Jose-Maria De Heredia'S Les Trophees

Jose-Maria De Heredia'S Les Trophees

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Poetry. Translated from the French by John Anson. John Anson's version of Jos-Maria Heredia's sonnet sequence Les Trophes is a triumph of the translator's art and makes Heredia's neglected masterpiece accessible to an English-speaking audience perhaps for the first time. 'The Trophes gave me one of my greatest joys as a poet,' wrote Mallarm to Heredia in 1893, the year the volume was published; and indeed, as Anson explains in his excellent introduction, Heredia's 'sonnets constitute the finest flower of the Parnassian movement.' The task that Anson set himselfthat of maintaining Heredia's Petrarchan rhyme scheme for all 118 poems in the sequencewas an extraordinarily arduous one, given the comparative paucity of rhymes in english. And yet, Anson has succeeded remarkably well. His version of the Trophes, while remaining faithful to the original and alert to most of the nuances in the French, is beautifully calibrated both to the ambiance of the period in which the poems were composed and to the English of Anson's own audience. In short, this is a tour de force. Henry Weinfield

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