Before Wisdom - The Early Poems - Paul Verlaine

World Poetry Books


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Before Wisdom - The Early Poems / Paul Verlaine, translated by Keith Waldrop & K.A. Hays / ISBN 9781954218123 / 120-page paperback published in 2023 by World Poetry Books


"These remarkable versions of Verlaine’s early work offer a much-welcome window into the range of his art: his erotic fixations, his chimeras, his alternating exaltation and despair, and, of course, his lyricism."- Michael Palmer

A selection from the legendary French poet Paul Verlaine’s first four books—Saturnine Poems (1866), Wild Parties (1869), The Good Song (1870), and Wordless Romances (1874)—translated with irreverence and musicality by Keith Waldrop and K.A. Hays.

“Waldrop and Hays have opened the shutters, pulled back the embroidered curtains, yanked the sheets off the furniture, and lifted the curse from the 'curséd poet.' This is sunlit syncopated American rhythm for the famous French sonorities, as though Verlaine’s contemporary, Gustave Fauré, was being played by Duke Ellington.”- Eilot Weinberger

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