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Knowing the East : Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation - Paul Claudel

Knowing the East

Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation

By: Paul Claudel, James R. Lawler (Translator)

Paperback Published: 19th September 2004
ISBN: 9780691119021
Number Of Pages: 184

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From the time he was a young man, Paul Claudel was fascinated by Asian cultures. The poet, playwright, and literary critic entered the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat to China and Japan while in his mid-twenties. He spent 18 years between 1895 and 1927 as a tireless observer of both countries' nature, customs, and art. One result is this beautifully-written volume of 61 prose poems Claudel composed over the course of a decade. They have been artfully translated from the French by poet and scholar James Lawler.

Lawler provides the most crisp and accurate translation now available of Claudel's work, which was first collected in a single volume and published in France in 1907. Included are notes on the poems as well as a biographical note on the poet. Lawler presents the author as a gifted observer who discovered himself in his experience of the East. Claudel felt that, without realizing it, he had been destined to encounter this exotic new world. "There are countries we accept," he wrote, "that we marry and straightaway adopt as we do a woman, as if they had been made for us and we for them."

Informed in part by a religious epiphany that Claudel experienced in his youth, "Knowing the East" reflects the author's passion for the natural and spiritual worlds. He writes of topics as diverse as coconut palms, banyans, Japanese pines; the Yang-tse; Confucian, Buddhist, and Shinto temples and tombs; hermitages, festivals for the dead, rice-harvests and torrential rain. Filled with resonant images, "Knowing the East" is a feast for the senses--and a book to be savored again and again.

Industry Reviews

"Claudel's poems, claim some, are a feast for the senses, and these paintings in pastel are artfully translated here. Recommended for all poetry lovers."--Library Journal

Introductionp. xi
Biographical Notesp. xxv
Note on the Textp. xxix
1895-1900 The Coconut Palmp. 3
Pagodap. 5
The City at Nightp. 9
Gardensp. 12
The Feast of the Dead in the Seventh Monthp. 15
Sea Thoughtsp. 17
Citiesp. 18
Theaterp. 19
Graves--Noisesp. 21
The Entrance to the Earthp. 24
Religion of the Signp. 26
The Banyanp. 29
Toward the Mountainp. 30
The Upper Seap. 32
The Temple of Consciousnessp. 33
Octoberp. 34
Novemberp. 35
Paintingp. 37
The Contemplativep. 38
Decemberp. 39
Stormp. 40
The Pigp. 41
Driftingp. 42
Doorsp. 44
The Riverp. 46
Rainp. 48
Night on the Verandahp. 49
The Moon's Splendorp. 50
Dreamsp. 51
Heatp. 53
Considering the Cityp. 54
Going down the Riverp. 55
The Bellp. 56
The Tombp. 58
The Sadness of Waterp. 61
Sailing by Nightp. 62
Halt on the Canalp. 63
The Pine Treep. 66
The Golden Ark in the Forestp. 69
The Wandererp. 72
Here and Therep. 74
The Sedentaryp. 80
The Land Viewed from the Seap. 82
Salutationp. 83
The Suspended Housep. 85
The Springp. 86
Noon Tidep. 88
Peril of the Seap. 90
A Proposition on Lightp. 92
Hours in the Gardenp. 94
Concerning the Brainp. 97
Leaving the Landp. 99
1900-1905 The Lamp and the Bellp. 103
The Deliverance of Amaterasup. 105
Visitp. 110
Ricep. 111
The Full Stopp. 112
Libation to the Coming Dayp. 113
The Day of the Feast-of-All-Riversp. 114
The Yellow Hourp. 116
Dissolutionp. 117
Notes on the Poemsp. 119
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691119021
ISBN-10: 0691119023
Series: Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 19th September 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.42 x 16.1  x 1.35
Weight (kg): 0.29