Letter to the unknown woman across the street, I Curtains, blinds, draperies, shades, no, nothing
Madame, to conceal from your Cyclops’ eye
in the shadows from which it spies on me
this long pale body, false corpse tired out
with debauchery, which is swooning too
before your balcony, with your drying
stockings and scanties of a nun at bay—
poisonous flowers for a lonely man
whom death panics, draws erect, demarrows
in the night, riveted to your white thighs.
Readers who denounce most contemporary French poetry as self-referential experimentation, word games, exercises in deconstruction, or other kinds of incomprehensible writing disconnected from everyday life—brace yourselves for a revelation. Erotic and urbane, distinguished by formal skill yet marked by the subtlest shades of feeling, Guy Goffette’s unabashedly lyrical poems pay homage to both Verlaine and Rimbaud, whom he counts as his important forbears, with echoes of Auden and Pound, Pavese and Borges.
In Charlestown Blues, poet and translator Marilyn Hacker has chosen a tightly thematic selection of poems, all centering around the notion of “blue”—the color and the emotion, as well as that quintessentially American style of musical performance. Hacker’s crystalline and musical English renderings will show Anglophones why Goffette is considered one of the most important poets writing in French today.
Thanks to her acclaimed volume of poetry and prose published in France in 1555, Louise Labé (1522-66) remains one of the most important and influential women writers of the Continental Renaissance. Best known for her exquisite collection of love sonnets, Labé played off the Petrarchan male tradition with wit and irony, and her elegies respond with lyric skill to predecessors such as Sappho and Ovid. The first complete bilingual edition of this singular and broad-ranging female author, Complete Poetry and Prose also features the only translations of Labé's sonnets to follow the exacting rhyme patterns of the originals and the first rhymed translation of Labé's elegies in their entirety.
The Duino Elegies are the culmination of the development of Rilke's poetry. A summary of his spiritual troubles, perhaps no volume of poems in a European language has made so dramatic and sustained an impact on English-speaking readers in this century.
This pioneering book is the first bilingual analysis of Isaac Edward Salkinson’s nineteenth-century translations into Hebrew of Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Lily Kahn shows how Salkinson’s translations are replete with biblical, rabbinic, and medieval Hebrew textual references. The volume includes the full Hebrew texts of both plays alongside a complete English back-translation and paired with Kahn’s commentary examining the array of Hebrew sources and allusions that Salkinson incorporates. The edition also contains an introduction to Jewish reception of Shakespeare in Central and Eastern Europe and a survey of Salkinson’s biography and his translation strategies.
One of the first pastoral dramas published by an Italian woman, Flori is Maddalena Campiglia's most substantial surviving literary work and one of the earliest known examples of secular dramatic writing by a woman in Europe.
Although acclaimed in her day, Campiglia (1553-95) has not benefited from the recent wave of scholarship that has done much to enhance the visibility and reputation of contemporaries such as Isabella Andreini, Moderata Fonte, and Veronica Franco. As this bilingual, first-ever critical edition of Flori illustrates, this neglect is decidedly unwarranted. Flori is a work of great literary and cultural interest, noteworthy in particular for the intensity of its focus on the experiences and perceptions of its female protagonists and their ideals of female autonomy. Flori will be read by those involved in the study of early modern literature and drama, women's studies, and the study of gender and sexuality in this period.
While living in exile with his family on the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, Victor Hugo wrote some of his greatest poetry and prose, including Les Misérables and two epic poems: Dieu and La Fin de Satan. Dieu pictures the imaginary search for God by a nameless protagonist, who must face the possibility of failure in this quest. La Fin de Satan, an indictment of prison, war, and capital punishment, depicts an attempt at reconciliation between good and evil.
This book brings together abbreviated editions of these two book-length poems—unfinished and unpublished at the time of the author’s death—comprised of selections that capture their visionary and mystical essence. The poems are accompanied by an introduction framing them within the author’s experience as an exile and tracing their publication history.
Victor Hugo is one of the most important figures in the history of French literature, and this beautifully rendered translation brings two of his lesser-known works deservedly to the forefront.
HEY YO! YO SOY! 40 YEARS OF NUYORICAN STREET POETRY, A BILINGUAL EDITION is a 386-page collection, comprised of three previously published books, CASTING LONG SHADOWS (1970), HAVE YOU SEEN LIBERATION (1971), and STREET POETRY & OTHER POEMS (1972), that consist of stories about growing up Puerto Rican in New York City's El Barrio. Melendez has long been considered one of the founders of the Nuyorican Movement and the political, intellectual and linguistic topics he approaches in his work remain extremely relevant to this day.
