Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation
French Love Poems is about the kinds of love that puzzle, delight and afﬂict us throughout our lives, from going on walks with an attractive cousin before Sunday dinner (Nerval) to indulging a granddaughter (Hugo). On the way there’s the ﬁrst yes from lips we love (Verlaine), a sky full of stars reﬂected fatally in Cleopatra’s eyes (Heredia), Iying awake waiting for your lover (Valéry), and the defeated toys of dead children (Gautier). The selection covers ﬁve centuries, from Ronsard to Valéry. Other poets represented include Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rimbaud, La Fontaine, Laforgue and Leconte de Lisle. The 35 poems, chosen by Alistair Elliot, are printed opposite his own highly skilful verse translations. There are also helpful notes on French verse technique and on points of obscurity.
'Elliot is both a passionate and accurate translator and his Ronsard and Victor Hugo are as luminous as his versions of Verlaine and Mallarmé… his natural lyricism and acute sense of form make his French translations a scintillating collection.' – Elizabeth Jennings
'An attractively varied collection, translated with diligence and ingenuity.' – Edwin Morgan
French-English dual language edition
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