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Hothouses: Poems, 1889
The Night
Horace, The Odes: New Translations by Contemporary Poets
Ebook series8 titles

Facing Pages Series

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About this series

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Charles Simic introduces and translates one of Serbia’s most important contemporary poets

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic has done more than anyone since Czeslaw Milosz to introduce English-language readers to the greatest modern Slavic poets. In Oranges and Snow, Simic continues this work with his translations of one of today's finest Serbian poets, Milan Djordjević. An encounter between two poets and two languages, this bilingual edition—the first selection of Djordjevic's work to appear in English—features Simic's translations and the Serbian originals on facing pages. Simic, a native Serbian speaker, has selected some forty-five of Djordjević's best poems and provides an introduction in which he discusses the poet's work, as well as the challenges of translation.

Djordjević, who was born in Belgrade in 1954, is a poet who gives equal weight to imagination and reality. This book ranges across his entire career to date. His earliest poems can deal with something as commonplace as a bulb of garlic, a potato, or an overcoat fallen on the floor. Later poems, often dreamlike and surreal, recount his travels in Germany, France, and England. His recent poems are more autobiographical and realistic and reflect a personal tragedy. Confined to his house after being hit and nearly killed by a car while crossing a Belgrade street in 2007, the poet writes of his humble surroundings, the cats that come to his door, the birds he sees through his window, and the copies of one of his own books that he once burnt to keep warm.

Whatever their subject, Djordjević's poems are beautiful, original, and always lyrical.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateSep 15, 1991
Hothouses: Poems, 1889
The Night
Horace, The Odes: New Translations by Contemporary Poets

Titles in the series (8)

  • Horace, The Odes: New Translations by Contemporary Poets

    1

    Horace, The Odes: New Translations by Contemporary Poets
    Horace, The Odes: New Translations by Contemporary Poets

    They have inspired poets and challenged translators through the centuries. The odes of Horace are the cornerstone of lyric poetry in the Western world. Their subtlety of tone and brilliance of technique have often proved elusive, especially when--as has usually been the case--a single translator ventures to maneuver through Horace's infinite variety. Now for the first time, leading poets from America, England, and Ireland have collaborated to bring all 103 odes into English in a series of new translations that dazzle as poems while also illuminating the imagination of one of literary history's towering figures. The thirty-five contemporary poets assembled in this outstanding volume include nine winners of the Pulitzer prize for poetry as well as four former Poet Laureates. Their translations, while faithful to the Latin, elegantly dramatize how the poets, each in his or her own way, have engaged Horace in a spirited encounter across time. Each of the odes now has a distinct voice, and Horace's poetic achievement has at last been revealed in all its mercurial majesty. In his introduction, J. D. McClatchy, the volume's editor and one of the translators, reflects on the meaning of Horace through the ages and relates how a poet who began as a cynical satirist went on to write the odes. For the connoisseur, the original texts appear on facing pages allowing Horace's ingenuity to be fully appreciated. For the general reader, these new translations--all of them commissioned for this book--will be an exhilarating tour of the best poets writing today and of the work of Horace, long obscured and now freshly minted. The contributors are Robert Bly, Eavan Boland, Robert Creeley, Dick Davis, Mark Doty, Alice Fulton, Debora Greger, Linda Gregerson, Rachel Hadas, Donald Hall, Robert Hass, Anthony Hecht, Daryl Hine, John Hollander, Richard Howard, John Kinsella, Carolyn Kizer, James Lasdun, J. D. McClatchy, Heather McHugh, W. S. Mervin, Paul Muldoon, Carl Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Marie Ponsot, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, Charles Tomlinson, Ellen Bryantr Voigt, David Wagoner, Rosanna Warren, Richard Wilbur, C. K. Williams, Charles Wright, and Stephen Yenser.