In a culture where poetry is considered the highest form of human language, Gendun Chopel is revered as Tibet’s greatest modern poet. Born in 1903 as British troops were preparing to invade his homeland, Gendun Chopel was identified at any early age as the incarnation of a famous lama and became a Buddhist monk, excelling in the debating courtyards of the great monasteries of Tibet. At the age of thirty-one, he gave up his monk’s vows and set off for India, where he would wander, often alone and impoverished, for over a decade. Returning to Tibet, he was arrested by the government of the young Dalai Lama on trumped-up charges of treason, emerging from prison three years later a broken man. He died in 1951 as troops of the People’s Liberation Army marched into Lhasa.
Throughout his life, from his childhood to his time in prison, Gendun Chopel wrote poetry that conveyed the events of his remarkable life. In the Forest of Faded Wisdom is the first comprehensive collection of his oeuvre in any language, assembling poems in both the original Tibetan and in English translation. A master of many forms of Tibetan verse, Gendun Chopel composed heartfelt hymns to the Buddha, pithy instructions for the practice of the dharma, stirring tributes to the Tibetan warrior-kings, cynical reflections on the ways of the world, and laments of a wanderer, forgotten in a foreign land. These poems exhibit the technical skill—wordplay, puns, the ability to evoke moods of pathos and irony—for which Gendun Chopel was known and reveal the poet to be a consummate craftsman, skilled in both Tibetan and Indian poetics. With a directness and force often at odds with the conventions of belles lettres, this is a poetry that is at once elegant and earthy. In the Forest of Faded Wisdom is a remarkable introduction to Tibet’s sophisticated poetic tradition and its most intriguing twentieth-century writer.
Although the troubadours flourished at the height of the Middle Ages in southern France, their songs of romantic love, with pleasing melodies and intricate stanzaic patterns, have inspired poets and song writers ever since, from Dante to Chaucer, from Renaissance sonneteers to the Romantics, and from Verlaine and Rimbaud to modern rock lyricists. Yet despite the incontrovertible influence of the troubadours on the development of both poetry and music in the West, there existed no comprehensive anthology of troubadour lyrics that respected the verse form of the originals until now.
Lark in the Morning honors the meter, word play, punning, and sound effects in the troubadours' works while celebrating the often playful, bawdy, and biting nature of the material. Here, Robert Kehew augments his own verse translations with those of two seminal twentieth-century poets—Ezra Pound and W. D. Snodgrass—to provide a collection that captures both the poetic pyrotechnics of the original verse and the astonishing variety of troubadour voices. This bilingual edition contains an introduction to the three major periods of the troubadours—their beginning, rise, and decline—as well as headnotes that briefly put each poet in context. Lark in the Morning will become an essential collection for those interested in learning about and teaching the origins of Western vernacular poetry.
Internationally known during her lifetime, Laura Battiferra (1523-89) was a gifted and prolific poet in Renaissance Florence. The author of nearly 400 sonnets remarkable for their subtlety, intricate narrative structure, and learned allusions, Battiferra, who was married to the prominent sculptor and architect Bartolomeo Ammannati, traversed an elite literary and artistic network, circulating her verse in a complex and intellectually fecund exchange with some of the most illustrious figures in Italian history. In this bilingual anthology, Victoria Kirkham gathers Battiferra's most essential writing, including newly discovered poems, which provide modern readers with a valuable social chronicle of sixteenth-century Italy and the courtly culture of the Counter-Reformation.
A musician, musicologist, and self-defined “poet of research,” Amelia Rosselli (1930–96) was one of the most important poets to emerge from Europe in the aftermath of World War II. Following a childhood and adolescence spent in exile from Fascist Italy between France, England, and the United States, Rosselli was driven to express the hopes and devastations of the postwar epoch through her demanding and defamiliarizing lines. Rosselli’s trilingual body of work synthesizes a hybrid literary heritage stretching from Dante and the troubadours through Ezra Pound and John Berryman, in which playful inventions across Italian, English, and French coexist with unadorned social critique. In a period dominated by the confessional mode, Rosselli aspired to compose stanzas characterized by a new objectivity and collective orientation, “where the I is the public, where the I is things, where the I is the things that happen.” Having chosen Italy as an “ideal fatherland,” Rosselli wrote searching and often discomposing verse that redefined the domain of Italian poetics and, in the process, irrevocably changed the Italian language.
This collection, the first to bring together a generous selection of her poems and prose in English and in translation, is enhanced by an extensive critical introduction and notes by translator Jennifer Scappettone. Equipping readers with the context for better apprehending Rosselli’s experimental approach to language, Locomotrix seeks to introduce English-language readers to the extraordinary career of this crucial, if still eclipsed, voice of the twentieth century.
A schoolteacher whose poetry catapulted her to early fame in her native Chile and an international diplomat whose boundary-defying sexuality still challenges scholars, Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957) is one of the most important and enigmatic figures in Latin American literature of the last century. The Locas mujeres poems collected here are among Mistral’s most complex and compelling, exploring facets of the self in extremis—poems marked by the wound of blazing catastrophe and its aftermath of mourning.
