Translated by A. Poulin, Jr.
Anne Hébert: Selected Poems is the first bilingual collection of poetry by this major world poet—and Canada's most important French poet of the twentieth century—to be published in the United States and Canada. It includes a generous selection from Hébert's central book, Poemes (Paris, 1960) and several previously uncollected and untranslated poems. A. Poulin, Jr. is the highly acclaimed poet and translator of Rainer Maria Rilke's French and German poetry.
PRAISE FOR ANNE HÉBERT: SELECTED POEMS
"Anne Hébert was one of the first modern poets that I read—in any language—and her work made an indelible impression on me. I still know some of her poems virtually by heart—they both capture and create their own world."
"There is a persistent grandeur in Anne Hébert's writing that is startling in our time and in the current literary context in English. Both the tradition and iconoclasm in the work of this French poet of North America invite us to listen to something beyond our own conventions."
More and More Narrow
That woman at her window
A place for her elbows on the sill
A vermillion furor tied to her side
Lovely nasturtium in blue sandstone.
She watches a bitter traffic pass
And doesn't budge
Afraid to bump into that wall of silence behind her.
Frosted breath on her neck
Silent space where that man of salt
Has just enough place
Between the woman's back and the wall
To damn her veins that freeze each time he breathes
His slow, cold and immobile breath.
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 1987