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The Curved Planks: Poems

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The Curved Planks: Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For decades readers and critics have acclaimed Yves Bonnefoy as France's greatest living poet. His most recent book of verse, The Curved Planks, crowns an oeuvre that has won him the highest international honors. More than any other single work, this sequence embodies the astonishing variety of Bonnefoy's art. A rich fabric of themes, styles, and genres, it balances aesthetic complexity with heartfelt directness.
 
This bilingual edition of The Curved Planks sets the French texts alongside English versions by the noted translator Hoyt Rogers, who has collaborated closely with Bonnefoy in crafting poems that re-create the freshness and vision of the originals. This volume also includes a preface by the renowned poet and critic Richard Howard and essays by the translator that situate The Curved Planks in the author's body of work. All assist in introducing the English-language reader to Bonnefoy's profound poetic gift.
Yves Bonnefoy has published seven major poetry collections, numerous studies of literature and art, and an extensive dictionary of mythology. His work has been translated into many languages, and he is a celebrated translator of Shakespeare and Yeats. He lives in Paris.

 

Hoyt Rogers translates poetry and other literary works from the French, German, and Spanish. He is also the author of a book of poems, Witnesses, and a volume of criticism, The Poetics of Inconstancy. He lives in the Dominican Republic.

For decades readers and critics have acclaimed Yves Bonnefoy as France's greatest living poet. His most recent book of verse, The Curved Planks, crowns an oeuvre that has won him the highest international honors. More than any other single work, this sequence embodies the astonishing variety of Bonnefoy's art. A rich fabric of themes, styles, and genres, it balances aesthetic complexity with heartfelt directness.

 

This bilingual edition of The Curved Planks sets the French text alongside English versions by the noted translator Hoyt Rogers, who has collaborated closely with Bonnefoy in crafting poems that re-create the freshness and vision of the originals. This volume also includes a foreword by the renowned poet and critic Richard Howard and two comprehensive essays by the translator; all assist in introducing the English-language readers to Bonnefoy's profound poetic gift.

"Yves Bonnefoy represents contemporary French poetry at its classic best: sober and yet soaring, full of invocation and desire: 'Let this world endure . . . Let this world remain.' This volume—thanks to Hoyt Rogers, Richard Howard, and the input of Bonnefoy himself—is a splendid celebration of the depths of this particular craft, whose curved planks of its prow are shaped like a mind."—Mary Ann Caw, Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature, the Graduate School of the City University of New York
“[Bonnefoy] is a poet of small epiphanies: some long-ago summer evening when the night forgot to fall while a lone child played on the road and a distant voice kept calling him.  This is the secret of his lyricism, the memory of a fragment of time touched by eternity that  he cannot let go.  Is this one obsession enough for a lifetime of poetry?  In a few of his finest poems, Bonnefoy makes us believe that it is.”—Charles Simic, The New York Review of Books

"Yves Bonnefoy is one of the rare poets in the history of literature to have sustained the highest level of artistic excellence throughout an entire lifetime—more than half a century now, and still counting. These recent poems, superbly translated by Hoyt Rogers, attest to his enduring greatness."—Paul Auster

 

"Yves Bonnefoy represents contemporary French poetry at its classic best: sober and yet soaring, full of invocation and desire: 'Let this world endure . . . Let this world remain.' This volume—thanks to Hoyt Rogers, Richard Howard, and the input of Bonnefoy himself—is a splendid celebration of the depths of this particular craft, whose curved planks of its prow are shaped like a mind."—Mary Ann Caw, Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature, the Graduate School of the City University of New York

 

"I have been deeply impressed, reading Hoyt Rogers's translations of Yves Bonnefoy's Les planches courbes. They are much more than English versions of these strong and delicate originals—they are re-creations that became distinct poems in our language, a true and loving homage to their source."—Alastair Reid

 

