Thursday, October 12, 2017

Simon Leake writes

after Philippe Jaccottet

gone the jamboree of labour
inviolate shadows protect
shapes from the inquisition of light

the jaundice wall is drained of its weight

and trees that in winter made
a spate of flights to the stars

now, in this lamplight on leaves,
connect new softer constellations 
 Clement -- David Mensing

1 comment:

  1. In 1931 Jacques Schiffrin created the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade to provide the public with reference editions of the complete works of classic authors in a pocket format. The "entry into the Pléiade" is considered a major sign of recognition for an author in France; out of the 800+ books published so far, only 15 have been devoted to living authors. The 15th, in 2014, was the Swiss poet and translator Philippe Jaccottet. He has been awarded the Schiller Prize, Switzerland's highest literary honor, as well as the Petrarca-Preis, a literary and translation award primarily for contemporary European writers, and the Prix Goncourt de la Poésie, France's most prestigious poetry award. In 1971 he published "La Semaison" (Seedtime), his journal entries from 1954, the year after he moved to Provence, through 1967, and wrote on its jacket the following: "The despairing happiness of words, the despairing defense of the impossible, everything which contradicts, denies, mimicks or blasts. At each instant it is like the first and last word, the first and last poem, embarrassed, solemn, without probability and without force, stubborn fragility, an enduring fountain; and again, in the evening, its sound against death, flabbiness, stupidity; again, its freshness, its limpidity against drivel. Again, the star out of the scabbard."

    more than eight hundred books have been published in the series, with eleven books generally published every year. , and it is extremely rare that a living author is published in the Pléiade.


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