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The Roses

THE ROSES, a series of poems by Rainier Maria Rilke, is a gift of solace offered in a new book by poet, N. M. Hoffman, and painter, Gloria Matuszewski. The book is comprised of Rilke's original French, a new English translation and visual images that heighten the beauty of the text. The many French poems of famed German-language poet Rainer Maria Rilke have been underserved both in French and in translation. This new book, THE ROSES, endeavors to address that for 27 of the poet’s poems originally written in French, here with a new English translation by the poet, N.M. Hoffman. In an age requiring so much of it, Solace is the force that exudes from these poems. It is a kind of Solace that replicates the Solace enforced by Time, but by means of a cinematographic intimacy with the life of the Rose that startles us from our instant grief. The Rose is, after all, close to us at every turn, in every season. The poet takes us by the hand into his garden and there we are mesmerized by the personal life of the Rose, its extraordinary elegance, reticence, exoticism. In contemplating the Being of the Rose, the reader endures a grief subsumed into a process that is primordial, even shamanistic, but which is always the provenance of the poet. ​It is also the provenance of the visual artist who is able to render this intimacy in psychological terms for the mind to grasp through the eyes. In the images supplied for this book by the painter, Gloria Matuszewski, the eerie singularity of the Rose is vivified, a melding of what is spiritual, gestural and contextual. In Matuszewski’s work, the figure of the Rose lives tangentially with everyday life. In this complicity, the images embrace the complexities of Rilke’s Roses and give them a solidity that, with the text, provides a grounding for the exorcism of grief. These images have provided the way forward in understanding the poems and, without them, this book — a tribute and a memorial to those unique individuals we have lost — would never have come into being.

The Roses by Rainer Maria Rilke,  trans. by N.M. Hoffman, paintings by Gloria Matuszewski, designed by Élie Colistro, Paris (NYC) ISBN: 978-1-7354615-0-2

The Chairs

N.M. Hoffman and Gloria Matuszewski continue their collaborations in tandem in this book of poetry and artwork from Kearns, Howard & Walker to be released in early 2023. The Chairs, like their impressive interpretatio of Rainer Maria Rilke’s, The Roses, will be designed by Élie Colistro in France. The Chairs are a departure in spirit and format for Hoffman, who generally writes in a longer idiom. They are a workmanlike visitation of Rilke’s controlled forms in The Roses that simultaneously lean for inspiration into Matuszewski’s commanding paintings devoted to the chair. The new book manifests their exhibitions in course of 25 years, among these in California at The Commonwealth Club and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art and in NYC at The Cornelia Street Café and Jadite Galleries.

The Chairs, poetry by N.M. Hoffman, paintings by Gloria Matuszewski, designed by Élie Colistro, Paris (NYC) ISBN: 978-1-7354615-1-9

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