"The Curved Planks is the crowning achievement of a major French poet who has much to say to our troubled times: Yves Bonnefoy continues to explore the possibilities of hope, to assay the significance of the here and now, to chronicle the dual 'presence' of emptiness and plenitude. Hoyt Rogers has composed fluent, engaging translations that reveal a profound respect for the original poems—and for the man who wrote them."—John Taylor, author of Paths to Contemporary French Literature

 

"The first poetic associations of Bonnefoy, an octogenarian French poet often mentioned in the same breath as Paul Valry, were with the French surrealists, but he has long since been a maverick of French verse, crafting stanzas as simple as they are resonant and rooted in everything from modernism to medieval song. This sequence, composed of short series of poems that take in every form from prose to rhyme, centers, as Richard Howard notes in a baroque preface, on renewal, taking the myth of Ceres as a point of origin: 'she still/ Stops at night / Under rustling trees, / And knocks at closed doors.' Hoyt—who provides a long afterword, a translator's note and a bibliography—offers a translation that is solid and clear, and that allows for play among word and phrase senses: 'the limitless space of clashing currents, of yawning abysses, of stars.'"—Publishers Weekly 

 
 
 
Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Howard

LA PLUIE D'ÉTÉ

SUMMER RAIN

Les rainettes, le soir

Tree Frogs, at Evening

I. Rauques etaient les voix

At evening, the tree frogs

II. Its s'attardaient, le soir

They lingered, at evening

Une pierre

A Stone

Une pierre

A Stone

La pluie d'été

Summer Rain 

     I. Mais le plus cher 

     Yet the dearest 

     II. Et tôt après le ciel

     And soon after, the sky

Une pierre

A Stone

Une pierre

A Stone

Les chemins

The Paths 

     I. Chemins, ô beaux enfants 

     Paths, O beautiful children 

     II. Et vite it nous menait 

     And quickly he would lead us 

     III. Cérès aurait bien dû

     Ceres, all sweat and dust

Hier, l'inachevable

Yesterday, Without End

Une pierre

A Stone

Une pierre

A Stone

Que ce monde demeure!

Let This World Endure

     I. Je redresse une branche

     I right a broken branch

     II. Que ce monde demeure

     Let this world endure

     III. Que ce monde demeure!

     Let this world endure 

     IV. Oh, que taut d'évidence

     Let so pure a presence

     V. Que ce monde demeure

     Let this world endure

     VI. Bois, disait celle qui

     Drink, she said

     VII. Terre, qui vint à nous

     Earth, who came to us

     VIII. Et encore: l'été

     And again: summer will last

Une voix

A Voice

     I. Tout cela, mon ami

     All that, my friend

     II. Et puisse être le ciel

     The sky's way of being

Une pierre

A Stone

“Ye déplace du pied..."

"Among other stones..."

"Un même effacement..."

"The same effacement..."

Une pierre

A Stone

Une pierre

A Stone

"Passant, ce sont des mots..."

"Passerby, these are words ..."

"Sur la Pierre tachée..."

"On the moss-stained ..."

