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Psalms of All My Days


French poetry by Patrice de La Tour du Pin along with the English translation by Jennifer Grotz
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French poetry by Patrice de La Tour du Pin along with the English translation by Jennifer Grotz
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What People Are Saying

Maurice Manning
“The very idea of pursuing faith leads to the possibility of missing it or mistaking it or going wrong and, thus, one must learn to become comforted by uncertainty and paradox. Such is the tone of these songs of faith by Patrice de La Tour du Pin—anguish and hope are voices in the same choir. The justice Jennifer Grotz has given these difficult poems is clear—they shine with import and originality and the heart is in them still. It is a joy to have this book.”
Ilya Kaminsky
“Was he bowing to himself when he died?” So begins one of the most daring, unusual, and memorable collections of poetry in translation I have read in years. This book of “remade psalms,” written by “a child of September” and carried across into English by one of our best lyric voices, gives readers that rare thing: the voice of a devotional poet who is skeptical, self-doubting and struggling—but also glorious in his high-style lyricism and aspiration.
Rosanna Warren
Jennifer Grotz has given a believable English accent to Patrice de La Tour Pin’s extraordinary twentieth-century Psalms. Rising from their author’s singular devotion and solitude, these poems ring with timeless intensity. Reader, open the gate, “And let yourself be led towards a future garden: / light carries its secret.” But beware. As La Tour du Pin confesses, such an interior journey has its dangers, now as ever: “You never told me it would be so terrible / to look for you inside myself . . .” This book is a stark primer of the contemplative life, and a signal achievement of presence and voice on the part of the translator.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887485725
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 3/12/2013
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry in Translation
  • Edition description: Bilingual French-English ed.
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 1,376,924
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

PATRICE DE LA TOUR DU PIN (1911–1975) was born into a French noble family and grew up in the Gâtinais region of France. After attending university at Sciences Politiques in Paris and serving in the Second World War, he spent most of his life at home on his family’s estate in Le Bignon-Mireabau. The author of numerous collections of poetry, he is perhaps best known for A Sum of Poetry, a three-volume, multi-genre work of poetry and mysticism. JENNIFER GROTZ is the author of two books of poetry, The Needle, and Cusp. Her poems, translations, and reviews appear widely in journals such as New England Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and American Poetry Review as well as in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. She teaches poetry and translation at the University of Rochester and also serves as the Assistant Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
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Table of Contents

Translator’s Introduction
September’s Children
Laurence Sleeping
Psalm 1 “With his head between his legs and hands joined”
Psalm 2 “Must we call it pride, this ambition to make a world”
Psalm 3 “And now my neglected senses devour me”
Psalm 4 “Because I sing sometimes of angels”
Psalm 5 “He stole a bit of my soul from its usual lords”
Psalm 6 “Then I came to dream of writing”
Psalm 7 “The poet in love with Christ said to those who would listen”
Psalm 8 “I would like to attain the gentleness of souls”
Psalm 9 “I spent some of my time trying to save an animal . . .”
Psalm 10 “I am no longer the fox hunting in the meadow”
Psalm 11 “When your light hurts, it’s hell, it’s fire”
Psalm 12 “They accuse me of being a wanderer”
Psalm 13 “It stirred, the heart of my human heart!”
Psalm 14 “So you claim to speak of the tragedy within you?”
Psalm 16 “Will he not take part in the choir because his flesh controls him”
Psalm 17 “It’s not just under my feet, the earth”
Psalm 18 “Because I take refuge far from the wuthering surface”
Psalm 20 “When you appease my heart, I’ve nothing left to say”
Psalm 21 “When they hear me sing my stubble fields, my little hills”
Psalm 22 “In my sky there are stars invisible to the naked eye”
Psalm 23 “Faraway seas have never seen my face”
Psalm 24 “I’ve always felt something like a weight just beneath my awareness”
Psalm 25 “You allotted me too much happiness, my God”
Psalm 26 “They read me and then ask themselves”
Psalm 29 “If you have lost your way, come over to my path”
Psalm 30 “Here, and without placing the final stone”
Psalm 31 “The one who wanted to understand too much”
Psalm 32 “Don’t I have a right, Lord, to the seasons?”
Psalm 33 “You make a drought in me, you depopulate me, you leave me”
Psalm 35 “My most profound desire: to speak of you”
Psalm 36 “My demon has turned surly again”
Psalm 37 “Dawn! . . . and spring’s first touch on naked winter”
Psalm 41 “My God, I know only my debt”
Psalm 42 “You didn’t tell me it wold be so terrible”
Psalm 45 “Not only my words, it’s me you expect”
Psalm 52 (”to the one who waits for me as I exit the desert”)
Psalm 56 (”to the one who waits for my return”)
Psalm 58 “Like a sailor who cries out: land!”
Psalm 82 “Here I am: give me what I need to live”
Psalm 88 “In hiding where you prepare each thing”
Psalm 90 “Turned toward you, I expose my burden”
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