As well as being Germany’s most important poet, Hans Magnus Enzensberger is a provocative cultural essayist and one of Europe’s leading political thinkers. No British poet can match him in his range of interests and his moral passion.
Enzensberger is a cultured, learned, widely knowledgeable man, but his poems wear their knowledge, learning and culture very lightly. Perfectly at ease in a variety of poetic forms, he presents us again and again with things that matter.
This is intelligent and pointed poetry in the tradition of Brecht, humanely political and generously engaged. The poems have the ease and the lightness of real mastery. They are moral in their insistence that human life can be lived well or badly, that it is up to us to choose well and to act wisely. Enzensberger is now writing with an increasing awareness of mortality, yet addresses social and political dangers and evils with undiminished urgency.
‘…ambitious in its address to history, Germany and the state of the world is Hans Magnus Enzensberger's New Selected Poems.’ – Sean O’Brien, Independent (Best Poetry Books of 2015)
‘Enzensberger, unarguably one of the most important European poets of the last 50 years, is also a novelist, critic, editor and translator and his books have been translated into over 40 languages... Plain and learned, cold and clever, Enzensberger is always good at suggesting the violent chaos just beneath the surface…’ – Andy Croft, Morning Star
‘Savage, funny, exact, widely informed, immune to sentiment, Enzensberger is the kind of public author we could do with here and now.’ – Sean O’Brien, Guardian
‘It’s always bracing to read Enzensberger; he’s so playful, alert and light on his feet, both listening to himself and knowing the world.’ – Michael Hofmann, Times Literary Supplement
‘This volume shows just why HME is such a major figure: a protean genius, with a huge range of empathies.’ – Ian Pople, Manchester Review
'Hans Magnus Enzensberger is a major European voice who will broaden the horizons of those familiar only with home-grown poetry. He is wise, acerbic and profound. He is also very entertaining. His New Selected Poems is a substantial volume of work to which one will return with increasing profit and enjoyment.' - David Cooke, The High Window
German-English bilingual edition