Many of the poems here pay tribute to Cynthia, Propertius's romantic obsession, but the scope of these 107 elegies is broad. Propertius's poetry offers a fascinating look into life in the Augustan age, addressing social, political, and historical subjects. A contemporary of Virgil and Horace, Propertius has influenced scores of poets--from Ovid to Housman to Pound.
His poetry appears here for the first time in a dual-language edition with the translations facing the original Latin. Rendered into English by a poet who is also one of the nation's pre-eminent Propertius experts, the volume brings Propertius's difficult mix of vernacular and high literary allusion into contemporary language.
Cynthia was the first. She caught me with her eyes, a fool
who had never before been touched by desires.
Love cast down my look of constant pride,
and he pressed on my head with his feet,
until he taught me to despise chaste girls,
perversely, and to live without plan.
Already, it's been a whole year that the frenzy hasn't stopped,
when, for all that, the gods are against me.
Peter Cole's translations reveal this remarkable poetic world to English readers in all of its richness, humor, grace, gravity, and wisdom. The Dream of the Poem traces the arc of the entire period, presenting some four hundred poems by fifty-four poets, and including a panoramic historical introduction, short biographies of each poet, and extensive notes. (The original Hebrew texts are available on the Princeton University Press Web site.) By far the most potent and comprehensive gathering of medieval Hebrew poems ever assembled in English, Cole's anthology builds on what poet and translator Richard Howard has described as "the finest labor of poetic translation that I have seen in many years" and "an entire revelation: a body of lyric and didactic verse so intense, so intelligent, and so vivid that it appears to identify a whole dimension of historical consciousness previously unavailable to us." The Dream of the Poem is, Howard says, "a crowning achievement."
In sixty-two tightly woven prose poems, Negroni deftly infuses haunting imagery with an ironic, personal spirituality. Effortlessly she navigates the nameless subject to the slopes of the Himalayas, to a bar in Buenos Aires, through war, from icy Scandinavian landscapes to the tropics, across seas, toward a cemetery in the wake of Napoleon's hearse, by train, by taxis headed in unrequested directions, past mirrors and birds, between life and death.
Night Journey reflects a mastery of a traditional form while brilliantly expressing a modern condition: the multicultural, multifaceted individual, ever in motion. Displacement abounds: a "medieval tabard" where a pelvis should be, a "lipless grin," a "beach severed from the ocean." In one poem "nomadic cities" whisk past. In another, smiling cockroaches loom in a visiting mother's eyes.
Anne Twitty, whose elegant translations are accompanied by the Spanish originals, remarks in her preface that the book's "indomitable literary intelligence" subdues an unspoken terror--helplessness. Yet, as observed by the angel Gabriel, the consoling voice of wisdom, only by accepting the journey for what it is can one discover its "hidden splendor," the "invisible center of the poem." As readers of this magnificent work will discover, this is a journey that, because its every fleeting image conjures a thousand words of fertile silence, can be savored again and again.
The selections introduce the reader to the full spectrum of Kocbek's long and distinguished career, starting with the pantheist and expressionist nature poems of his early period and continuing through the politically engaged poetry written during and after World War II, to the philosophical and metaphysical meditations of his fecund late period.
Readers will be struck by the originality and freshness of Kocbek's sinewy and intense vision, rendered into fluid and idiomatic English by two experienced translators. The Slovenian texts appear on the facing pages.
The opening stanza of "Moon with a Halo"
The man beside me was killed.
He had a mother who bore him
and a father who made him toys,
he had a brother and a playful uncle
and a little girl with blond braids,
he had a wooden cart and a wooden horse,
a trunkful of colored dreams
and a brook where he used to fish.
Often focused upon the border of this world and some other, Pak writes with a spareness of presentation but a cornucopia of imagery, meticulously exploring objective and subjective realms of existence and memory. Encouraging the reader to see and listen, and to allow the sensory to reshape the analytical, Pak's poetry opens up new realms of experience. A fellow Korean poet described Pak's poetry as being "the most exquisite expression of the Korean sense of han," or melancholy.
