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Poems

Henri Alain-Fournier

Translated by Anthony Howell, Anthony Costello and Anita Marsh

9781784103125
RRP: GBP 7.99
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 784103 14 9
Categories: 20th Century, French, Translation
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: November 2016
144 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
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  • We’ve seen such lovely summers!
    But don’t you think this evening
    We should seal the château doors?
    It’s time to get going, get back,
    Enveloped in our overcoats,
    Down chestnut-guarded roads
    Rapidly shedding as we freeze
    In our ass-drawn carts and barouches
    Loaded with worries and little despairs,
    Our holidays over. It’s back to our cares.



    Alain-Fournier’s poems, while relatively few, are one of the small pearls washed up in the maelstrom of early twentieth-century France. Best known for his novel Le Grand Meaulnes, a posthumous classic, Alain-Fournier was killed in battle in 1914. His poems suspend a pre-war French idyll of warm evenings and rained-on orchards, silk-banded straw hats, lamp-lit farmhouses – and young love reaching out ‘in the frightening dark, with timid fingers’. His lines fluoresce with the pain of memories which cannot be re-lived, and they combine elements of Symbolism, Impressionism and Imagism. The sun is an ambivalent force in these poetic narratives, which transform themselves as if they were dreams. The music of Debussy, the writings of Laforgue, and the paintings of Renoir can also be detected under the surface of Alain-Fournier’s verse, which is provided here in a comprehensive English translation for the first time.
    Henri Alain-Fournier
    Alain-Fournier was the pseudonym of Henri-Alban Fournier, a French author and soldier. He was the author of a single novel, Le Grand Meaulnes (1913), which has been twice filmed and is considered a classic of French literature. In 1914, Alain-Fournier started work on a second novel, Colombe Blanchet, but this remained ... read more
    Anthony Howell
    Anthony Howell was born in 1945. A former dancer with the Royal Ballet and subsequently a performance artist – he founded the Theatre of Mistakes 1974 – he has always been as active in literature as he has in movement. He has published several collections of poems and two novels. During ... read more
    Anthony Costello
    Anthony Costello is a writer and poetry event organiser. His first poetry collection, The Mask, was published by Lapwing Publications in 2014. His second, Angles & Visions, (High Window Press) was published in 2016. He is currently working on a non-fiction book about Artists and their Physicians. Anthony is ... read more
    Anita Marsh
    Anita Marsh studied English & French at Southampton university. She worked as a language assistant in Belgium, a translator for BNP Paribas, and a senior bookseller in London. Anita had a lifelong love of the French language and French Literature and spent the last year of her life living in France ... read more
    'There is an attractive insouciance in the proceeding, a freshness and vitality in the result, and a breath of romantic yearning (Sehnsucht) and the whole, which are characteristic of the poet and make up a large part of the enchantment of his youthful world.' 

    D.M De Silva, Poetry Salzburg  

    'The atmospherics of night and rain do not suggest a desolating personal loss in the area either of love or money; they have a quality of the magical and evoke unmistakably the enchanted world of Pelléas et Mélisande.' 

     D. M De Silva, Poetry Salzburg

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