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Super-fantastique! City Lights Recommends Pierre Reverdy Edited by Mary Ann Caws

By Harriet Staff

Pierre Reverdy

Croyez-le ou pas, City Lights spotlights a new edition of Pierre Reverdy’s poems, edited by Mary Ann Caws, at Abandon All Despair Ye Who Enter Here.

This is a well organized book of translations of French cubist poet, Pierre Reverdy. Just out from the NYRB Poets series, this collection has some of the usual suspects of Reverdy translation such as Kenneth Rexroth (now back in print here mind you) and Ron Padgett, but also some exciting translations by John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara, which is worth the price alone. Reverdy’s poems are stripped down, with lines often simply containing objects of a still-life with touches of far-reaching magical energy. […]

The great Pierre Reverdy, comrade to Picasso and Braque, peer and contemporary of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams, is among the most mysteriously satisfying of twentieth-century poets, his poems an uncanny mixture of the simple and the sublime. Reverdy’s poetry has exerted a special attraction on American poets, from Kenneth Rexroth to John Ashbery, and this new selection, featuring the work of fourteen distinguished translators, most of it appearing here for the first time, documents that ongoing relationship while offering readers the essential work of an extraordinary writer.Translated from the French by:John Ashbery, Dan Bellm, Mary Ann Caws, Lydia Davis, Marilyn Hacker, Richard Howard, Geoffrey O’Brien, Frank O’Hara, Ron Padgett, Mark Polizzotti, Kenneth Rexroth, Richard Sieburth, Patricia Terry, Rosanna Warren.

Read more at City Lights.

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, March 24th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.