From disquieting humor to balladlike lyricism to folkloric wisdom, these pieces enact a tragic sense of life, depicting “madwomen” who are anything but mad. Strong and intensely human, Mistral’s poetic women confront impossible situations to which no sane response exists. This groundbreaking collection presents poems from Mistral’s final published volume as well as new editions of posthumous work, featuring the first English-language appearance of many essential poems. Madwomen promises to reveal a profound poet to a new generation of Anglophone readers while reacquainting Spanish readers with a stranger, more complicated “madwoman” than most have ever known.
Milestones: A Bilingual Edition
Marina Tsvetaeva, translated from the Russian by Robin Kemball Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PG3476.T75V413 2003 | Dewey Decimal 891.7142
Milestones is an apt title for this collection, for the eighty-four poems within show a poet passing from mere talent into mastery of her craft. Composed between January and December of 1916, these poems find the twenty-four year-old Tsvetaeva thirsting for the fullness of life while at the same time contemplating the inevitability of death--a theme she was to revisit many times in her career. Tsvetaeva's work of the time also reflects her knowledge of (and pride in) her native culture, especially the centrality of Moscow as the ultimate destination of all Russians. Throughout the verse she opens up to the sensual wonders of nature--sky, forest, wind, and not least her beloved daughter Alya, who would come to figure greatly in the work and legacy of her mother.
Milestones lays out a sensual feast of moods, themes, styles, and rhythms--all the ingredients that would in time reveal Tsvetaeva as one of the most daring and original poets of her time.
New Poems (1907-1908) represented a departure for Rilke from the traditional German lyric poetry of which he was then considered a master. Apparent in the poems is the influence of Rodin--for whom Rilke had worked--as well as other visual artists, including Hokusai, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Rilke forced language to extremes of subtlety and refinement that only now, in Stephen Cohn's translations, is being captured properly in English.
North in the World presents 121 poems by Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994), one of Norway's greatest modern poets. Garnering the highest praise of critics, Jacobsen won many of Norway's and Sweden's most prestigious literary awards, including the Swedish Academy's Dobloug Prize and the Grand Nordic Prize, also known as the "Little Nobel." But he also has earned a wide popular audience, because ordinary readers can understand and enjoy the way he explores the complex counterpoint of nature and technology, progress and self-destruction, daily life and cosmic wonder.
Drawing from all twelve of his books, and including one poem collected posthumously, North in the World offers award-winning English translations of Jacobsen's poems, accompanied by the original Norwegian texts. The translator, the American poet Roger Greenwald, worked with Jacobsen himself to correct errors that had crept into the Norwegian texts over the years. An in-depth introduction by Greenwald highlights the main features of Jacobsen's poetry, and extensive endnotes, as well as indexes to titles and first lines in both languages, enhance the usefulness of the book for general readers and scholars alike. The result is the definitive bilingual edition of Jacobsen's marvelous poetry.
French poet Paul Verlaine, a major representative of the Symbolist Movement during the latter half of the nineteenth century, was one of the most gifted and prolific poets of his time. Norman Shapiro's superb translations display Verlaine's ability to transform into timeless verse the essence of everyday life and make evident the reasons for his renown in France and throughout the Western world.
"Shapiro's skillfully rhymed formal translations are outstanding." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Best Book of 1999"
"Paul Verlaine's rich, stylized, widely-variable oeuvre can now be traced through his thirty years of published volumes, from 1866 to 1896, in a set of luminous new translations by Norman Shapiro. . . . [His] unique translations of this whimsical, agonized music are more than adequate to bring the multifarious Verlaine to a new generation of English speakers." —Genevieve Abravanel, Harvard Review
"Shapiro demonstrates his phenomenal ability to find new rhymes and always follows Verlaine's rhyme schemes." —Carrol F. Coates, ATA Chronicle
Appearing for the first time outside of Cuba, this bold collection of short stories provides an intimate and critical view of Afro-Cuba. Inés María Martiatu’s stories—presented in a unique "split" English/Spanish edition—span postcolonial Cuba of the early twentieth century, the First Republic, the “victorious revolution,” and contemporary life in the streets of Havana. Taking real risks as an Afro-Cubana, Martiatu confronts conflicts about identity, race, marginalization, and discrimination.
The history of the Caribbean, as part of the African diaspora, is reflected in the textures of life in Cuba, its music, rituals and myths, the Church and Santería, past and present. While race is unquestionably fundamental to the stories, they are at the same time rooted in the universality of the human experience. The vantage is that of an unflinching, yet compassionate observer of society—one who simultaneously turns an introspective mirror on the complicated layers of self.
