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Surrealist, Lover, Resistant

Robert Desnos

Surrealist, Lover, Resistant

This extensive and wide-ranging selection is taken from three collections of the poetry of one of France's most exciting writers of the twentieth century, the surrealist Robert Desnos.

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Selected Poems

Georges Rodenbach

Selected Poems

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...

Georges Rodenbach,
from 'The Water's Heart'

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Barefoot Souls

Maram al-Masri

Barefoot Souls

Detailing the lives of Syrian women living in Paris, these poems, capturing the unheard voices of women whose lives are suppressed in unimaginable ways, allow us to explore moments never mentioned in the news reports. Potent and never failing to capture the essence of the feminine experience with a remarkable amount of insight.

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Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du Mal

Charles Baudelaire

Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du Mal

Jan Owen's masterly translation captures all of Baudelaire's vibrant emaotion in a selection that includes many of his best known poems - including those banned from 1857 edition - as well as some less familiar ones, with the volume leading up to his great long poem, 'The Voyage', and finishing with the much-loved sonnet 'Meditation'.

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Emile Verhaeren: Poems

Emile Verhaeren

Emile Verhaeren: Poems

Dubbed the 'European Walt Whitman', Emile Verhaeren is a pro-European idealist, whose poetry explores his overriding notion of mankind advancing to a promised land where vital creative energies and new technology could combine to produce a more progressive human strain, a hope ignominiously swept away by the industrial brutality of the First World War.

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Talking Vrouz

Valérie Rouzeau

Talking Vrouz

These poems present a language that is a hybrid of liberties and constraints: omissions, grammatical contractions, colloquialisms and archaisms, wordplay, puns, childspeak, exploded cliche and the heightened awareness of a poetic tradition.

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Seizing: Places

Hélène Dorion

Seizing: Places

The first translation into English from this French-Canadian author by one of the UK's foremost translators, himself a distinguished poet and novelist.

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The Parley Tree

ed. Patrick Williamson

The Parley Tree

The Parley Tree does not pretend to be an all-encompassing portrait of the work of French-speaking poets of Africa and the Arab World. Rather, it is a glimpse of some of the most representative voices of the poetic movements and generations in the Francophone countries of the whole continent of Africa, and as such, seeks to do away with the divisions that traditionally separate North Africa from Sub-Saharan Africa, and the African world from the Arab world.

Poetry is one of the major forms of literary expression in these two regions, and the French-language poetry of the countries included in this anthology is clearly only one dimension of an overall poetic landscape shared with other national languages such as Arabic, Fula, Bambara, Berber, Wolof, among others. But it is a dimension that is recognized as being of great literary merit and worthy of the international acclaim it has attracted. The poets anthologized here - from North Africa, Sub Saharan Africa and the Arab World - have long wished to escape from artificial pigeon-holing and rather to be associated with common threads. The past half-century has confirmed their work as poetry of great literary quality, full of a unique vitality and presence, and The Parley Tree offers an insight into a whole world that might otherwise have remained closed off to English-language readers.

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The Book of the Snow

François Jacqmin

The Book of the Snow

Francois Jacqmin is one of Belgium's most influential poets of the twentieth century, and this, his twelfth collection, is inspired by a bleak and beautiful natural landscape, where the falling snow gives rise to a sequence of 112 short poems which are both lyrical and suffused with irony, allusion and paradox.

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Cold Spring in Winter

Valérie Rouzeau

Cold Spring in Winter

These poems, a lament for the poet's dead father in the stammered cadences of an adult and the child she used to be, is strange and compelling, causing a stir when it was first published in 1999. Once familiar with Rouzeau's mixture of baby-talk, slang, puns and coinages, the reader will find this book utterly compelling.

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