Poetry. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the French by Donald Revell. The LAST VERSES of Jules Laforgue is the first full-length collection of free verse published in the French language and, in many ways, it remains far in advance of any free verse innovations conjured in the past one hundred years and more. Laforgue, in his famous Complaints,was a profound influence upon such Modernist poets as Eliot and Pound. Yet in his LAST VERSES he set a precedent which no one as yet has managed to emulate or to advance. Why should this be? Simply put, LAST VERSES does not reject poetic formalism but, rather, projects it into uncharted and unvoiced regions of spiritual and sexual extremity. The freedom of these poems rests entirely in the purity of their despair, a purity not to be measured by any extant means. This music is made by no instrument but itself. This music is made on the farther shore of death.
Author City: PARIS FRA
Lyrical and scathingly pessimistic, Uruguay-born French poet Jules Laforgue offered an urgent tone of despair and fatalism, often rendered with playfully provocative and cynical humor. In 1918 Ezra Pound said of him, "He is an exquisite poet, a deliverer of nations...a father of light." Among the most innovative of poets in the French language and a pioneer in the use of free verse, Laforgue was an important influence on the young T. S. Eliot. Notable also for his early protests for the liberation of women, Laforgue died in Paris in 1887 aged just 27.
Reviews and Other Links
author site (en français)
poetry finalist for Three Percent 2012 Best Translated Book Award
Eric Rawson @ Drunken Boat