Beneath the rimes

These are some poetry books that Bloom is keeping its eyes on and that will be available at our shelfs very soon. We praise that you can make your suggestions. Books you like, things you'd like to see here, in from of your eyes. Throw us an email or leave your comments on this post. Thank you.

From the time his first futurist poems were published in 1912 until his suicide at the age of thirty-six, Vladimir Mayakovsky made theatrical appearances in his written work and perfected an iconoclastic voice James Schuyler called “the intimate yell.” As the poet laureate of the Russian Revolution, Mayakovsky led a generation that staked everything on the notion that an artist could fuse a public and a private self. But by the time of Stalin’s terror, the contradictions of the revolution caught up with him, and he ended in despair.
A major influence on American poets of the twentieth century, Mayakovsky’s work remains fascinating and urgent. Very few English translations have come close to capturing his lyric intensity, and a comprehensive volume of his writings has not been published in the past thirty years. In Night Wraps the Sky, the acclaimed filmmaker Michael Almereyda (Hamlet, William Eggleston in the Real World) presents Mayakovsky’s key poems—translated by a new generation of Russian-American poets—alongside memoirs, artistic appreciations, and eyewitness accounts, written and pictorial, to create a full-length portrait of the man and the mythic era he came to embody.

Allen Ginsberg admired the epic sweep and social ambition of Mayakovsky's poetry, while Frank O'Hara was fascinated by Mayakovsky's unabashed intimacy with the cosmos. The barbaric-bardic energy and influence of the Russian Futurist giant have been obscured for half a century, but Michael Almereyda has recovered a living, still-breathing figure of folk majesty, a poet-declaimer whose discoveries are far from spent.
Andrei Codrescu
The poet Mayakovsky may have been a genius, a hipster, a shill, and the first and only early-Soviet rap star. Night Wraps the Sky finally does justice to one of the most fascinating and controversial literary bad boys of the 20th Century.
Gary Shteyngart
Mayakovsky read like a sailor shouting through a megaphone to another ship in a heavy sea.
John Berger
Night Wraps the Sky - Writings by and about Mayakovsky
Vladimir Mayakovsky • Edited by Michael Almereyda
Farrar, Straus and Giroux • Hardcover • Published: April 2008

Now substantially revised by Edward Snow, whom Denise Levertov once called "far and away Rilke's best translator," this bilingual edition ofThe Book of Images contains a number of the great poet's previously untranslated pieces. Also included are several of Rilke's best-loved lyrics, such as "Autumn," "Childhood," "Lament," "Evening," and "Entrance."

"Snow, who so insightfully translated the two volumes of Rilke's New Poems, has now turned to The Book of Images, one of the poet's most startling and diverse masterworks. Snow has rendered with great skill and accuracy a work both familiar and unknown, more complicated and more immediate than many have suspected, at once grave, mysterious, and beautiful."
Edward Hirsch

"How much setting straight Snow's new translation of The Book of Images accomplishes! With these sorrowing and luminous poems to lead up to Snow's two volumes of the New Poems, it is possible to gain, for the first time in English, a consistent perspective of Rilke's difficult canon, here restored and disclosed to stunning effect."
Richard Howard

Edward Snow has received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his many renderings of Rilke. The author of A Study of Vermeer and Inside Breughel, he teaches at Rice University.

The Book of Images, by Rainer Maria Rilke
• Translated by Edward Snow
North Point Press • Revised Bilingual • Paperback

Few of the World readers seem to be aware that Hermann Hesse, author of the epic novels Steppenwolf and Siddhartha, among many others, also wrote poetry, the best of which the poet James Wright has translated and included in this book. This is a special volume—filled with short, direct poems about love, death, loneliness, the seasons—that is imbued with some of the imagery and feeling of Hesse’s novels but that has a clarity and resonance all its own, a sense of longing for love and for home that is both deceptively simple and deeply moving.

“Rilke, T. S. Eliot, Gide, Thomas Mann rightly called Hesse a master… His fiction achieves the glorious anachronism of art: created in the past, it speaks to us in the present. It glorifies the strategies of attempting to become a full human being and it celebrates the nobility of failure.”
Webster Schott

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) was a German poet and novelist. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962.

Poems, by Hermann Hesse
Selected, translated, and with an introduction by James Wright
Farrar, Straus and Giroux • Hardcover • Published: March 2008


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