One Hundred Thirty Poems
Shortlisted for the 2011 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translaton Prize
The poetry of Jean Follain (1903-1971) is increasingly seen, by poets and critics in France and by his foreign admirers, as central to French poetry’s change of course after Surrealism. The writer Henri Thomas spoke of Follain as a poet “qui parle d’autre chose”, who speaks of things outside himself; he admired his freedom from rhetoric. Follain’s short, down-to-earth, subtle poems, many of which set out to preserve the lost rural world of his pre-war Norman childhood, have influenced a new generation of French poets. To anyone who still believes that modern French poetry is abstruse and over-cerebral, Follain’s memorable poems are the answer.
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