A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets

By John Pilling | Go to book overview

Pierre Reverdy (1889-1960)

Born in Narbonne, the son of a winegrower. Educated there in lycdes until 1910. Moved to Paris in 1910 where, on the death of his father, he became wholly dependent on his writing. Enjoyed the respect of the Parisian avant-garde writers and painters, and became editor of the review NordSud in 1917. Married and returned to the Catholic faith in 1926, when he took up residence near the Benedictine abbey of Solesmes, living a secluded and ascetic life, though making sporadic visits to Paris. Died in Solesmes. A major influence on French poetry since the Second World War.

In an influential essay on Cubist painting the art critic John Berger has written

[it is] impossible to confront the objects of forms in a Cubist work. Not only because of the multiplicity of viewpoints -- so that, say, a view of a table from below is combined with a view of the table from above or from the side -- but also because the forms portrayed never present themselves as a totality. The totality is the surface of The picture, which is now the origin and sum of all that one sees.

The paintings that Berger primarily has in mind are those painted by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso -- often so similar that two quite different personalities seem to have merged into one -- in the years 1907-12, the 'moment of Cubism' as he aptly calls it. But these remarks may also be applied to a poet who was instrumental in continuing the moment of Cubism well beyond the years Berger sees as those

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A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 9
  • Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) 13
  • Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-98) 23
  • Paul Verlaine (1844-96) 32
  • Tristan Corbière (1845-75) 40
  • Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) 47
  • Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) 56
  • Stefan George (1868-1933) 64
  • Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914) 73
  • Paul Valéry (1871-1945) 80
  • Hugo Von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) 88
  • Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) 97
  • Antonio Machado (1875-1939) 108
  • Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) 118
  • Aleksandr Blok (1880-1921) 127
  • Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958) 136
  • Umberto Saba (1883-1957) 143
  • Dino Campana (1885-1932) 150
  • Gottfried Benn (1886-1956) 158
  • Georg Trakl (1887-1914) 166
  • Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) 173
  • Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) 181
  • Pierre Reverdy (1889-1960) 190
  • Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) 197
  • Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) 206
  • Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938 215
  • César Vallejo (1892-1938) 225
  • Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) 234
  • Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) 243
  • Paul Éluard (1895-1952) 259
  • Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) 266
  • Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) 276
  • Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) 284
  • Jorge Luis Borges (born 1899) 292
  • George Seferis (1900-71 ) 301
  • Salvatore Quasimodo (1901-68) 308
  • Lucio Piccolo (1901-69) 316
  • Attila József (1902-37) 324
  • Pablo Neruda (1904-73) 333
  • René Char (born 1907) 344
  • Cesare Pavese (1908-50) 351
  • Yannis Ritsos (born 1909) 360
  • Octavio Paz (born 1914) 368
  • Johannes Bobrowski (1917-65) 376
  • Paul Celan (1920-70) 383
  • Vasko Popa (born 1922) 392
  • Yves Bonnefoy (born 1923) 400
  • Yehuda Amichai (born 1924) 408
  • Zbigniew Herbert (born 1924) 416
  • Joseph Brodsky (born 1940) 424
  • Bibliographies 432
  • Index 461
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