A comprehensive English-language edition of verse by the Austrian poet
An undeniable aura surrounds the name of Georg Trakl, a poet of intense inner vision and originality whose work stands alongside that of Yeats, Valéry, and T. S. Eliot. Besides Rilke, his more famous admirers include Karl Kraus and Martin Heidegger. The distinctive tone of Trakl's work-especially admired by his patron Ludwig Wittgenstein-is autumnal and melancholy. Trakl was writing at a time of spiritual and social disintegration on the eve of the First World War, when personal values and perceptions tended to be subsumed in a more generalized anguish and exaltation. Neo-romantic, early modernist, his rich, vitally sensuous poetry can be seen to mark the transition from impressionism to expressionism, but at the same time transcends such categories. Trakl's poetry has previously only been available in English in short selections or in anthologies. This bilingual edition, the most comprehensive to date, gives readers the chance to get to know Trakl's work more fully than ever before.
The enfant terrible of French letters, Jean-Nicholas-Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) was a defiant and precocious youth who wrote some of the most remarkable prose and poetry of the nineteenth century, all before leaving the world of verse by the age of twenty-one. More than a century after his death, the young rebel-poet continues to appeal to modern readers as much for his turbulent life as for his poetry; his stormy affair with fellow poet Paul Verlaine and his nomadic adventures in eastern Africa are as iconic as his hallucinatory poems and symbolist prose.
The first translation of the poet's complete works when it was published in 1966, Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Letters introduced a new generation of Americans to the alienated genius—among them the Doors's lead singer Jim Morrison, who wrote to translator Wallace Fowlie to thank him for rendering the poems accessible to those who "don't read French that easily." Forty years later, the book remains the only side-by-side bilingual edition of Rimbaud's complete poetic works.
Thoroughly revising Fowlie's edition, Seth Whidden has made changes on virtually every page, correcting errors, reordering poems, adding previously omitted versions of poems and some letters, and updating the text to reflect current scholarship; left in place are Fowlie's literal and respectful translations of Rimbaud's complex and nontraditional verse. Whidden also provides a foreword that considers the heritage of Fowlie's edition and adds a bibliography that acknowledges relevant books that have appeared since the original publication. On its fortieth anniversary, Rimbaud remains the most authoritative—and now, completely up-to-date—edition of the young master's entire poetic ouvre.
A contemporary of Giordano Bruno and Galileo, Tommaso Campanella (1568–1639) was a controversial philosopher, theologian, astrologer, and poet who was persecuted during the Inquisition and spent much of his adult life imprisoned because of his heterodox views. He is best known today for two works: The City of the Sun, a dialogue inspired by Plato’s Republic, in which he prophesies a vision of a unified, peaceful world governed by a theocratic monarchy; and his well-meaning Defense of Galileo, which may have done Galileo more harm than good because of Campanella’s previous conviction for heresy.
But Campanella’s philosophical poems are where his most forceful and undiluted ideas reside. His poetry is where his faith in observable and experimental sciences, his astrological and occult wisdom, his ideas about deism, his anti-Aristotelianism, and his calls for religious and secular reform most put him at odds with both civil and church authorities. For this volume, Sherry Roush has selected Campanella’s best and most idiosyncratic poems, which are masterpieces of sixteenth-century Italian lyrics, displaying a questing mind of great, if unorthodox, brilliance, and showing Campanella’s passionate belief in the intrinsic harmony between the sacred and secular.
Madeleine de l’Aubespine (1546–1596), the toast of courtly and literary circles in sixteenth-century Paris, penned beautiful love poems to famous women of her day. The well-connected daughter and wife of prominent French secretaries of state, l’Aubespine was celebrated by her male peers for her erotic lyricism and scathingly original voice.
Rather than adopt the conventional self-effacement that defined female poets of the time, l’Aubespine’s speakers are sexual, dominant, and defiant; and her subjects are women who are able to manipulate, rebuke, and even humiliate men.
Unavailable in English until now and only recently identified from scattered and sometimes misattributed sources, l’Aubespine’s poems and literary works are presented here in Anna Klosowska’s vibrant translation. This collection, which features one of the first French lesbian sonnets as well as reproductions of l’Aubespine’s poetic translations of Ovid and Ariosto, will be heralded by students and scholars in literature, history, and women’s studies as an important addition to the Renaissance canon.
In a masterly translation by Norman Shapiro, this selection of poems from Les Fleurs du mal demonstrates the magnificent range of Baudelaire's gift, from the exquisite quatrains to the formal challenges of his famous sonnets. The poems are presented in both French and English, complemented by the work of illustrator David Schorr. As much a pleasure to look at as it is to read, this volume invites newcomers and devotees alike to experience Baudelaire's genius anew.
