Mary D. Herter Norton

Margaret D. Herter Norton Crena de longh (née Herter; 1894–1985), who was known as Mary D. Herter Norton when she was the co-founder of W. W. Norton & Company, was an American publisher, violinist, and translator. She was known as M. D. Herter Norton for her work as a violinist and translator.[1][2]


Under the name M. D. Herter Norton, she translated from German about a dozen volumes of the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.[3] Norton is noted for her dedication to giving "the closest idiomatic parallel" in her translation of Rilke poems. Among the translators working in her time, she was on the extreme end of being faithful to the "image, symbol, and elements of language" to the loss of the "technical elements of form" that would make a text a "living poems". Instead she offers the reader a literary aid to understand Rilke's words that accompany her line by line translation.[4]

Later life and death

Her second husband, Daniel Crena de longh, was an Executive Director and treasurer of the World Bank.


  1. "Musicology Now: Who Was M. D. Herter Norton?". Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  2. "MARY CRENA DE LONGH IS DEAD". The New York Times. New York, New York. April 20, 1985. p. Arts section. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  3. "Rainer Rilke's Poems in Translation". The New York Times. New York, New York. Feb 19, 1939. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  4. Seidler, Ingo (1980). "The Reluctant Guest: A Critical Appraisal of English Versions of Rilke". Canadian Review of Comparative Literature. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
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