“Into his work too goes a happy accord between the strictest reason and the freest intuition…Much thought, much pain, much scholarship — and then suddenly the mysterious utterance which finds its way into the paper to bear the imprint of an original poetic mind…How lucky Alain Bosquet is to have cultivated his inner gifts with so much discipline.”
“A brilliant and original bilingual collection of metaphysical speculations and projections by the famous French poet who refers to himself as ‘an atheist hassled by belief.’”
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“These poems of intense agnostic faith show God in deep torment trying to reach humanity, torn away from the clear moorings of a transcendent faith and experience. Bosquet has written profound meditations upon postmodernity.”
The Reader's Review
Ohio University Press published a first volume of Alain Bosquet’s work, Selected Poems, in 1973. Since then, the avant-garde and metaphysical poetry of Bosquet has become widely available to an international audience. Such eminent poets as Paul Celan, Vasko Popa, Octavio Paz, and Ismail Kadare have translated his work into German, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Albanian. Writers who have translated his poetry into English include Samuel Beckett, Lawrence Durrell, Denise Levertov, Louis Zukowski, Denis Devlin and Wallace Fowlie. This current collection, God’s Torment, has appeared in Italian, Swedish, Portuguese, Dutch, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian and Catalan.
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The Battle of Kosovo cycle of heroic ballads is generally considered the finest work of Serbian folk poetry. Commemorating the Serbian Empire’s defeat at the hands of the Turks in the late fourteenth century, these poems and fragments have been known for centuries in Eastern Europe.
E. L. Mayo was a quiet poet who embraced obscurity almost as a condition for his intellectual freedom. Still, a few discerning critics noticed. David Daiches has said that “Mayo’s poems … pretend to be simple prose–like utterances, whereas in fact the best of them contain an echoing poetic meaning which begins to relase itself a split second after we have read the words.”
This unique collection of poems, translated by more than forty major contemporary American poets, grew out of a project of the Poetry Center of the New York YMHA supported by the Bollingen Foundation and under the direction of Miss Elizabeth Kray. The purpose was two-fold: “to stimulate the art of translation” and to open “the flow of foreign poetry into native English current.”