Songs Without Words

Songs Without Words

Paperback

$17.95

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781890650872
Publisher: Omnidawn Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

PAUL VERLAINE was born in Metz, France in 1844, and died in 1896. He began to publish poems and to make a name for himself in Paris in his early twenties. In 1870, he married his child-bride Mathilde, whose very respectable family he time and again outraged with his drunken sprees and outbursts of violence. Everything came to smash in 1871 when Verlaine invited Arthur Rimbaud to Paris. The two poets became lovers and wandered through France, England, and Belgium until 1873. In Brussels, in July of that year, Verlaine shot and wounded Rimbaud in the left wrist. Although the younger poet did not wish to press charges, the law took its course and Verlaine was sentenced to two years' hard labor. Penniless, Rimbaud walked home to France and finished A Season in Hell. In prison, Verlaine oversaw the proof-reading and publication of Romances sans paroles (1874), re-discovered his Catholic faith, and wrote the devotional poems collected in Sagesse (1880). After his release, judicially separated from his wife and permanently estranged from his only child, Verlaine lived by various stints of farming and teaching until, upon the death of his tirelessly indulgent mother in 1886, he drifted permanently into chronic illness, alcoholism and destitution. Yet all the while, he continued to write and to publish poetry, often to great acclaim. In 1893, he was invited to Oxford to lecture on Modern French Poetry. In 1894, the writers of Paris elected him Prince of Poets. He died in that city two years later, a few months short of his 52nd birthday.
DONALD REVELL is Professor of English & Director of Creative Writing programs at UNLV. Thief of Strings is his tenth poetry collection, published by Alice James. Donald Revell's previous translations include The Illumninations by Arthur Rimbaud, and A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud, both of which were published by Omnidawn. A Season in Hell won the PSA translation award. His books of essays include Invisible Green: Selected Prose, published by Omnidawn. He serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell lives in the desert south of Las Vegas with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their children Benjamin Brecht and Lucie Ming.

Table of Contents

Translator's Preface: A Prior Enchantment 13

Romances sans paroles / Songs without Words 18

Ariettes oubliées / Forgotten Showtunes 20

I C'est l'extase langoureuse / Old ecstasy, this 22

II Je devine, à travers un murmure / I can barely discern 24

III Il pleure dans mon coeur / Warm tears in my heart 26

IV Il faut, voyez-vous, nous pardonner les choses / Don't you see, and you must see it, we must 28

V Le piano que baise une main frêle / Piano keys stroked by reedy hands 30

VI C'est le chien de Jean de Nivelle / Johnny Nivell's shameless mutt 32

VII O triste, triste était mon âme / Was oh my soul was sad because 36

VIII Dans l'interminable / Interminably 38

IX L'ombre des arbres dans la rivière embrumée / Shadows of trees on the misted river 40

Paysages beiges / Belgian Landscapes 42

Walcourt / Walcourt 44

Charleroi / Charleroi 46

Bruxelles (simples fresques) / Brussels (simple frescos) 48

Bruxelles (chevaux de bois) / Brussels (wooden horses) 52

Malines / Malines 56

Birds in the Night / Birds in the Night 58

Aquarelles / Watercolors 74

Green / Green 76

Spleen / Spleen 78

Streets / Streets 80

Child Wife / Child Wife 84

A Poor Young Shepherd / A Poor Young Shepherd 86

Beams / Beams 88

Translator's Afterword 91

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