‘Pierre Reverdy’ By Pierre Reverdy (New Year’s Resolution, Book Thirty-Six)

9781590176795I actually finished this a while back and it deserves a lot more time than I’m about to put into this post, but I’m tired, stressed at work, and I think I have a sinus infection, so kiss my behind.

Short version, I’ve been wanting to read this poet for a while, but he’s been out of print, so kudos to the New York Review of Books for publishing a new collection of his poems. They assembled a crackerjack list of translations, some more recent than others (Kenneth Rexroth has been dead for a while, so I’m guessing his translations aren’t new). Initially, I tried to look for correspondences between the translators and the individual poems, but that kind of fell apart. At first, it seemed that Rexroth, who himself always wrote left justified lines, usually of medium to long length was picking similar poems and usually he was… until he wasn’t.

Similarly, Ashberry did a lot of poems that were ‘blocky’ with some occasionally jagged enjambments, but really, I think my premise doesn’t hold up so well.

I wish I knew whether the poems were in chronological order. I think they are, but I wish I knew.

Anyway, he’s very good. If you like Rene Char, you’ll love Reverdy.

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