"A fine, formal translation of the best poems of France's founder of the symbolist movement."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"It's rare to find a rewarding translation of a masterwork, particularly a collection of groundbreaking poetry. . . . Through Shapiro's skillful wordsmithing, the reader can fully appreciate Baudelaire's control of the soul and the word which is the ancient and indefatigable ambition of all great poets. . . . Shapiro's interpretations set the standard for future English translations."—Virginia Quarterly Review
Garcilaso de la Vega (ca. 1501–36), a Castilian nobleman and soldier at the court of Charles V, lived a short but glamorous life. As the first poet to make the Italian Renaissance lyric style at home in Spanish, he is credited with beginning the golden age of Spanish poetry. Known for his sonnets and pastorals, gracefully depicting beauty and love while soberly accepting their passing, he is shown here also as a calm student of love’s psychology and a critic of the savagery of war.
This bilingual volume is the first in nearly two hundred years to fully represent Garcilaso for an Anglophone readership. In facing-page translations that capture the music and skill of Garcilaso’s verse, John-Dent Young presents the sonnets, songs, elegies, and eclogues that came to influence generations of poets, including San Juan de la Cruz, Luis de Leon, Cervantes, and Góngora. The Selected Poems of Garcilaso de la Vega will help to explain to the English-speaking public this poet’s preeminence in the pantheon of Spanish letters.
Regarded as one of Europe’s most important poets of the late nineteenth century, Jacint Verdaguer (1845–1902) provided the modern poetic foundations for the reemergence of Catalan literature after three centuries of the language’s suppression by Spain’s absolutist monarchs. Verdaguer’s popular epic, civil, and religious verse poeticized the unique status of Catalonian tradition, progress, and history in the Romantic framework of European nation-building.
Selected Poems is the first book-length translation of Verdaguer’s works into English. Ronald Puppo offers readable and faithful verse adaptations of poetry from all periods of the poet-priest’s life, from his days as a seminary student and farmhand to his journeys as a ship’s chaplain and eventual spiritual crisis. These adroit translations will recover Verdaguer as a major figure in the modern literary tradition of the West, restoring him to the pantheon of world letters.
Making Luis de Góngora’s work available to contemporary English-language readers without denying his historical context, Selected Poems of Luis de Góngora presents him as not only one of the greatest and most complex poets of his time, but also the funniest and most charismatic. From longer works, such as “The Fable of Polyphemus and Galatea,” to shorter ballads, songs, and sonnets, John Dent-Young’s free translations capture Góngora’s intensely musical voice and transmit the individuality and self-assuredness of the poet. Substantial introductions and extensive notes provide personal and historical context, explain the ubiquitous puns and erotic innuendo, and discuss translation choices. A significant edition of this seminal and challenging poet, Selected Poems of Luis de Góngora will find an eager audience among students of poetry and scholars studying the history and literature of Spain.
In the Spanish-speaking world, Miguel Hernández is regarded as one of the most important poets of the twentieth century-equal in distinction to Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz. He has never received his just acclaim, however, in the English-speaking world, a victim of the artistic oppression exercised during the period of Francisco Franco's totalitarian regime. Determined to silence the writer Neruda fondly referred to as his "wonderful boy," Franco sentenced Hernández to death, citing as his crime only that he was "poet and soldier to the mother country." Despite the fact that complete and accurate versions of his work were difficult to obtain even in Spanish for nearly fifty years, Hernández went on to achieve legendary status.
Now, for the first time, Ted Genoways makes Hernández's extraordinary oeuvre available in an authoritative bilingual edition. Featuring some of the most tender and vigorous poetry on war, death, and social injustice written in the past century, nearly half of the poems in this volume appear in English for the first time, making it the most comprehensive bilingual collection of Hernández's work available. Arranged chronologically, The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández presents Hernández's remarkable emotional range as well as his stylistic evolution from the Romantic shepherd poet to poet of the prison cell. Thorough annotations and introductory essays illuminate the biographical basis for many of Hernández's poems, while a foreword by Robert Bly and an afterword by Octavio Paz provide a striking frame for the work of this essential poet.
"What a victory it is to watch springing forth from our murky thicket of half-commercialized poetry the silver boar of Hernández's words-to see the world of paper part so as to allow the language tusks and shoulders to emerge, shining, pressed forward by his genius. This generous selection of Miguel Hernández's work, arranged, shepherded, and largely translated by Ted Genoways, is an immense gift for which all of us should be grateful."-from the Foreword by Robert Bly
"To gather Hernández's poetry in such a large volume is to bring one of the 20th century's most important poets to life again. Without Hernandez, the world community of poetry would not be what it is today. The Selected Poems must be read if vital poetry is to continue another 100 years, with Hernández's voice as a cherished example of why great poetry is timeless."—Ray González, Bloomsbury Review
"As Philip Levine write in The Kenyon Review, Hernández is 'one of the great talents of the century,' and this collection is a good place to discover (or rediscover) his moving verses."—Virginia Quarterly Review
"Vivid, often volatile imagery describes wrenching emotions and events in The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández: A Bilingual Edition. . . . Raw, passionate, despairing and celebratory, these poems are a true discovery."—Publishers Weekly
"Arranged in three chronological sections, the poems presented are not the complete works, but they are a large and representative sampling of the best. This is certainly the most comprehensive bilingual edition of Hernández's poetry available. In addition to the poems, the editor includes eight illustrations, important prefatory materials, and a short list of references, and an epilogue by Octavio Paz."—Choice
Although best known as the author of Notre Dame de Paris and Les Misérables, Victor Hugo was primarily a poet—one of the most important and prolific in French history. Despite his renown, however, there are few comprehensive collections of his verse available and even fewer translated editions.
