Holthusen, Hans Egon. Rainer Maria Rilke: A Study of His Later Poetry. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1952. Dated but insightful analysis of Rilke’s esoteric later poetry, including Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus. Contains biographical information.
Mandel, Siegfried. Rainer Maria Rilke: The Poetic Instinct. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1965. Reflects a thorough knowledge of Rilke’s craftsmanship and discusses the deeper reality expressed in his works. Contains a bibliography.
Peters, H. F. Rainer Maria Rilke: Masks and the Man. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1960. Shows Rilke’s impact on modern poetry and concludes that the poet consciously tried to express the human predicament of his age by creating new forms, styles, and myths. Contains a chronology of the author’s life.
Pollock-Brodsky, Patricia. Rainer Maria Rilke. Boston: Twayne, 1988. Excellent introductory analysis to the poet’s life and work. Focuses on Rilke’s sensitivity to art, his position as a cosmopolitan within the international culture of Europe at the turn of the century, and the contradictory nature of many aspects of his work and life.
Wood, Frank. Rainer Maria Rilke: The Ring of Forms. New York: Octagon Books, 1970. Detailed discussion of the growth and structure of Rilke’s later poetry. Also discusses the poet’s “inverted Christianity.”