Paul Valéry’s most celebrated collection Charmes was first published in 1922. It contains several of his most famous poems, including Ébauche d’un serpent’ and Le cimetière marin’ – in Yvor Winters’ view the two greatest short poems ever written.’ The collection as a whole has achieved classic status as the finest work by the finest modern French poet. Here it is helpfully introduced and discussed by Peter Dale who has also appended some early poems, and one much later piece, of related interest.
Peter Dale has been working on his translations for some thirty years. As ever, he takes the hardest – and for the reader, most rewarding – route in making versions with corresponding rhyme and metre. The result is a fresh view of an intriguing poet, somewhat neglected but now revived in English.
Peter Dale is the author of notable translations of Dante’s Divine Comedy and selections from the poetry of Tristan Corbière, Jules Laforgue and François Villon. These and his own collections Edge to Edge (1996) and Under the Breath (2002) are published by Anvil.
|Publisher:||Carcanet Press, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Paul Valéry was born in 1871 and died in Paris in 1945. A towering figure in modern French literature, his fascinatingly complex attitudes to poetry were deeply influenced by the impression made on him in his youth by Mallarmé's poems. Buried with national mourning in the "graveyard by the sea" of his poem, the cemetery at Sète.
Peter Dale was a school teacher until his retirement. He was for many years a co-editor of the influential literary journal Agenda. Well known for his translations from French (Corbière, Laforgue, Valéry and Villon) and Italian (a terza rima English version of Dante's Divine Comedy), he is as accomplished a poet as he is a translator. He lives in Cardiff.