  • Hothouses: Poems, 1889

    2

    Hothouses: Poems, 1889
    Hothouses: Poems, 1889

    On May 31, 1889, a young Belgian lawyer from a wealthy bourgeois family in Ghent published a book of 33 poems in 155 copies. Maurice Maeterlinck's legal career was floundering but his road to literary greatness had begun. Long overshadowed by the plays that later won him the Nobel Prize, Serres chaudes (Hothouses) nonetheless came to be widely regarded as one of the cornerstones of literary Modernism after Baudelaire. While Max Nordau soon seized upon Maeterlinck's--tumult of images--as symptomatic of a pervasive social malaise, decades later Antonin Artaud pronounced, "Maeterlinck was the first to introduce the multiple riches of the subconscious into literature." Richard Howard's translation of this quietly radical work is the first to be published in nearly a century, and the first to accurately convey Maeterlinck's elusive visionary force. The poems, some of them in free verse (new to Belgium at the time), combine the decadent symbolism and the language of dislocation that Maeterlinck later perfected in his dramas. Hothouses reflects the influence not only of French poets including Verlaine and Rimbaud, but also of Whitman. As for the title, the author said it was "a natural choice, Ghent . . . abounding in greenhouses." The poems, whose English translations appear opposite the French originals, are accompanied by reproductions of seven woodcuts by Georges Minne that appeared in the original volume, and by an early prose text by Maeterlinck imaginatively describing a painting by the sixteenth-century Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel. A feat of daring power extraordinarily immediate and inventive, Hothouses will appeal to all lovers of poetry, and in particular to those interested in Modernism. Maeterlinck's enormous fame may have faded, but twentieth-century writers such as Beckett are still our masters who testify to its undying influence.

  • The Night

    4

    The Night
    The Night

    Jaime Saenz is arguably the greatest Bolivian writer of the twentieth century. His poetry is apocalyptic, transcendent, hallucinatory, brilliant--and, until recently, available only in Spanish. Forrest Gander and Kent Johnson's translations of Saenz's work have garnered much-deserved attention and acclaim. Here for the first time in English they give us his masterpiece, The Night, Saenz's most famous poem and the last he wrote before his death in 1986. An unusual man, Saenz lived his whole life in La Paz, Bolivia, seldom venturing far from the city and its indigenous culture that feature so prominently in his writings. He sought God in unlikely places: slum taverns, alcoholic excess, the street. Saenz was nocturnal. He once stole a leg from a cadaver and hid it under his bed. On his wedding night he brought home a panther. In this epic poem, Saenz explores the singular themes that possessed him: alcoholism, death, nightmares, identity, otherness, and his love for La Paz. The poem's four movements culminate in some of the most profoundly mystical, beautiful, and disturbing passages of modern Latin American poetry. They are presented here in this faithful and inspired English translation of the Spanish original. Complete with an introduction by the translators that paints a vivid picture of the poet's life, and an afterword by Luis H. Antezana, a notable Bolivian literary critic and close friend of Saenz, this bilingual edition is the essential introduction to one of the most visionary and enigmatic poets of the Hispanic world.

  • Angina Days: Selected Poems

    Angina Days: Selected Poems
    Angina Days: Selected Poems

    A bilingual edition of one of the most important German poets of the twentieth century This is the most comprehensive English translation of the work of Günter Eich, one of the greatest postwar German poets. The author of the POW poem "Inventory," among one of the most famous lyrics in the German language, Eich was rivaled only by Paul Celan as the leading poet in the generation after Gottfried Benn and Bertolt Brecht. Expertly translated and introduced by Michael Hofmann, this collection gathers eighty poems, many drawn from Eich's later work and most of them translated here for the first time. The volume also includes the original German texts on facing pages. As an early member of "Gruppe 47" (from which Günter Grass and Heinrich Böll later shot to prominence), Eich (1907-72) was at the vanguard of an effort to restore German as a language for poetry after the vitriol, propaganda, and lies of the Third Reich. Short and clear, these are timeless poems in which the ominousness of fairy tales meets the delicacy and suggestiveness of Far Eastern poetry. In his late poems, he writes frequently, movingly, and often wryly of infirmity and illness. "To my mind," Hofmann writes, "there's something in Eich of Paul Klee's pictures: both are homemade, modest in scale, immediately delightful, inventive, cogent." Unjustly neglected in English, Eich finds his ideal translator here.

  • New Impressions of Africa

    New Impressions of Africa
    New Impressions of Africa

    A new translation of a masterpiece of modernist poetry Poet, novelist, playwright, and chess enthusiast, Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) was one of the French belle époque's most compelling literary figures. During his lifetime, Roussel's work was vociferously championed by the surrealists, but never achieved the widespread acclaim for which he yearned. New Impressions of Africa is undoubtedly Roussel's most extraordinary work. Since its publication in 1932, this weird and wonderful poem has slowly gained cult status, and its admirers have included Salvador Dalì—who dubbed it the most "ungraspably poetic" work of the era—André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Michel Foucault, Kenneth Koch, and John Ashbery. Roussel began writing New Impressions of Africa in 1915 while serving in the French Army during the First World War and it took him seventeen years to complete. "It is hard to believe the immense amount of time composition of this kind of verse requires," he later commented. Mysterious, unnerving, hilarious, haunting, both rigorously logical and dizzyingly sublime, it is truly one of the hidden masterpieces of twentieth-century modernism. This bilingual edition of New Impressions of Africa presents the original French text and the English poet Mark Ford's lucid, idiomatic translation on facing pages. It also includes an introduction outlining the poem's peculiar structure and evolution, notes explaining its literary and historical references, and the fifty-nine illustrations anonymously commissioned by Roussel, via a detective agency, from Henri-A. Zo.

