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Distributed for Seagull Books

The Digamma

Translated by Hoyt Rogers
Heralded as one of France’s greatest poets, Yves Bonnefoy has been dazzling readers since the publication of his first book in 1953. He remains influential and relevant, continuing to compose groundbreaking new work. Though Bonnefoy recently celebrated his ninetieth birthday, many are calling these past two decades his most impressive yet.

His latest book of poetry and prose, The Digamma, fits wonderfully into his impressive oeuvre, offering his signature style of simple but powerful language with fresh new grace. A key passage of the title piece of the book depicts the figures of Nicolas Poussin’s The Shepherds of Arcadia, which Bonnefoy has identified as crucial to the artist’s evolution. The sustained reference to Poussin’s iconography serves to ground the text in the lost civilizations of antiquity. Subtly, it brings out the underlying theme of the entire collection—in the ambivalent world we inhabit, being and non-being is fundamentally one.

As a leading translator of Shakespeare in France, Bonnefoy’s fascination with the master playwright is displayed in “God in Hamlet” and “For a Staging of Othello,” two poems in prose which belong to an ongoing series of meditations on the plays. The collection also includes haunting reflections on children, nature, origins of art, and vanished cultures.

64 pages | 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 | © 2014

The French List


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Hoyt Rogers

God in Hamlet

Leaving the Garden, in the Snow

The Digamma

Learned Libraries

The Works of the Unconscious

Voice in the Sound of the Rain

More on the Invention of Drawing

For a Staging of Othello

The Great Voice

The Digamma: A Final Note

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