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With an introduction by Bernard O'Donoghue
Translated by Jane Draycott
RRP: GBP 9.95
ISBN: 978 1 847779 39 7
Categories: British, Medieval, Translation, Women
Published: April 2011
56 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), Paperback, eBook (PDF)
So I came to this very same spot
in the green of an August garden, height
and heart of summer, at Lammas time
when corn is cut with curving scythes...
In a dream landscape radiant with jewels, a father sees his lost daughter on the far bank of a river: ‘my pearl, my girl’. One of the great treasures of the British Library, the fourteenth-century poem Pearl is a work of poetic brilliance. Its account of loss and consolation retains its force across six centuries.
Jane Draycott in her new translation remakes the imaginative intensity of the original. This is, Bernard O’Donoghue says in his introduction, ‘an event of great significance and excitement’, an encounter between medieval tradition and an acclaimed modern poet.
Cover Photograph: © Benedict Schmidt
Introduction by Bernard O’Donoghue
'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
Praise for Jane Draycott 'Draycott uses the language of dreams to make the quotidian illusionary, like a vapour captured in lexicon. Sleeplessness haunts the collection... Homeliness is pushed, just, over to Freud's unhomely conclusions. The dream world, enticing and enlightening as he might have it to be, proves no more accommodating than our own.'
Lucy Cheseldine, STAND
'Her searching curiosity and wonderful assurance make her an impeccable and central poetic intelligence.'
Penelope Shuttle, Manhattan Review 'I've waited some time to read something this intelligent, this sensuous and this crystalline. In fact The Night Tree is the finest collection I've read for ages.'
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