Elegies

The Duino Elegies
Photographs by Josephine Sacabo
Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Leslie Norris & Alan Keele
Introduction by John Wood
Edition: 60 numbered copies
10 bound, plus 1 free-standing, fully signed silver gelatin prints
16 x 13 1/2 inches
Handcrafted in New England

A set of gum-over-platinum prints by Josephine Sacabo is available at www.21stCollections.com


This short introduction to Rilke’s poem suggests some of the mystic and symbolist qualities that obviously captivated the mystic and symbolist photographer Josephine Sacabo. In the first of the Duino Elegies Rilke wrote,

. . . if longing overwhelms you, then sing of great lovers: even now
their famous passions are not yet immortal enough.
And sing of those you almost envy, those who were deserted, those you
found so much more loving than the successful ones. Begin
again and again the song that would praise their failure.

These words could easily be applied to much of Josephine Sacabo’s work. In Rilke’s Elegies she found a poet whose voice articulated the intense emotions of her own imagery. It is as if his great poem of love, death, and angels gave voice to her great subject, a subject not easy to define because her art, like Rilke’s, is more about emotion than facts, more about the senses and sense experience than it is about intellectual or mundane experience. It travels like electricity through the blood and comes out as sighs and tears; it has a madness about it like the madness of passionate love.

- From the Introduction by John Wood