Sunday, August 08, 2010

New Rachel Hadas Book: Tip of the Hat to a Visiting Poet

The cool nights of August have arrived, and I've seen a few tree branches parading festive colors. Autumn's on its way.

Another pleasure of late summer: Rachel Hadas is in the neighborhood. Anchored in New York City (and Greece!), Hadas has occasionally offered readings of her work while vacationing in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Her publicist just reminded me about the latest and greatest that Hadas has contributed to: an early 2010 volume called Greek Poets, Homer to the Present, edited by Peter Constantine, Rachel Hadas, Edmund Keeley, and Karen Van Dyck. And here's a great review segment on the collection, from Ray Olson at Booklist:
Given the 2,800-year tradition of Greek poetry, it’s no surprise that it took four foremost contemporary translator-editors to thoroughly survey it. Nor does it surprise that the twentieth-century section is only 30 pages shorter than that encompassing the classical period, 800 BCE–200 CE; Greece’s modern literary renaissance, affirmed by Nobel Prizes and other international awards, is an ongoing miracle. And no one should blink over the same characters and stories being cited by some of the oldest and some of the newest poems in the book; those specifics are genuinely timeless. What is surprising is how many well-reputed translators have been drawn upon, including such otherwise eminent poets as Anne Carson, Olga Broumas, Fleur Adcock, Seamus Heaney, C. K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, William Matthews, Carl Phillips, Sherod Santos, and Brendan Kennelly among the quick and James Merrill, Ezra Pound, Kenneth Rexroth, and Rudyard Kipling among the honored dead.
Congrats, Rachel -- keep reminding us of the breadth and depth and glory of poetry's heritage.

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