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The Penguin Book of French Poetry: 1820-1950; With Prose Translations

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William Rees gives us an introduction to each poet, his or her life, affinities and aesthetics, and the significant literary movements. His fresh and beautiful prose translations will re-open many half-forgotten doors, and stimulate new enthusiasms.


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William Rees gives us an introduction to each poet, his or her life, affinities and aesthetics, and the significant literary movements. His fresh and beautiful prose translations will re-open many half-forgotten doors, and stimulate new enthusiasms.

30 review for The Penguin Book of French Poetry: 1820-1950; With Prose Translations

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eadweard

    Thanks to a friend for this wonderful gift. Poets I had not read before and who I thoroughly enjoyed: Leconte De Lisle Jose-Maria De Heredia Charles Cros Tristan Corbiere Jules Laforgue Emile Verhaeren Maurice Maeterlinck Oscar Vladislav De Lubicz Milocz Victor Segalen Max Jacob Blaise Cendrars Philippe Soupault Francis Ponge

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Sacre Bleu ! The selection of of poets and poetry is first class but I really can't recommend the Kindle version of this work. The translations are blocks of text whilst the French is in it's traditional layout, and sometimes the English text turns back to French with no spacing. So mes enfants, if you try to mentally translate from the original whilst checking your progress against the translation you've had your pommes frites. Sacre Bleu ! The selection of of poets and poetry is first class but I really can't recommend the Kindle version of this work. The translations are blocks of text whilst the French is in it's traditional layout, and sometimes the English text turns back to French with no spacing. So mes enfants, if you try to mentally translate from the original whilst checking your progress against the translation you've had your pommes frites.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Takipsilim

    The beginning of my love affair with all things French and literary. One of my greatest influences.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John Berner

    Got through Rimbaud so I'm shelving this for now, but I'm nowhere near done and will return later when I get an appetite for it back. As an anthology this edition is generally fine? The translations are aids to the originals, as opposed to Proper Translations, which works for my rough level of French. However: maybe this is just a product of the movements/poets themselves, but the primers for Parnassianism/Symbolism etc. just read like a bunch of Literary Gibberish to me. Haven't retained too much Got through Rimbaud so I'm shelving this for now, but I'm nowhere near done and will return later when I get an appetite for it back. As an anthology this edition is generally fine? The translations are aids to the originals, as opposed to Proper Translations, which works for my rough level of French. However: maybe this is just a product of the movements/poets themselves, but the primers for Parnassianism/Symbolism etc. just read like a bunch of Literary Gibberish to me. Haven't retained too much there, but a lot of the individual poems are fascinating, as you might expect.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leandro Apostol

    Ce recueil est vraiment fascinant et regorge de poèmes dont je suis pas au courant. Certains m'ont fait pleurer, certains m'ont fait frémir en dégoût, et des autres m'ont émerveillé. Mais pourtant, ce n'est pas l'un des livres dont je lirais d'une traite. Bien sélectionné, allant du romantisme à les poèsies d'après-guerre. Il y en a plein de trésors à picorer et à revisiter encore et encore, tout ce qui me suis rendu plus intèressès à apprendre plus loin. Ce recueil est vraiment fascinant et regorge de poèmes dont je suis pas au courant. Certains m'ont fait pleurer, certains m'ont fait frémir en dégoût, et des autres m'ont émerveillé. Mais pourtant, ce n'est pas l'un des livres dont je lirais d'une traite. Bien sélectionné, allant du romantisme à les poèsies d'après-guerre. Il y en a plein de trésors à picorer et à revisiter encore et encore, tout ce qui me suis rendu plus intèressès à apprendre plus loin.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris Fordham

    Some interesting verse. As it's arranged chronologically it's great to see how the trends of structure and strictness to form vary over time. Sadly though I read it on Kindle and the formatting was terrible, but was worth battling through this obstacle. Some interesting verse. As it's arranged chronologically it's great to see how the trends of structure and strictness to form vary over time. Sadly though I read it on Kindle and the formatting was terrible, but was worth battling through this obstacle.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    I read an earlier edition than the one shown here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rochellic

    The selection itself is serviceable (some odd additions and exclusions aside) with a well-thought-out collection of poems furnished by Rees' encyclopedia knowledge on the myriad French literary movements that characterised these 80 or so years. However, the book suffers from the mediocrity of the poetic commentary, comprised mostly of haphazardly assembled, irrelevant biographical detail where more specific technical analysis would have been welcome - and infinitely more interesting. The selection itself is serviceable (some odd additions and exclusions aside) with a well-thought-out collection of poems furnished by Rees' encyclopedia knowledge on the myriad French literary movements that characterised these 80 or so years. However, the book suffers from the mediocrity of the poetic commentary, comprised mostly of haphazardly assembled, irrelevant biographical detail where more specific technical analysis would have been welcome - and infinitely more interesting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peter Crofts

    Non obtrusive prose translations and a fantastic selection. If you need a starting point for modern French poetry this is the place to go. Not only do you have a good selection from all of the most known poets but also a gateway into lesser known but very good poetry. Without this volume I would never have stumbled onto Segalen's Steles or encountered Rene Char...what a shame that would have been. Some people seem to have a problem with the literalness of the translations. I'm of the mindset tha Non obtrusive prose translations and a fantastic selection. If you need a starting point for modern French poetry this is the place to go. Not only do you have a good selection from all of the most known poets but also a gateway into lesser known but very good poetry. Without this volume I would never have stumbled onto Segalen's Steles or encountered Rene Char...what a shame that would have been. Some people seem to have a problem with the literalness of the translations. I'm of the mindset that the less obtrusive the translation the better. There are very few Pounds out there who can carry out creative translation without doing serious damage to the original. I recently bought a volume of Jules Laforgue's work translated by Peter Dale. Nothing against the guy but he completely warped some of the poems in order to maintain metre and rhyme. If you have no French then pick up or download a French-English dictionary, refer to it when you find the choice of English flat and you'll be fine. In addition, a lot of the more famous poems can be found being read on Youtube, that's a great way to get the music if you can't read the French originals.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Kulik

    Rappelle-toi, quand sous la froide terre Mon coeur brisé pour toujours dormira; Rappelle-toi, quand la fleur solitaire Sur mon tombeau doucement s'ouvrira. Je ne te verrai plus; mais mon âme immortelle Reviendra près de toi comme une sœur fidèle. Écoute, dans la nuit, Une voix qui gémit -- Rappelle-toi. Rappelle-toi, quand sous la froide terre Mon coeur brisé pour toujours dormira; Rappelle-toi, quand la fleur solitaire Sur mon tombeau doucement s'ouvrira. Je ne te verrai plus; mais mon âme immortelle Reviendra près de toi comme une sœur fidèle. Écoute, dans la nuit, Une voix qui gémit -- Rappelle-toi.

  11. 4 out of 5

    c(g) starling

    this book has it all. well, not all of it--but what it does have is the best of the best. no apologies, just great french poetry.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Smith

    Excellent choices. The translations are what they say they are: prose. But they are solid, accurate and tasteful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Henderson

    An excellent collection of great breadth. Many great and not so great poems from the nnineteenth and twentieth centuries provide an overview of the French poetry tradition.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Graham

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

  16. 5 out of 5

    libraryfacts

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Gravlin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  19. 5 out of 5

    Thoreau

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael Ledezma

  21. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Reid

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julia Antoine

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  24. 4 out of 5

    Megha Guruprasad

  25. 5 out of 5

    Billie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Keeknow

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lien Huynh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Huntsman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Lynn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Arkskier

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