Leipzig: Im Insel-Verlag, 1923. First edition of Rilke's Duino Elegies, arguably the greatest work of lyric poetry of the twentieth century. Deluxe large-paper issue, of which 300 numbered copies were printed in red & black on hand-made Zanders watermarked paper by Tiemann-Antiqua von Gebr, the first 100 copies of which were bound in full green morocco, with the remaining 200 copies issued in either quarter morocco and boards or in pale blue boards, as here. Huenich p. 92. Ritzer E9. Rilke's poems, especially his Duino Elegies & Sonnets To Orpheus, are among the most precious legacies of twentieth century literature. The story of the creation of Rilke's two masterpieces is legendary: how the first words came to him in the sea wind on the rocks outside Duino Castle in 1912; & how, after a hiatus of ten years, Rilke completed not only the Duino Elegies, only two of which had been written at the time, but wrote the entire fifty-nine Sonnets To Orpheus within the space of a month in Muzot, Switzerland, in 1922. To those for whom poetry has long ceased to be the fatuous rhetoric of public performance, the compelling intimacy of Rilke's poems represents the true essence of poetry. As Robert Hass has written: That voice of Rilke's poems, calling us out of ourselves, or calling us into the deepest places in ourselves, is very near to what people mean by poetry. (Looking For Rilke). As William Gass, the most recent translator & guide to Rilke, put it: ... his work has taught me what real art ought to be; how it can matter to a life through its lifetime; how commitment can course like blood through the body of your words until the writing stirs, rises, opens its eyes; and, finally, because his work allows me to measure what we call achievement: how tall he is, how small mine. - Reading Rilke (N. Y.: 1999). Spine faded, otherwise a very good copy, in partially faded slipcase with some splitting at edges. Large 4to, original pale blue boards with printed label on upper cover, publisher's card slipcase with printed label.