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Collected French Translations: Poetry

ISBN: 9781847772343

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The companion volume to Collected French Translations: Prose, this book reflects John Ashbery's lifelong engagement with French poetry. From 1955 Ashbery spent almost a decade in France, working as an art critic, and formed a close relationship with the poet Pierre Martory. His versions of Martory's poems (published by Carcanet as The Landscapist), featured here, were a 2008 Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. This bilingual volume presents translations from twenty-four poets, among them Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarme, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Paul Eluard and France's greatest living poet, Yves Bonnefoy. It also includes a selection from Ashbery's masterly translation of Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations, published to acclaim in 2011. The development of modern French poetry - through Romanticism, Symbolism, Dada and Surrealism - emerges chronologically through Ashbery's choices; as does the lasting influence of French poetry on Ashbery's own iconoclastic career.