This bilingual edition reveals the power and beauty of this poet's Spanish poems through English versions of corresponding force. It invites readers to enter Terán's world--a world at once strongly Venezuelan and universally human, imbued with great beauty, sardonic humor, pitiless compassion, lucid wisdom, and joyful affirmation.
Selected from several volumes of Terán's work, these poems span half a century of composition and show an extraordinary range in both form and substance. Some are written in closed forms, some in free verse. Some are carefully evocative representations of the landscapes and cityscapes that have nourished the poet's intelligence and imagination. Others are dramatic character studies. All are infused with Terán's rare sensibility and realized through language that manages to be at once graceful, urgent, and explosive. This volume is a treasure for all lovers of poetry.
Deal Struck with Happiness
How much sweetness to make right the night
and this clutch of anemones
near thin smooth consoling stones,
stones havens of southern weather.
Of a woman who watches Cepheids quaver
among lightbursting mangroves.
Of a woman who offers cats-eyes and clematis
only, Islands, for the sake of setting right
her deal struck with happiness.
John Svarlien's lively blank-verse translation reflects the wide range of styles and tones deployed throughout Horace's eighteen sermons or conversations, deftly reproducing their distinctive humor while tracking the poet's changing mannerisms and moods.
David Mankin's Introduction offers a brief account of the political upheavals in which Horace participated as well as the social setting in which his Satires were produced, and points up hallmarks of the poet's distinctive brand of satire. His detailed commentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at Roman society and an often between-the-lines examination of a key work of one of Rome's sharpest observers.
'Georgic' means 'to work the earth', and this poetic guide to country living combines practical wisdom on tending the land with exuberant fantasy and eulogies to the rhythms of nature. It describes hills strewn with wild berries in 'vine-spread autumn'; recommends watching the stars to determine the right time to plant seeds; and gives guidance on making wine and keeping bees. Yet the Georgics also tells of angry gods, bloody battles and a natural world fraught with danger from storms, pests and plagues. Expansive in its scope, lush in its language, this extraordinary work is at once a reflection on the cycles of life, death and rebirth, an argument for the nobility of labour and an impassioned reflection on the Roman Empire of Virgil's times. Kimberly Johnson's lyrical verse translation captures all the rich beauty and abundant imagery of the original, re-creating this ancient masterpiece for our times.
Camões (1524-1580) was the first great European artist to cross into the Southern Hemisphere, and his poetry bears the marks of nearly two decades spent in north and east Africa, the Persian Gulf, India, and Macau. From an elegy set in Morocco, to a hymn written at Cape Guardafui on the northern tip of Somalia, to the first modern European love poems for a non-European woman, these lyrics reflect Camões's encounters with radically unfamiliar peoples and places. Translator Landeg White has arranged the poems to follow the order of Camões's travels, making the book read like a journey. The work of one of the first European cosmopolitans, these poems demonstrate that Camões would deserve his place among the great poets even if he had never written his epic.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Giovanni Pascoli (1855–1912)—the founder of modern Italian poetry and one of Italy's most beloved poets—has been compared to Robert Frost for his evocation of natural speech, his bucolic settings, and the way he bridges poetic tradition and the beginnings of modernism. Featuring verse from throughout his career, and with the original Italian on facing pages, Selected Poems of Giovanni Pascoli is a comprehensive and authoritative collection of a fascinating and major literary figure.
Reading this poet of nature, grief, and small-town life is like traveling through Italy's landscapes in his footsteps—from Romagna and Bologna to Rome, Sicily, and Tuscany—as the country transformed from an agrarian society into an industrial one. Mixing the elevated diction of Virgil with local slang and the sounds of the natural world, these poems capture sense-laden moments: a train's departure, a wren's winter foraging, and the lit windows of a town at dusk. Incorporating revolutionary language into classical scenes, Pascoli's poems describe ancient rural dramas—both large and small—that remain contemporary.
Framed by an introduction, annotations, and a substantial chronology, Taije Silverman and Marina Della Putta Johnston's translations render the variety, precision, and beauty of Pascoli's poetry with a profoundly current vision.
Originally published in 1982.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.