Georges Schehadé, trans. from the French by Austin Carder. Song Cave, $18.95 trade paper (138p) ISBN 978-1-73403-519-3
The thoughtfully curated first book-length translation of works by Egyptian-born, Lebanese-French poet Schehadé (1905–1989) acquaints readers with the core of his oeuvre. In his introduction, poet Adonis writes, “We do not see streets in Georges Schehadé’s poetry, nor factories. We see the sap of cities... He scrutinizes humankind with his piercing gaze, but he writes divinity. And each thing in his language is poetry.” Schehadé’s poems are often fragmentary but with a strong sense of atmosphere. These untitled poems, many of which are quite short, offer an impressionistic and nostalgic view of love, “O tearful beloved/ Crossing the plains and losing sight/ We’ll live in memory/ Your hands dry like roses.” Seasons serve as repeated motifs of change, along with childhood, as in the four-line poem “A blind violin mourned us/ A stone fountain/ Winter the faceless season/ When grapes are black.” The moon, too, makes frequent appearances in his poems, admired both for its beauty and its potential pain: “a diamond of delight/ And the child recalls a bright disaster.” These mysterious and delicate poems enchant. (July)
Reviewed on : 06/17/2021
Release date: 07/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
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