This title is shortlisted for Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize
2011. 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. Christopher Middleton, the distinguished poet and
translator, has chosen poems spanning Follain's entire writing
life, and has written an illuminating introduction to his elegant
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