A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets

By John Pilling | Go to book overview

Yves Bonnefoy (born 1923)

Born in Tours, the son of a railway worker and educated there, specializing in mathematics and philosophy. Studied at Poitiers with a view to becoming a mathematician, but deflected from so doing by the poetic interests he developed on removing to Paris in 1943, stimulated primarily by the poetry of Paul Éluard and by the company of Surrealist painters whom he knew. Read very widely and was led to abandon pure Surrealism by reading Shestov Potestas Clavium. Spent the years 1947-52 writing the poems for his first volume Du Mouvement et de l'immobilité de Douve ( 1953) which brought him immediate fame. Married his first wife in 1953 but later separated from her. Studied philosophy with Gaston Bachelard and wrote a dissertation on Baudelaire and Kierkegaard. Gradually allowed his interest in mathematics to decline. Visited Italy and was profoundly impressed by early Italian Renaissance art. Later studied French Gothic art and Italian Baroque art; began to translate Shakespeare into French. Has been a professor at the Universities of Geneva, Vincennes and Nice. Recently appointed Professor of Poetics at the Collège de France.

No French poet to have emerged since the end of the Second World War has made a greater impact than Yves Bonnefoy. On the publication in 1953 of his first volume of poems, Bonnefoy provoked a critical reaction in France comparable to that which had greeted Valéry La Jeune Parque in 1917, and since then the many-sidedness of his activity has made analogies with Valéry, and beyond him Baudelaire, almost

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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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