  • After Every War: Twentieth-Century Women Poets

    After Every War: Twentieth-Century Women Poets
    After Every War: Twentieth-Century Women Poets

    They are nine women with much in common—all German speaking, all poets, all personal witnesses to the horror and devastation that was World War II. Yet, in this deeply moving collection, each provides a singularly personal glimpse into the effects of war on language, place, poetry, and womanhood. After Every War is a book of translations of women poets living in Europe in the decades before and after World War II: Rose Ausländer, Elisabeth Langgässer, Nelly Sachs, Gertrud Kolmar, Else Lasker-Schüler, Ingeborg Bachmann, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Dagmar Nick, and Hilde Domin. Several of the writers are Jewish and, therefore, also witnesses and participants in one of the darkest occasions of human cruelty, the Holocaust. Their poems, as well as those of the other writers, provide a unique biography of the time—but with a difference. These poets see public events through the lens of deep private losses. They chart the small occasions, the bittersweet family ties, the fruit dish on a table, the lost soul arriving at a railway station; in other words, the sheer ordinariness through which cataclysm is experienced, and by which life is cruelly shattered. They reclaim these moments and draw the reader into them. The poems are translated and introduced, with biographical notes on the authors, by renowned Irish poet Eavan Boland. Her interest in the topic is not abstract. As an Irish woman, she has observed the heartbreaking effects of violence on her own country. Her experience has drawn her closer to these nine poets, enabling her to render into English the beautiful, ruminative quality of their work and to present their poems for what they are: documentaries of resilience—of language, of music, and of the human spirit—in the hardest of times.

  • Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini

    Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini
    Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini

    Alda Merini is one of Italy's most important, and most beloved, living poets. She has won many of the major national literary prizes and has twice been nominated for the Nobel Prize--by the French Academy in 1996 and by Italian PEN in 2001. In Love Lessons, the distinguished American poet Susan Stewart brings us the largest and most comprehensive selection of Merini's poetry to appear in English. Complete with the original Italian on facing pages, a critical introduction, and explanatory notes, this collection gathers lyrics, meditations, and aphorisms that span fifty years, from Merini's first books of the 1950s to an unpublished poem from 2001. These accessible and moving poems reflect the experiences of a writer who, after beginning her career at the center of Italian Modernist circles when she was a teenager, went silent in her twenties, spending much of the next two decades in mental hospitals, only to reemerge in the 1970s to a full renewal of her gifts, an outpouring of new work, and great renown. Whether she is working in the briefest, most incisive lyric mode or the complex time schemes of longer meditations, Merini's deep knowledge of classical and Christian myth gives her work a universal, philosophical resonance, revealing what is at heart her tragic sense of life. At the same time, her ironic wit, delight in nature, and affection for her native Milan underlie even her most harrowing poems of suffering. In Stewart's skillful translations readers will discover a true sibyl of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

  • Oranges and Snow: Selected Poems of Milan Djordjević

    Oranges and Snow: Selected Poems of Milan Djordjević
    Oranges and Snow: Selected Poems of Milan Djordjević

    Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Charles Simic introduces and translates one of Serbia’s most important contemporary poets Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic has done more than anyone since Czeslaw Milosz to introduce English-language readers to the greatest modern Slavic poets. In Oranges and Snow, Simic continues this work with his translations of one of today's finest Serbian poets, Milan Djordjević. An encounter between two poets and two languages, this bilingual edition—the first selection of Djordjevic's work to appear in English—features Simic's translations and the Serbian originals on facing pages. Simic, a native Serbian speaker, has selected some forty-five of Djordjević's best poems and provides an introduction in which he discusses the poet's work, as well as the challenges of translation. Djordjević, who was born in Belgrade in 1954, is a poet who gives equal weight to imagination and reality. This book ranges across his entire career to date. His earliest poems can deal with something as commonplace as a bulb of garlic, a potato, or an overcoat fallen on the floor. Later poems, often dreamlike and surreal, recount his travels in Germany, France, and England. His recent poems are more autobiographical and realistic and reflect a personal tragedy. Confined to his house after being hit and nearly killed by a car while crossing a Belgrade street in 2007, the poet writes of his humble surroundings, the cats that come to his door, the birds he sees through his window, and the copies of one of his own books that he once burnt to keep warm. Whatever their subject, Djordjević's poems are beautiful, original, and always lyrical.

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