The first collection of the translations Robert Bly has been producing for more than forty years, introducing world poets to American readers for the first time.
Robert Bly has always been amazingly prescient in his choice of poets to translate. The poetry he selected supplied qualities that seemed lacking from the literary culture of this country. For the first time, Robert Bly's brilliant translations, from several languages, have been gathered in one book. Here, in The Winged Energy of Delight, the poems of twenty-two poets, some renowned, others lesser known, are brought together.At a time when editors and readers knew only Eliot and Pound, Robert Bly introduced the earthy wildness of Pablo Neruda and Cesar Vallejo and the sober grief of Trakl, as well as the elegance of Jiménez and Tranströmer. He also published high-spirited versions of Kabir, Rumi, and Mirabai, which had considerable influence on the wider culture of the 1970s and 1980s. Bly's clear translations of Rilke attracted many new readers to the poet, and his versions of Machado have become models of silenceand depth. He continues to bring fresh and amazing poets into English, most recently Rolf Jacobsen, Miguel Hernandez, Francis Ponge, and the nineteenth-century Indian poet Ghalib. As Kenneth Rexroth has said, RobertBly "is one of the leaders of a poetic revival that hasreturned American literature to the world community."
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Robert Bly's books of poetry include The Night Abraham Called to the Stars and My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy. His awards include the National Book Award for poetry and two Guggenheims. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.From Booklist:
Bly, always forceful and clarifying, recalls the astonishment and gratitude he felt when he first read the work of contemporary European and South American poets in the 1950s. He soon set himself the task of translating the poets who spoke most resonantly to his soul, thus discovering the immense joys and challenges of the art of translation. Over the years, Bly extended his inspired efforts to include Horace, poets of India and Persia, Neruda, Lorca, Rilke, and beyond, and he now gathers together selected translations of poets remarkable for their exaltation and outrage, spirituality and rebelliousness, lyricism and compassion. Bly introduces the poets with incandescent interpretations of their work and summaries of their lives, heightening the enjoyment of the poems that follow, including works by the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer; Norwegian poets Olav H. Hauge, Rolph Jacobsen, and Harry Martinson; a sixteenth-century Indian ecstatic and radical, a woman named Mirabai; and George Trakl, Antonio Machado, and Juan Ramon Jimenez. The result is an exceptionally spirited international collection of artful and passionate translations. Donna Seaman
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