ANOTHER REPUBLIC: 17 European and South American Writers by Charles & Mark Strand--Eds. Simic

ANOTHER REPUBLIC: 17 European and South American Writers

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

These translations are a selection from the work of writers who have quietly but clearly informed the poems of that generation of Americans nearing forty--too quietly, and without the broad audience the editors feel they deserve. Here Simac and Strand intend a remedy. In at least one case the remedy is more than the literate man could need: Fernando Pessoa's ""Salutation to Walt Whitman"" is a shrill of self-insistence, long, hysterical, and static. On the other hand, the lyric, intensely historic poetry of Czeslaw Milosz; the skillful dramatic simplicity of Yehuda Amichai; the eeriness of Francis Ponge's structural prose; and the better-known playful tales of Henri Michaux more than make up for the little bit of posturing. It's interesting, too, to see traces of long familiar poems (for example, Strand's ""Black Maps"") in things we've never read before (Octavio Paz's ""Hurry""). Although these selections show a strong tendency to fix the poem within a highly individual sensibility, if not in a specific experience, a few move toward the minimalist and even the mythic construction. Since each calls for its own kind of reading, the other republic is a paradox: an international community of post-Modernist writers, each unrepresentative of anything but himself. And that's as it should be.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1976
ISBN: 0880011912
Publisher: Ecco Press--dist. by Viking