Featured review from MPT

Treason

Treason

By Hédi Kaddour

Translated by Marilyn Hacker

Yale University Press, 192pp Hardback ISBN 100300149581
Series 3 Number 16 - The Dialect of the Tribe

Review by Delphine Grass

Marilyn Hacker points out in her introduction to her translation of Hédi Kaddour’s poems that ‘Kaddour makes a surprisingly sharp differentiation between his own urban “sonnets” and Baudelaire’s’. Treason, her English translations of Kaddour’s poems, are taken from three different poetry collections of this author published by Gallimard between 1989 an...

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A History of Clouds: 99 Meditations

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A History of Clouds: 99 Meditations

By Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Translated by Martin Chalmers and Esther Kinsky

Seagull Books, 2010

This more than readable, more than highly enjoyable volume – tall and thin like a city building – is a book of conversations disguised as poems, and poems disguised as philosophy. The ninth part of the eponymous poem includes a moment of intense lightness of being that seems to sum up the philosophy of the whole book: all of a sudden the air is full of electric spirits, and we rush out of our houses, prancing in the reeling brightness of our dealings, while up there the artists of the sky, at last awake after long apathy, deliver their selfless performance. My favourite poem – An Earth-Coloured Ditty – is a comment by the poet on the surprising dearth of poems about potatoes: “could it be that it’s too hot for poets, the potato?” This book makes me want find as many potato poems as possible, regardless, and – as with the best poetry – it makes me want to write my own.

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Spring 2014

Spring 2015

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