Translators E. H. and A. M. Blackmore have collected Victor Hugo's essential verse into a single, bilingual volume that showcases all the facets of Hugo's oeuvre, including intimate love poems, satires against the political establishment, serene meditations, religious verse, and narrative poems illustrating his mastery of the art of storytelling and his abiding concern for the social issues of his time. More than half of this volume's eight thousand lines of verse appear here for the first time in English, providing readers with a new perspective on each of the fascinating periods of Hugo's career and aspects of his style. Introductions to each section guide the reader through the stages of Hugo's writing, while notes on individual poems provide information not found in even the most detailed French-language editions.
Illustrated with Hugo's own paintings and drawings, this lucid translation—available on the eve of Hugo's bicentenary—pays homage to this towering figure of nineteenth-century literature by capturing the energy of his poetry, the drama and satirical force of his language, and the visionary beauty of his writing as a whole.
Chiara Matraini (1515–1604?) was a member of the great flowering of poetic imitators and innovators in the Italian literary heritage begun by Petrarch, cultivated later by the lyric poet Pietro Bembo, and supplanted by the epic poet Torquato Tasso. Though without formal training, Matraini excelled in a number of literary genres popular at the time—poetry, religious meditation, discourse, and dialogue. In her midlife, she published a collection of erotic love poetry, but later in life her work shifted toward a search for spiritual salvation. Near the end of her life, she published a new poetry retrospective.
Mostly available in only a handful of rare book collections, her writings are now adeptly translated here for an English-speaking audience and situated historically in an introduction by noted Matraini expert Giovanna Rabitti. Selected Poetry and Prose allows the poet to finally take her place as one of the seminal authors of the Renaissance, next to her contemporaries Vittoria Colonna and Laura Battiferra, also published in the Other Voice series.
Andrea Zanzotto is widely considered Italy’s most influential living poet. The first comprehensive collection in thirty years to translate this master European poet for an English-speaking audience, The Selected Poetry and Prose of Andrea Zanzotto includes the very best poems from fourteen of his major books of verse and a selection of thirteen essays that helps illuminate themes in his poetry as well as elucidate key theoretical underpinnings of his thought. Assembled with the collaboration of Zanzotto himself and featuring a critical introduction, thorough annotations, and a generous selection of photographs and art, this volume brings an Italian master to vivid life for American readers.
“Now, in [this book], American readers can get a just sense of [Zanzotto’s] true range and extraordinary originality.”—Eric Ormsby, New York Sun
“What I love here is the sense of a voice directly speaking. Throughout these translations, indeed from early to late, the great achievement seems to be the way they achieve a sense of urgent address.”—Eamon Grennan, American Poet
One of the most important Italian poets of the last century, Vittorio Sereni (1913–83) wrote with a historical awareness unlike that of any of his contemporaries. A poet of both personal and political responsibility, his work sensitively explores life under fascism, military defeat and imprisonment, and the resurgence of extreme right-wing politics, as well as the roles played by love and friendship in the survival of humanity.
The first substantial translation of Sereni’s oeuvre published anywhere in the world, The Selected Poetry and Prose of Vittorio Sereni is a unique guide to this twentieth-century poet. A bilingual edition, reissued in paperback for the poet’s centenary, it collects Sereni’s poems, criticism, and short fiction with a full chronology, commentary, bibliography, and learned introduction by British poet and scholar Peter Robinson.
Francisco de Quevedo (1580–1645), one of the greatest poets of the Spanish Golden Age, was the master of the baroque style known as “conceptismo,” a complex form of expression fueled by elaborate conceits and constant wordplay as well as ethical and philosophical concerns. Although scattered translations of his works have appeared in English, there is currently no comprehensive collection available that samples each of the genres in which Quevedo excelled—metaphysical and moral poetry, grave elegies and moving epitaphs, amorous sonnets and melancholic psalms, playful romances and profane burlesques.
In this book, Christopher Johnson gathers together a generous selection of forty-six poems—in bilingual Spanish-English format on facing pages—that highlights the range of Quevedo’s technical expertise and themes. Johnson’s ingenious solutions to rendering the difficult seventeenth-century Spanish into poetic English will be invaluable to students and scholars of European history, literature, and translation, as well as poetry lovers wishing to reacquaint themselves with an old master.
