Transparence of the World (Kagean Book) (French) Paperback – 1 Apr 2003
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Throughout WWII, French poet Jean Follain wrote poems that revisit the provinces of personal and....
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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
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.