KEITH BARNES: OEUVRE POÉTIQUE/COLLECTED POEMS
traduite de l'anglais par Jacqueline Starer
5, rue de l'Arbalète
ISBN 2 912824 50 8
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|KEITH BARNES: OEUVRE POÉTIQUE/COLLECTED POEMS|
This is a bilingual edition of the collected poems of Keith Barnes. The poems are translated from English into French by Jacqueline Starer.
The poems are grouped by theme into six sections. The first section is LOVE POEMS. These lines from STARFISH are typical of the mood the poet creates:
That night we didn't care too much We lay relaxed in every moment letting the starfish come and go Nothing to gain nothing to lose that night ... You simply roomed me in your bed We could have slept apart with ease without the slightest nervous strain There were two beds but there was no point that night ...The next section is headed COUPLES, FAMILIES. The first few could easily have been included in the previous section although they move on to estrangement. VARICOSE is a particularly nasty poem with some shocking imagery. One wonders if it should be in the WAR section — or would that re-location change our conception of the poem?
The section WRITING, DEATH has interesting poems like INSOMNIA:
Svelte tongues of silence prick my eardrums It's night — the Friday of the mind's weekendbut here the writing is perhaps too reflective and lacking some of the joyous, carefree abandonment of the LOVE section.
WAR. AFTER WAR includes some strong poems — here are some lines from NATIONAL SERVICE:
Night sentry treading an ice-packed path ... On one side the moor on the other a distant parade of light — cars on the Great North Road ...In the group SOCIETY, SOCIAL CRITICISM are some pieces that seem experimental in nature — here's WHY?
my niece my nice ice niece in an off ice ice nice office works in mono tonimo noton y constant inopletocthegreeks but just constant ... Perhaps one otonous day y not spring or summer she'll shout ono onus constantconstant i constantit i cantstandit an y moreHow this wordplay works in translation I can't say!
The final section is labelled NATURE, MUSIC which I guess really means, those poems which don't fit in the other categories, my favourite of these STILL-LIFE is not really just a picture of nature.
Barnes was a versatile writer who wrote with much freshness. Very little of his writing is stale or sounds stilted. This volume is an excellent edition.
|reviewer: Gerald England.|