Most people outside Italy know Pier Paolo Pasolini for his films, many of which began as literary works—Arabian Nights, The Gospel According to Matthew, The Decameron, and The Canterbury Tales among them. What most people are not aware of is that he was primarily a poet, publishing nineteen books of poems during his lifetime, as well as a visual artist, novelist, playwright, and journalist. Half a dozen of these books have been excerpted and published in English over the years, but even if one were to read all of those, the wide range of poetic styles and subjects that occupied Pasolini during his lifetime would still elude the English-language reader.
For the first time, Anglophones will now be able to discover the many facets of this singular poet. Avoiding the tactics of the slim, idiosyncratic, and aesthetically or politically motivated volumes currently available in English, Stephen Sartarelli has chosen poems from every period of Pasolini’s poetic oeuvre. In doing so, he gives English-language readers a more complete picture of the poet, whose verse ranged from short lyrics to longer poems and extended sequences, and whose themes ran not only to the moral, spiritual, and social spheres but also to the aesthetic and sexual, for which he is most known in the United States today. This volume shows how central poetry was to Pasolini, no matter what else he was doing in his creative life, and how poetry informed all of his work from the visual arts to his political essays to his films. Pier Paolo Pasolini was “a poet of the cinema,” as James Ivory says in the book’s foreword, who “left a trove of words on paper that can live on as the fast-deteriorating images he created on celluloid cannot.”
This generous selection of poems will be welcomed by poetry lovers and film buffs alike and will be an event in American letters.
The most important writer in Portuguese history and one of the preeminent European poets of the early modern era, Luís de Camões (1524–80) has been ranked as a sonneteer on par with Petrarch, Dante, and Shakespeare. Championed by such influential English poets as William Blake and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and admired in America by Edgar Allan Poe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Herman Melville, Camões was renowned for his intensely personal sonnets and equally intense adventurous life. He was banished for dueling and brawling at court, lost an eye fighting the Moors in North Africa, was shipwrecked off the coast of India, jailed in Goa, and exiled in Mozambique. Throughout these personal trials, he advanced poetry beyond the Petrarchin model of love won and lost to write of personal despair, history, politics, war, religion, and the natural beauty of Portugal.
The first significant English translation of Camões's sonnets in more than one hundred years, Selected Sonnets: A Bilingual Edition collects seventy of Camões's best—all musically rendered into contemporary, yet metrical and rhymed, English-language poetry by William Baer, with the original Portuguese on facing pages—and reintroduces the genius of a poet whom Cervantes called "the incomparable treasure of Lusus." A comprehensive selection of sonnets that demonstrates the full range of Camões's interests and invention, Selected Sonnets will prove indespensible for both students and teachers in comparative and Renaissance literature, Portuguese and Spanish history, and the art of literary translation.
Marguerite de Navarre (1492–1549) was the sister and wife to kings and a pivotal influence in sixteenth-century France. An astute politician and diligent humanist, she was a champion of gender equality and the evangelical reform movement, which recognized that the clergy was more concerned with maintaining the church’s power than ministering to the faithful. As the years passed and the glitter of life at court waned, however, Marguerite came to realize her true vocation: writing. Selected Writings brings together a representative sampling of Marguerite’s varied writings, most of it never before translated into English, enabling Anglophone readers to enjoy the full breadth of her work for the first time. From verse letters and fables to mythological-pastoral tales, from spiritual songs to a selection of novellas from the Heptameron, the wide range of works included here will reveal Marguerite de Navarre to be one of the most important writers—male or female—of sixteenth-century France.
Standing against the visible landscape—the mountainous volcanoes, the jungles and savannahs—the seven trees conjured in these narrative poems by one of Latin America's masters also evoke another, more mysterious terrain. It is this other landscape, as invisible as poetry before it is written down but etched by history and animated by the collective memory of a people, that speaks through Pablo Antonio Cuadra’s Seven Trees against the Dying Light.
Storing experience as they exist, these tree-poems conserve local soil and memory in the place they inhabit. They are figures of life, stained by seawater and gun powder, by the bright red, bittersweet juice of the many life-giving plums that flourish in Nicaragua, and blood that has been spilled there. And they offer a way of remembering who we are, where we come from, and, above all, where we are bound if we cannot learn to root language in the earth that sustains us.
Printed here in Spanish with facing English translations, the edition includes an introduction with ecocritical focus, as well as complete notes on botanical, historical, mythological, and socio-political references.
Six Vietnamese Poets brings together for the first time the works of six writers, three women and three men, who came of age during the American War in Vietnam. In their verse, contemporary readers discover the richness and diversity of Vietnamese life and literature from a bold range of poetic styles, from free verse to romantic lyric to traditional classic Vietnamese forms. This bilingual edition features poets from North and South, men and women, combat soldiers and poet-soldiers writing of life in Vietnam through the turbulent final four decades of the twentieth century.
