Absentee Indians and Other Poems evokes personal yet universal experiences of the places that Native Americans call home, their family and national histories, and the emotional forces that help forge Native American identities. These are poems of exile, loss, and the celebration of that which remains. Anchored in the physical landscape, Blaeser’s poetry finds the sacred in those ordinary actions that bind a community together. As Blaeser turns to the mysterious passage from sleeping to wakefulness, or from nature to spirit, she reveals not merely the movement from one age or place to another, but the movement from experience to vision.
Hasan Sijzi, also known as Amir Hasan Sijzi Dehlavi, is considered the originator of the Indo-Persian ghazal, a poetic form that endures to this day—from the legacy of Hasan’s poetic descendent, Hafez, to contemporary Anglophone poets such as John Hollander, Maxine Kumin, Agha Shahid Ali, and W. S. Merwin.
As with other Persian poets, Hasan worked within a highly regulated set of poetic conventions that brought into relief the interpenetration of apparent opposites—metaphysical and material, mysterious and quotidian, death and desire, sacred and profane, fleeting time and eternity. Within these strictures, he crafted a poetics that blended Sufi Islam with non-Muslim Indic traditions. Of the Persian poets practiced the ghazal, Hafez and Rumi are best known to Western readers, but their verse represents only a small fraction of a rich tradition. This collection reveals the geographical range of the literature while introducing an Indian voice that will find a place on reader’s bookshelves alongside better known Iranian names.
Giovanni Marrasio (d. 1452), a humanist poet from Noto in Sicily, spent the major part of his poetic career in Siena and Ferrara before returning to Palermo in the role of a medical doctor serving the University of Palermo. In Siena, Naples, and Palermo he hovered on the edge of the courts of the Este and of Alfonso “the Magnanimous” of Aragon without ever winning the title of court poet he coveted.Marrasio was esteemed in the Renaissance as the first to revive the ancient Latin elegy, and his Angelinetum, or “Angelina’s Garden,” as well as his later poems (Carmina Varia) explore that genre in all its variety, from love poetry, to a description of a court masque, to political panegyric, to poetic exchanges with famous humanists of the day such as Leonardo Bruni, Maffeo Vegio, Antonio Panormita, and Enea Silvio Piccolomini. This volume contains the first translation of Marrasio’s works into any modern language.
Annette Smith and Dominic Thomas’s new translations of Aimé Césaire’s Like a Misunderstood Salvation and Solar Throat Slashed (poems deleted) expose to a new audience a pivotal figure in twentieth-century French literature. This collection presents the early and last stages of a poet’s course, encapsulating in one volume Césaire’s entire literary career and creative evolution as perhaps the only French poet writing simultaneously at the crossroads of the avant-garde and classical movements.
This volume’s inclusion of previously deleted poems from Solar Throat Slashed is politically important; despite their initial exclusion from a French republication of Soleil Cou Coupé in 1961, these thirty-one poems are crucial to understanding Césaire’s legacy and remain of tremendous pertinence today as they provide helpful ways of thinking about and contextualizing discussions on race, identity, global identities, and the links between “black consciousness” and “social consciousness.”
The finest ghazals of Mir Taqi Mir, the most accomplished of Urdu poets.Mir Muhammad Taqi Mir (1723–1810) is widely regarded as the most accomplished poet in the Urdu language. His massive output—six divans—was produced in Delhi and Lucknow during the high tide of Urdu literary culture.Selected Ghazals and Other Poems offers a comprehensive collection of Mir’s finest ghazals, extended lyrics composed of couplets, and of his masnavis, narrative works of a romantic or didactic character. The ghazals celebrate earthly and mystical love through subtle wordplay, vivid descriptions of the beloved, and a powerful individual voice. The sometimes satirical masnavis highlight everyday subjects: domestic pets, monsoon rains, the rigors of travel. They also include two astonishing love stories: one about young men whose relationship is shattered when one marries; the other about a queen, her peacock lover, and the jealous king who seeks to drive them apart.The Urdu text, presented here in the Nastaliq script, accompanies new translations of Mir’s poems, some appearing in English for the first time.
The Sleeping Gypsy is an important collection of poems by an American writer who was only twenty-nine when awarded the coveted Prix de Rome in 1958. When George Garrett’s first collected verse, The Reverend Ghost and Other Poems, appeared in Scribner’s Poets of Today: IV, critics hailed the emergence of an authentic new talent of great promise. Babette Deutsch, writing in the New York Herald Tribune, said, “His poems are short, highly charged, and also, as he intended, clear. They move rapidly, without waste, exhibiting a lively skill and vigor in action.… His sensitive perceptivity makes his thoughtful insights more memorable.” Louise Bogan, writing in the New Yorker, said, “It is good to come upon [in Garrett’s work] an ordered brilliance and effects, long neglected, that link us to the ancient tradition of English ‘song.’”
Readers will find in The Sleeping Gypsy all of the qualities that distinguished Garrett’s earlier collection of verse—the pointed, incisive writing, the abhorrence of “pretty” poetic words, the harsh impact of language that is, at the same time, strangely musical. Many will feel that, in this later work, these qualities have been enhanced and that Garrett’s advancing maturity indicates strongly that his early promise will be richly fulfilled.
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