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The Poetry of Survival: Post-War Poets of Central and Eastern Europe [Hardcover]

Bertolt Brecht , Vladimir Holan , Peter Huchel , Edvard Kocbek , Czeslaw Milosz , Nelly Sachs , Leopold Staff , Anna Swirszczynska , Yehuda Amichai , Daniel Weissbort
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 19.95
Price: 17.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Dec 1991
Daniel Weissbort's anthology is an outstanding guide to the major poets who found a voice for the experience of survival. He focuses on the first post-war generation of Central and East European poets, who wrote in direct response to a war of unprecedented destruction in Europe. Their poetry, especially that of writers in the countries which came under Soviet domination, has both fascinated Western readers and has exercised a vital influence on many poets now writing in English. Many of these twenty-eight poets first came to Western attention twenty or more years ago through translations published in Weissbort's pioneering magazine "Modern Poetry in Translation", and in the "Penguin Modern European Poets" series. Here Daniel Weissbort brings that generation of diverse poets together for the first time setting their work in context and tracing their links and affinities.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Anvil Press Poetry; First Edition edition (13 Dec 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0856461873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0856461873
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 883,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Daniel Weissbort, born in 1935, read History at Cambridge and did graduate work at the London School of Economics on the politics of recent Soviet literature. He founded 'Modern Poetry in Translation' with Ted Hughes in 1965, and was on the advisory board of the London Poetry International festivals from 1969 to 1972.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A definant, vibrant collection of poetry from the east European survivors of WWII. When Theodor Adorno claimed:"After the Holocaust there can be no poetry" he wasn't thinking of the compassion and power these poets could find in their verse. They have stripped away poetry to its barest essentials, dispensing with rhyme, form and rhythm, to craft stark and brutally honest collections. These poets have inspired, most notabley, Ted Hughes in his Crow poems, and share many of his bleak images. They are survivors of war, survivors of genocide, and pull no punches. An awesome collection.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding 19 May 2002
By Kristopher Kincaid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Described by Michael Hoffman of "The Times" (London) on the back cover of the book as "the best anthology of modern poetry for thirty years," this book is now sadly long out of print and hard to find. Find it. Hoffman wasn't kidding, "The Poetry of Survival" is a truly amazing compilation of some of the greatest poets of the century (Celan, Herbert, Rozewicz) and many other fantastic Eastern/Central European and German poets who remain relatively unknown in the West (Vasko Popa, Ingeborg Bachmann, Anna Swir). This anthology concentrates mostly on Eastern Europe - several Polish poets especially - and also includes some German poets (Bachmann, Brecht) and Isrealis (Amichai). The theme is basically, "How have these poets chosen to respond to Adorno's declaration that to write poetry after the Holocaust is barbaric?" and the results are truly striking. Although necessarily dark, this is poetry at its most meaningful, a testament to the continuing importance of poetry as an art. The translations are first-rate (Felstiner's astounding translation of Celan's "Death Fugue" is included) and the selections used to represent each poet are particularly well-chosen ("Death Fugue," Amichai's "Tourists" and Rozewicz's "She Looked at the Sun" are a few of the most exemplary poems that come to mind). There are 28 poets represented in this anthology; none are slackers and most, if not all, are world-class. This is a truly exciting book - for anyone interested in poetry let me repeat: find it. At all costs. "The Poetry of Survival" truly puts in perspective much of the frivolous nonsense that passes for poetry in the West today.
5.0 out of 5 stars To Be Read -- again and again 2 Aug 2013
By Really a Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those who think they know the poetry of the past century but have not read these rather amazing poets is to have missed the century's most significant achievement. Here is the poetry of disenchantment and dislocation as well as the ecstatic exuberance of spiritual triumph. Ironies abound as well as the sobering realities of war, destruction, political heaviness.
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