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— Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Selected Poems

by Georges Rodenbach

Bilingual English / French edition

Translated and Selected by Will Stone

Part of our Arc Classics: New Translations of Great Poets of the Past series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

Georges Rodenbach was a leading literary figure during the epoch of symbolism in late nineteenth-century France and Belgium. This is the first-ever collection of Rodenbach's poetry to be published in English translation. He is most famous for his fin-de-siècle novel Bruges-la-Morte (1892), but it is in the lesser-known collections of poetry that his mystical articulation of the ambiance of a decaying Bruges reaches its zenith.

It is no surprise that, after his premature death in 1898, Rodenbach's precise, poignant, delicate yet deceptively muscular poems attracted the likes of Rilke and Proust. These two exceptional diviners of the unacknowledged life secreted within objects and atmospheres, saw in him a fellow explorer, a wholly authentic and uncompromising voice, that articulated an interior landscape of the soul like no other.

It is this voice that English-language readers today can now access through Will Stone's sensitively attuned translation after decades of inexplicable neglect.

Along the quays, beneath the plaintive threnody
of bells, the abandoned water is idle
and flows beneath bridges in silence,
weeping over its grief and inert torments,
lamenting the scattered life that afflicts it...

from 'The Water's Heart'

ISBN pbk 978-1904614-64-7
ISBN hbk 978-1906570-07-1
110 pages
Published April 2017

» About Georges Rodenbach