Beginning and End of the Snow: followed by Where the Arrow Falls

Overview

Yves Bonnefoy’s book of poems, Beginning and End of the Snow followed by Where the Arrow Falls, combines two meditations in which the poet’s thoughts and a landscape reflect each other. In the first, the wintry New England landscape he encountered while teaching at Williams College evokes the dance of atoms in the philosophical poem of Lucretius as well as the Christian doctrine of death and resurrection. In the second, Bonnefoy uses the luminous woods of Haute Provence as the setting for a parable of losing ...
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Overview

Yves Bonnefoy’s book of poems, Beginning and End of the Snow followed by Where the Arrow Falls, combines two meditations in which the poet’s thoughts and a landscape reflect each other. In the first, the wintry New England landscape he encountered while teaching at Williams College evokes the dance of atoms in the philosophical poem of Lucretius as well as the Christian doctrine of death and resurrection. In the second, Bonnefoy uses the luminous woods of Haute Provence as the setting for a parable of losing one’s way.
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Editorial Reviews

Richard Wilbur
Emily Grosholz, both poet and philosopher, has accompanied Début et Fin dela neige with an exquisite English translation, and her great fellow-poet Yves Bonnefoy has prefaced poems and translation with a delectable essay on “Snow" in French and English.
Mary Ann Caws
Yves Bonnefoy is without doubt the most important French poet alive today. This series of poems is extraordinarily beautiful, and the translation by Emily Grosholz is excellent. It captures the delicacy and loveliness of the snowflakes, as well as the directness of the arrow.
World Literature Today
This outwardly slight, paperbound volume opens to reveal an uncommon abundance: a series of exquisite poems by one of the most important poets in France today deftly rendered into English by a poet known for her delicate touch; an eloquent essay by Yves Bonnefoy himself, demonstrating his skill as a literary critic as well as a poet; and a charmingly direct meditation by the translator, Emily Grosholz, about her effort to create English equivalents of two Bonnefoy poems. As if that weren’t enough, there is the further pleasure of beautiful visual art in the evocative drawings of Iranian artist Farhad Ostovani that accompany the text.
Criticism & Reference
It's not easy to capture simplicity. It's a matter of meanings, tone, but also of rhythm and sounds, that are necessarily different sounds in the other language. ... This is a superb book; one reads it without the least twinge of regret for what might be lost in translation. With half a dozen watercolour landscapes by the Iranian artist Farhad Ostovani, Snow is also a pleasure to look at.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611484588
  • Publisher: Bucknell University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 114
  • Sales rank: 1,473,788
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Yves Bonnefoy is often described as the greatest French post-war poet. Trained as a philosopher, he is also an essayist, literary critic and art historian. In 1981, he succeeded Roland Barthes at the Collège de France in Paris. He is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently L’heure présente, as well as numerous works on art, history and poetry. His many honors include Canada’s Griffin Poetry Prize (2011).

Emily Grosholz is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy at the Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the research group REHELS / SPHERE at the University of Paris Denis Diderot. She is the author of six books of poetry (including Leaves / Feuilles with Farhad Ostovani) and an advisory editor for the Hudson Review.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Preface
“Snow in French and English”
Yves Bonnefoy
Translated by Emily Grosholz

Début et fin de la neige/ Beginning and End of the Snow

La grande neige / The Great Snowfall

Première neige tôt ce matin / First snowfall, early this morning

Le miroir / The Mirror

La charrue / The Plough

Le peu d’eau / Spot of Water

Neige / Snow

La Vierge de miséricorde /Our Lady of Mercy

Le jardin / The Garden

Les pommes / The Apples

L’été encore / Still Summer

On dirait beaucoup d’e muets /One might say, a flurry of silent e’s

Flocons / Snowflakes

De natura rerum / De Natura Rerum

La parure / The Gown

Noli me tangere / Noli Me Tangere

Juste avant l’aube / Just Before Dawn

Les Flambeaux / The Torches

Hopkins Forest / Hopkins Forest

Le Tout, Le Rien / Everything, Nothing

La Seule Rose / The Only Rose

Là où retombe la flèche / Where the Arrow Falls

Afterword
“Song, Rain, Snow: Translating the
Poetry of Yves Bonnefoy,”
Emily Grosholz

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