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To pass the time on a long train ride from London to Cromwell, playwright Harold Pinter and his two companions, Geoffrey Godbert and Anthony Astbury, set up a challenge: Choose 100 poems by 100 poets living poets excluded to represent the finest poetry ever written in English. The three agreed to organize this collection unconventionally, alphabetically by author rather than chronologically. The resulting anthology is challenging, eclectic, very personal, and great fun. With its surprising juxtapositions and gargantuan range of voice and style, 100 Poems by 100 Poets brings old favorites into a new light and less well-known poems out of the shadows."
Celebrating the art of the poet-translator, this pioneering anthology shows how the very heart of the English tradition has been sustained and enriched by translation over the centuries. The three editors have gathered together supreme examples of this art, poems that sing out on the most pressing of human concerns with all the conviction of two voices speaking as one.
Designed as a companion volume to the enormously successful 100 Poems by 100 Poets and arranged alphabetically, this collection spans centuries and continents. The poets range from Anna Akhmatova to Yuan Chen, from Charles Baudelaire to Virgil, each of them translated into memorable English by such poetic luminaries as Ben Johnson, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Graves. Full of surprising juxtapositions and possessed of a gargantuan range of voices and styles, 99 Poems in Translation is a unique convergence of some of the world's most beautiful poetry.
Launched in 1979 by Anthony Astbury and Geoffrey Godbert, with the support of Harold Pinter, the Greville Press has quietly established itself as indispensable to those who love poetry. Its pamphlets have built a reputation for discoveries of the new and recoveries of the neglected; for championing translations of great world poets and delighting in the classics of English literature - above all, for their manifest enthusiasm for the enriching pleasures of poetry in all its variety. "A Field of Large Desires" offers a sampler of poems that have been published by the Greville Press: it is both a treasure trove and a celebration of a remarkable venture.
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