Despite one’s aspirations to another kind of reality, for Pierre Reverdy one is forced to return to one’s fetters.
Valuable new translations of Aimé Césaire suggest that we have overemphasized the political dimension of his poetry and overlooked other, purely literary, qualities.
Have we been missing a major poet while we celebrated a great dramatist and the most influential fiction writer of the second half of the twentieth century?
André du Bouchet writes the kind of poetry that other poets ponder, perhaps resist or even reject for a while, yet inevitably return to study even if (or because) their own poetics are starkly dissimilar to his.
Pierre Reverdy’s poetry that is suspicious of the deceiving beauty of words, hence its pared-down, elemental, stylistic qualities.
Yves Bonnefoy’s book is, fundamentally, a spiritual autobiography; yet it draws extensively on the outside world and ponders how it can be described in writing or depicted in painting.
Literary history credits Rainer Maria Rilke with establishing European poetry’s seminal concern with the duality between inner and outer worlds. Could it be that Comtesse Anna de Noailles was his precursor in this regard? Translator Norman Shapiro and Black Widow Press should be thanked for bringing her back into the discussion.
This handsome edition of Yves Bonnefoy’s recent poetry and prose in English translation is a stunning presentation of a major poet.