A reading and discussion about the centenary celebration about Rainer Maria Rilke and the “Sonnets to Orpheus” is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at Farmington Public Library, 117 Academy St.

As 1922 approached, Rainer Maria Rilke, a German-language poet, had not written much for more than a decade. World War I and the flu pandemic had stifled him, according to a news release on the talk.

But within a month he completed the Duino Elegies, a short book of prose, and the 55 Sonnets to Orpheus. He claimed he didn’t write them, and that they were simply a “hurricane” that swept through him.

John Rosenwald — a local writer, editor, professor, translator, Fulbright Scholar and political activist — spent 50 years transforming the “Sonnets to Orpheus” from German to English.

The Covered Bridge Press has now published his versions in a volume designed by Angela Werner.

Rosenwald will read from the sonnets, comment on the process of their creation and translation, and initiate conversation about their significance for 20th- and 21st-century literature and society. Copies will be available for sale.

For more information, call Jessica Casey, library director, at 207-778-4312.

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