4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
excellent translations by an important Brecht translator,
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This review is from: Selected Poems (Paperback)
I have recommended this anthology to a number of my friends. Hays' translations seem to my reading to be fresh and vital, maintaining a level of success throughout better than does the standard Methuen collected translations edited by Willett and Mannheim. Only Michael Hamburger there satisfies me to the same extent. Hays translations carry an innate sense of pulse and structure, and with apparent ease can hit when required on colloquial phrasing appropriate to the tone; this without one feeling any strain or lurch into gamey English. In other words, he can follow Brecht through variations in register.
Hayes was a poet himself, and sometimes it can be the lesser poet who can be the greater translator. It is important to know that Brecht's play Mother Courage and her Children first appeared in English in a translation by Hays in New Directions in Prose and Poetry 1941, the same year as the play's first production (in its original German) in Zurich.
It's great to have this 1947 book in fresh new paperback. If you are interested in Brecht or twentieth century poetry, I very strongly recommend it.