Selected Poems of Pierre Reverdy (Bilingual Fr/En) Translated by Kenneth Rexroth
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New York. New Directions Publishing Corp. 1969. Hardcover. By arrangement with Editions Gallimard & Mercure de France, Paris. Book Condition: Fine. Jacket Condition: Near Fine, slight tanning, tear at top right corner, some signs of shelf wear at edges. 78pp. (color ill. by Juan Gris).
Reverdy was a fixture in the Paris scene that birthed Surrealism, Cubism, and Dada. Along with some of the other artists of the time, including Guillaume, Picasso, Braque, and the illustrator of this volume, Juan Gris. He was the founder of the literary review Nord-Sud, which featured work by avant-garde writers such as Apollinaire, Jacob, and Philippe Soupault.
Reverdy described his work as poesie brut, and it has been compared to cubism in written form. His poems often do away with standard syntax and exist in microcosms of their own self-referential logic. In this translation, Rexroth has not attempted literal translation, but has rather recreated the poems, capturing their distinctive structural complexity, in his own colloquial American English.