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Collected Poems in English and French Paperback – January 21, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Here is the first complete collection in print of all poetry by the Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett. The volume contains the English poems--including Whoroscope, his first published verse. In addition, there are the dozen poems in French in which he wrote in 1938 and 1939.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (January 21, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130969
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I beg to differ with the previous reviewer. The greatness of this collection has to do with its connection to French poetry, and not to any connection to Beckett's stage work. The aphorisms are of minor interest, for example, and appeal to those seeking the expository. Rather, the volume's center of gravity is the translations of Eluard, which comprise many pages. These poems and their translations are breathtakingly beautiful, combining the intuitive and delicate play of sound and language of a Hart Crane (or a Dylan Thomas) with the experimentation (an occasionaly touch of Dada) and yet directness of a Rene Char. The few poems of Beckett himself are clearly following this lead -- if not directly emulating-- and are themselves beautiful and experimental more than they are meaningful. Witness the singsonginess of "Roundelay," or, for those who want something more comprehensible, the mixture of experiment and directness in "Mort de A.D." here a selection from the author's own translation from the French:
"je suis ce cours de sable qui glisse
entre le galet et la dune...
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By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Even though Beckett is my favorite writer, I do not think that poetry was his best medium, and I think that this volume shows it all too well. Also, on a more technical note, this book does not include translations of all the French works into English (which bothers me) or, for all that matter, all the English works into French. That said, there are great moments here that poetry fans who are not necessarily also Beckett fans may enjoy. Beckett's first published work, an odd dissertation on Descartes called "Whoroscope," has a wonderfully Bohemian presence. I was most impressed, however, with the translations, which truly roar and pitch! The best are those of Apollinaire's "Zone," Rimbaud's "Drunken Boat" (which Rimbaud himself would have loved, I think), and several maxims by the little-known French Revolutionary writer Sebastien Chamfort. When one reads of Rimbaud "foul(ing) unutterable Floridas," one is inclined to think, "What about the utterable Floridas?" This is one of the reasons poetry is so much fun.
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Format: Paperback
These poems are not as intersting or important as his dramatic and prose works, but this volume has a few very good poems("Echo's Bones", "sanies I", "Saint Lo", "Whoroscope") and interesting trasnaltions of Apolloinaire & Rimbaud. But it is his adaptaions of the maxims of Sebastien Chamfort(called "Long after Chamfort") that give that characteristic mix of humor, despair, intimacy, isolation, confession and soul-searing. To wit, a few choice maxims:
"Better on your arse than on your feet, Flat on your back than either, dead than the lot.
Ask of all-healing, all-consoling thought Salve and solace for the woe it wrought.
sleep till death healeth come ease this life disease"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great shoe worn it for years
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