The Anchor Anthology of French Poetry: From Nerval to Valery in English Translation

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The Anchor Anthology of French Poetry: From Nerval to Valery in English Translation

English | ISBN 10: 0385498888 | 2000 | PDF | 480 Pages | 5,3 MB

I love poetry of all kinds, and French poetry is certainly no exception. I picked up this book my freshman year of high school and it is now significantly dog-eared, written on and generally abused!

My only qualm with this book (and the reason why I give it four out of five stars) is that, with the exception of “La Chanson du Mal-Aime,” the Apollinaire translations are lacking. I can’t pinpoint any exact errors at the moment because I don’t have my book, but Donald Revell’s translation of Alcools is, in my opinion, a much better introduction to Apollinaire.

I’m not a fluent French speaker, but I can read it competently with a dictionary at hand, and I noticed that the translations in the Anchor Anthology lacked the spirit I found in Revell’s work…however, this could simply be a matter of personal preference. To me, this spirit was refreshing, but to others, it may seem that Revell took too much poetic license in his translations. I enjoy his version of “Zone” much better but I was more impressed with the version of “La Chanson du Mal-Aime” in the Anchor Anthology.

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