Alcools: Poems / Edition 1

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Alcools, first published in 1913 and one of the few indispensable books of twentieth- century poetry, provides a key to the century’s history and consciousness. Champion of “cubism”, Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) fashions in verse the sonic equivalent of what Picasso accomplishes in his cubist works: simultaneity. Apollinaire has been so influential that without him there would have been no New York School of poetry and no Beat Movement. This new translation reveals his complex, beautiful, and wholly contemporary poetry. Printed with the original French on facing pages, this is the only version of this seminal work of French Modernism currently available in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Revell Beautiful Shirt buoyantly delivers into English the swift visions and odd, bright beauty of Alcools originally published in 1913, arguably one of this century's most inventive and influential books of poetry. Apollinaire, writes Revell, ``introduced the century to its true self.'' He popularized the term ``surrealism'' and, in poems like the sparkling ``Zone'' and the more magisterial but no less energetic ``The Harvest Month,'' strove to bring a form of cubism to poetry through the use of verbal collage, polyphony and highly extracted urban imagery, all of which later had a profound effect on American Modernism and the Beats. In translations facing the original French, Revell has maintained the deliberate awkwardness of Apollinaire's free verse, his informal slant rhymes and assonance. Contoured and complex, Alcools has aged well, retaining its ability to illuminate the modern experience with rare force and whimsy: ``Listen to me I am the gullet of Paris/ If it pleases me I will swallow all of creation/ Listen to my songs of cosmic drunkenness...'' Aug.
From The Critics
French poetry does not come over very well in English, in what Henry James called 'our own less pensive tongue.' And this I feel is the signal excellence of what Revell does with Alcools as a whole: he translates into a lighter, quicker, more spontaneous tone than we are accustomed to. He parallels the dizzing velocity of Apollinaire's French while remaining legible in English. It is an unfussy version-personal yet not eccentric-that will give readers the chance to taste the source.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819512284
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/1995
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: Trans. from the French
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 185
  • Sales rank: 1,186,367
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

DONALD REVELL recently became Writer-in Residence and Professor of English at the University of Utah. Winner of a Guggenheim and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, his most recent Wesleyan book is Beautiful Shirt (1994).

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Table of Contents

The Alcools of Guillaume Apollinare :Why and Why Not
I. Translator’s Note
2. Zone/Zone
3. Le Pont Mirabeau/ Mirabeau Bridge
4. La Chanson du Mal Aime/ The Song of the Poorly Loved
5. Les Clochiques/ Saffrons
6. Palais/ Palace
7. Chantre/ Singer
8. Crepuscule / Twilight
9. Annie / Annie
10. La Maison des Morts / The House of the Dead
11. Clotilde /Clotilde
12. Cortege / Possession
13. Marizibil / Marizibil
14. Le Voyageur / The Traveler
15. Marie / Marie
16. La Blanche Neige / The White Snow
17. Poeme lu au marriage d’Andre Salmon / Poem Read at the Marriage of Andre Salmon
18. L’Adieu / The Farewell
19. Salome / Salome
20. La Porte / The Door
21. Saltimbanques / Saltimbanques
22. Le Vent Nocturne / The Wind by Night
23. Lul de Faltenin / Lul de Faltenin
24. La Tzigane / The Gypsy
25. Automne / Autumn
26. L’Emigrant de Landor Road / The Emigrant from Landor Road
27. Rosemonde / Rosemonde
28. Le Brasier / The Brazier
29. Rhenanes / Rhenanes
30. Signe / Sign
31. Un Soir / An Evening
31. La Dame / The Lady
32. Les Fiancailles / The Betrothal
33. Clair de Lune / Clair de Lune
34. 1909/ 1909
35. A la Sante / At the Sante
36. Automne Malade / Sickly Autumn
37. Hotels / Hotels
38. Cors de Chasse / Hunting Horns
39. Vendemiaire / The Harvest Month

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