New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

by Yves Bonnefoy
     
 

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Yves Bonnefoy, celebrated translator and critic, is widely considered the most important and influential French poet since World War II. Named to the Collége de France in 1981 to fill the chair left vacant by the death of Roland Barthes, Bonnefoy was the first poet honored in this way since Paul Valéry. Winner of many awards, including the Prix Goncourt

Overview

Yves Bonnefoy, celebrated translator and critic, is widely considered the most important and influential French poet since World War II. Named to the Collége de France in 1981 to fill the chair left vacant by the death of Roland Barthes, Bonnefoy was the first poet honored in this way since Paul Valéry. Winner of many awards, including the Prix Goncourt in 1987 and the Hudson Review's Bennett Award in 1988, he is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry.

Spanning four decades and drawing on all of Bonnefoy's major collections, this selection provides a comprehensive overview of and an ideal introduction to his work. The elegant translations, many of them new, are presented in this dual-language edition alongside the original French. Several significant works appear here in English for the first time, among them, in its entirety, Bonnefoy's 1991 book of verse, The Beginning and the End of the Snow, the 1988 prose poem Where the Arrow Falls, and an important long poem from 1993, "Wind and Smoke." Together with poems from such classic volumes as "In the Lure of the Threshold", these new works shed light on the growth as well as the continuity of Bonnefoy's work.

John Naughton's detailed introduction looks at the evolution of Bonnefoy's poetry from the 1953 publication of "On the Motion and Immobility of Douve", which immediately established his reputation as one of France's leading poets, through the 1993 publication of The Wandering Life and its centerpiece "Wind and Smoke."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of the most esteemed of contemporary French poets, Bonnefoy keeps his highly philosophical poetry tangible through a detailed sense of wonder at the universe, as in his famous early poem, "Place of the Salamander'': "How I love that which awaits the hour of its victory/ And holds its breath and clings to the ground.'' Selected from six books of poetry written over four decades, many of these translations are new; much of the work—including the 1991 collection, The Beginning and the End of the Snow—is published in English for the first time. Naughton's stimulating though academic introduction outlines Bonnefoy's movement from the abstractas in his early explorations of a feminine symbol of mortality he called "Douve'' to finding more rooted, joyous inspiration from the French countryside he inhabited for years. Since the 1980s, Bonnefoy's prose poems, such as "Where the Arrow Falls", maintain in a more narrative form his unique, opulent alloy of natural imagery and existential questioning. The English and French versions face; translators besides the editors include Galway Kinnell and Richard Stamelman, all of whom have delivered the English with measured clarity. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226064604
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
12/28/1995
Edition description:
1
Pages:
252
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author


Yves Bonnefoy (1923–2016) was a poet, critic, and professor emeritus of comparative poetics at the Collège de France. In addition to poetry and literary criticism, he published numerous works of art history and translated into French several of Shakespeare’s plays.

Anthony Rudolf is a poet, literary critic, editor and translator. He is the author of The Arithmetic of Memory, among other books, and founding publisher of Menard Press. Since 2000 he has had an academic career, first at London Metropolitan University, and later at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Westminster. In 2004, he was appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and, in 2005, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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