LA PLUIE SUR LE RAVIN 

RAIN FALLS ON THE RAVINE

     I. Il pleut, sur le ravin

     Rain falls on the ravine

     II. Pluie des matins d'été

     Rain of summer mornings

     III. Je me lève, je vois

     I get up and see

À MÈME RIVE 

TOWARD THE SAME SHORE

     I. Parfois prend le miroir

     Between sky and room

     II. Rêver: que la beauté

     Dreaming that beauty

     III. Et plus tard on l'entend

     And later you hear him

LA VOIX LOINTAINE 

THE FARAWAY VOICE 

     I. Je l'écoutais, puis j'ai craint

     I listened, then feared

     II. Ou bien je l'entendais

     Or else I was hearing her

     III. Et je l'aimais comme I aime ce son 

     I loved her voice as I love that sound

     IV. Et la vie a passé

     So life has passed

     V. Elle chantait, mais comme se parlant

     She sang, as though speaking to herself

     VI. Et nul n'a bu au verre

     And no one drank from the glass

     VII. Ne cesse pas, voix dansante

     Never cease, dancing voice

     VIII. Ne cesse pas, voix proche

     Never cease, nearby voice

     IX. Elle chantait: <<Je suis

     She sang: "I am

     X. Et ombre elle était bien

     Shadow she was

     XI. Elle chantait, et j'ai eu 

     She sang, and her words

DANS LE LEURRE DES MOTS 

IN THE LURE OF WORDS

     I. C'est le sommeil d'été

     Again this year

     II. Et je pourrais

     And presently

LA MAISON NATALE 

THE HOUSE WHERE I WAS BORN

     I. Je m'éveillai

     I woke

     II. Je m'éveillai

     I woke

     III. Je m'éveillai

     I woke

     IV. Une autre fois

     Another time

     V. Or, dans le même réve

     In the same dream

     VI. Je m'evéillai 

     I woke

     VII. Je me souviens

     I remember

     VIII. J'ouvre les yeux

     I open my eyes

     IX. Et alors un jour vint

     Then came the day

     X. La vie, alors

     Life, then

     XI. Et je repars

     And I start out again

     XII. Beauté et vérité

     Beauty and truth 

LES BLANCHES COURBES 

THE CURVED PLANKS

L'ENCORE AVEUGLE 

STILL BLIND

L'ENCORE AVEUGLE 

STILL BLIND

     I. Les théologiens

     The theologians 

     II. Dieu

     God

L'OR SANS VISAGE 

FACELESS GOLD

     I. Et d'autres

     And others

     II. Mais d'autres

     But others

     III. Ils me parlent

     They speak to me

JETER DES PIERRES 

THROWING STONES

Rouler plus vite

Driving Faster

Rouler plus loin

Driving Farther

Jeter des pierres

Throwing Stones

Afterword by Hoyt Rogers

Translator's Note

Bibliography

Synopsis:

For decades readers and critics have acclaimed Yves Bonnefoy as France's greatest living poet. His most recent book of verse, The Curved Planks, crowns an oeuvre that has won him the highest international honors. More than any other single work, this sequence embodies the astonishing variety of Bonnefoy's art. A rich fabric of themes, styles, and genres, it balances aesthetic complexity with heartfelt directness.
 
This bilingual edition of The Curved Planks sets the French texts alongside English versions by the noted translator Hoyt Rogers, who has collaborated closely with Bonnefoy in crafting poems that re-create the freshness and vision of the originals. This volume also includes a preface by the renowned poet and critic Richard Howard and essays by the translator that situate The Curved Planks in the author's body of work. All assist in introducing the English-language reader to Bonnefoy's profound poetic gift.

About the Author

Yves Bonnefoy has published numerous studies of literature and art, as well as an extensive dictionary of mythology. His work has been translated into many languages, and he is a celebrated translator of Shakespeare and Yeats. He lives in Paris.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374530754
Author:
Bonnefoy, Yves
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Translator:
Rogers, Hoyt
Foreword by:
Howard, Richard
Foreword:
Howard, Richard
Author:
Rogers, Hoyt
Author:
Howard, Richard
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Single Author - Continental European
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
French
Illustrations:
Bibliography
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.39 x 5.43 x 0.775 in

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The Curved Planks: Poems New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - French 9780374530754 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
For decades readers and critics have acclaimed Yves Bonnefoy as France's greatest living poet. His most recent book of verse, The Curved Planks, crowns an oeuvre that has won him the highest international honors. More than any other single work, this sequence embodies the astonishing variety of Bonnefoy's art. A rich fabric of themes, styles, and genres, it balances aesthetic complexity with heartfelt directness.
 
This bilingual edition of The Curved Planks sets the French texts alongside English versions by the noted translator Hoyt Rogers, who has collaborated closely with Bonnefoy in crafting poems that re-create the freshness and vision of the originals. This volume also includes a preface by the renowned poet and critic Richard Howard and essays by the translator that situate The Curved Planks in the author's body of work. All assist in introducing the English-language reader to Bonnefoy's profound poetic gift.
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