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Transparence of the World (Kagean Book) (French) Paperback – 1 Apr 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press; Bilingual edition (April 2003)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 155659190X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556591907
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,263,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Throughout WWII, French poet Jean Follain wrote poems that revisit the provinces of personal and....

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Follain is an astonishing poet who creates in one poem the substance and flavours of centuries. There is a deep empathy between the translator and the work. Altogether a book to be treasured.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b45f558) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b4e01a4) out of 5 stars Poet and Translator: A Perfect Marriage 23 Dec. 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Paperback
Fortunate we are that W.S. Merwin commits as much time to translating other poets from other countries and times as he commits to writing his own magnificent works. His gifts as a poet make him far more than a translator: Merwin finds the seed of intention of the poet's works he embraces and manages to lift the thoughts intact into the English language.

This very fine compilation of the poetry of Jean Follain has been gleaned from nine books of poems, curating the best of Follain's poems into a single heady volume. The poems are brief, address history and the effects of time passing with an economy of words that distill portions of moments into indelibly whispered thoughts.


'How one loves

this great wine

that one drinks all alone

when the evening illumines its coppered hills

not a hunter now

stalks the lowland game

the sisters of our friends

seem more beautiful

at the same time there is a threat of war

an insect pauses

then goes on.'

Read it several times and the atmosphere of World War II in the tremulous French countryside is palpable. And this is only one of many. Merwin allows us the pleasure of reading the poems in both French and English, a fine concept that Copper Canyon Press continues to pursue. A superb collaboration of poetic sharing. Grady Harp, December 06
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b44ff18) out of 5 stars Must-have for Follain fans 27 Dec. 2007
By A. Kim - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm not always fond of Merwin's verse translations, but he's done a beautiful job on these. Every poem is solidly lineated. They sound as though they'd been written originally in English. The diction always feels right--neither too high nor too low.

If you've never read Follain's verse poems, this is the way to start. His poems manage to be both highly economic and evocative. They are rich and earthly, intellectually precise and "metaphysical" in the sense used by Eliot.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b43881c) out of 5 stars Great poems, excellent translation 8 Sept. 2015
By Shane Sherod-clyburn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These poems are beautiful, and Merwin's translation is great. Although I don't speak French, I was still glad that it's a bilingual edition. It's still nice to try and read the originals to simulate what they sound like. Follain's poetry is richly evocative and pastoral. He rarely employs the "I" voice, which is something I've been working on in my own writing. The poems are still deeply personal and moving, but without the need for any confessions or internal monologue.
HASH(0x9b3d38b8) out of 5 stars AN ACCURATE AND SENSITIVE TRANSLATION 10 Dec. 2014
By live with what you love - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've bought three Follain books and this one, I believe, provides an accurate balance between text translation and feeling-tone.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b4e71c8) out of 5 stars Read, Please 22 Oct. 2008
By William C. Piper II - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a work of words adrift in the materiality of their naming, and that world named, presented, standing somehow ahead of, or just beyond, the somehow bearable weight of its recent history. And it's lit up. So it's poignant, yet it is the poignancy of survival, of French and its speakers, as Merwin more or less puts it, weathering the shocks of encountering analogous languages (like English) and the wars' and technological/cultural changes' effacement of the faith in language's power to name, of a word's acquiring intimacy with things through a speaker's familiarity and love. In this book poems, and the worlds they name, are structured by the presentation of lit and resonant details which are held in imagination's vision and historical understanding the details prompt. If Pierre Reverday can recall DiChirico's inhuman isolation, abandoned space, Follain is the mammalian antidote, who, though no less strictly constructed, lightly inhabits his landscapes with intimacy and fondness. This is an absolutely lovely piece of work. Do yourself a favor and read it.
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