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Life Sentence: Selected Poems
     

Life Sentence: Selected Poems

by Nina Cassian, William Jay Smith (Editor)
 

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“The selected poems of Nina Cassian represent an exciting collaboration of poet-translators and the poet herself. Comedy and despair come together in this lyrical text; the whole is enhanced by William Jay Smith’s useful and insightful introduction.” —Maxine Kumin
Poems deal with childhood, color, censorship, freedom, greed, loneliness, love,

Overview

“The selected poems of Nina Cassian represent an exciting collaboration of poet-translators and the poet herself. Comedy and despair come together in this lyrical text; the whole is enhanced by William Jay Smith’s useful and insightful introduction.” —Maxine Kumin
Poems deal with childhood, color, censorship, freedom, greed, loneliness, love, pain, and mortality.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Cassian has been one of Rumania's leading literary figures for over 40 years. Since 1985 she has lived in exile in the United States. A poem by Cassian (nee Renee Annie Stefanescu in 1924) is an occasion for probing what it means to be human. She writes poems (here translated by Stanley Kunitz, Richard Wilbur, Dana Gioia, and 17 other poets) that are half fable, half dissection. Her ``flawless instinct'' leads her to empathize with animals--kiwi birds, oxen, swans, elephants--that are energized by the ethnic vitality of Rumanian folklore. Just as Rumania is a crossroads between Western cosmopolitanism and Slavic culture, Cassian's poetry balances a semi-surreal vision (``a tree with a mustache,/ a child with a cardboard leg'') with a humor that deflates excesses of romance. An intense poet of many metamorphoses, ``uprooted from landscapes,/ with an unprepared soul,'' Cassian carries on the modern Rumanian literary tradition of Tudor Arghezi and Eugene Ionesco.-- Frank Allen, Regents Coll., Albany, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393307214
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/17/1991
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)

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Meet the Author

Nina Cassian (1924—2014) was born in Galati, Romania. A composer, journalist, film critic, and translator of Shakespeare and Brecht, Cassian was exiled from Romania in 1985.

William Jay Smith, American poet and two-time finalist for the National Book Award, was the nineteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1968 to 1970.

William Jay Smith, American poet and two-time finalist for the National Book Award, was the nineteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1968 to 1970.

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