Speaking to the Heart
After a long night up writing poems,
a streak of sunlight leapt into my room.
I ran to the yard,
running as if I were a child,
footprints breaking the earth's first dew,
chest brushing softly the short grass.
Earth and sky seeped into me like wine.
I saw my heart in the shape of a ploughshare<
resting on the earth's shoulder,
the heart thumping, steadily ploughing into time.
In her fourth book of poems, Mexican-born Olivia Maciel lyrically evokes another America. She writes with the critical and contemplative eye of a poet, revealing mystery and beauty in places dark and light, near and far. The richly allusive language of Sombra en plata / Shadow in Silver is a terrain at times steep, fevered, and sensual: a harmony of words scented of earth and sky. Her poems are catalysts for transformation, challenging the reader with a vision of a world where myth and the quotidian are intimately intertwined. Exploring complex and unpredictable landscapes, Maciel is both a guide and fellow traveler on a fascinating journey through memories and emotions. Maciel eloquently draws from both collective and personal histories, and this new bilingual compilation will be a pleasure to turn to again and again.
The most published and lauded woman writer of early sixteenth-century Italy, Vittoria Colonna (1490–1547) in effect defined what was the "acceptable" face of female authorship for her time. Hailed by the generation's leading male literati as an equal, she was praised both for her impeccable command of Petrarchan style and for the unimpeachable chastity and piety of the persona she promoted through her literary works.
This book presents for the very first time a body of Colonna's verse that reveals much about her poetic aims and outlook, while also casting new light on one of the most famous friendships of the age. Sonnets for Michelangelo, originally presented in manuscript form to her close friend Michelangelo Buonarroti as a personal gift, illustrates the striking beauty and originality of Colonna's mature lyric voice and distinguishes her as a poetic innovator who would be widely imitated by female writers in Italy and Europe in the sixteenth century. After three centuries of relative neglect, this new edition promises to restore Colonna to her rightful place at the forefront of female cultural production in the Renaissance.
Born into a wealthy family in Toulouse, Gabrielle de Coignard (ca. 1550-86) married a prominent statesman in 1570. Widowed three years later, with two young daughters to raise, Coignard turned to writing devotional verse to help her cope with her practical and spiritual struggles.
Spiritual Sonnets presents the first English translation of 129 of Coignard's highly autobiographical poems, giving us a startlingly intimate view into the life and mind of this Renaissance woman. The sonnets are all written "in the shadow of the Cross" and include elegies, penitential lyrics, Biblical meditations, and more. Rich with emotion, Coignard's poems reveal anguished moments of loneliness and grief as well as ecstatic experiences of mystical union. They also reveal her mastery of sixteenth-century literary conventions and spiritual traditions.
This edition, printed in bilingual format with Melanie E. Gregg's translations facing the French originals, will be welcomed by teachers and students of poetry, French literature, women's studies, and religious and Renaissance studies.
Milo De Angelis, born in 1951, is one of the most important living Italian poets. With this volume, Susan Stewart and Patrizio Ceccagnoli bring to English readers for the first time a facing-page edition of his most recent work: his book-length elegy, Theme of Farewell, and the subsequent poems of That Wandering in the Darkness of Courtyards. These two books form a sequence narrating the illness and premature death, in 2003, of the poet’s wife, the writer Giovanna Sicari, a celebrated poet in her own right; they also trace De Angelis’s turn from grief, through time, back to the world. Immediate, perceptive, and woven from the fabric of everyday life in contemporary Milan, the poems never depart from universal human emotions of despair and awakening. Throughout his long career, De Angelis has renewed lyric poetry with the sheer intensity of his forms and insights, and the volumes offered here have won some of the most important Italian literary awards, including the coveted Premio Viareggio.
These inexorable and beautifully crafted translations will be of interest to scholars of contemporary Italian literature, students of contemporary poetry and literary translation, and those who work in comparative literature. Above all, they are bound to speak to any reader in search of a poet writing at the height of his powers of expression.
During a pivotal point in Spanish history, aristocrat María de Guevara (?–1683) produced two extraordinary essays that appealed for strong leadership, protested political corruption, and demanded the inclusion of women in the court’s decision making. “Treaty” gave Philip IV practical suggestions for fighting the war against Portugal and “Disenchantments” counseled the king-to-be, Charles II, on strategies to raise the country’s status in Europe. This annotated bilingual edition, featuring Nieves Romero-Díaz’s adroit translation, reproduces Guevara’s polemics for the first time.
Guevara’s provocative writings call on Spanish women to bear the responsibility equally with men for restoring Spain’s power in Europe and elsewhere. The collection also includes examples of Guevara’s shorter writings that exemplify her ability to speak on matters of state, network with dignitaries, and govern family affairs. Witty, ironic, and rhetorically sophisticated, Guevara’s essays provide a fresh perspective on the possibilities for women in the public sphere in seventeenth-century Spain.