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This groundbreaking volume may well be the poetry anthology for the global village. As selected by J.D. McClatchy, this collection includes masterpieces from four continents and more than two dozen languages in translations by such distinguished poets as Elizabeth Bishop, W.S. Merwin, Ted Hughes, and Seamus Heaney. Among the countries and writers represented are: Banglades This groundbreaking volume may well be the poetry anthology for the global village. As selected by J.D. McClatchy, this collection includes masterpieces from four continents and more than two dozen languages in translations by such distinguished poets as Elizabeth Bishop, W.S. Merwin, Ted Hughes, and Seamus Heaney. Among the countries and writers represented are: Bangladesh--Taslima Nasrin Chile--Pablo Neruda China--Bei Dao, Shu Ting El Salvador--Claribel Alegria France--Yves Bonnefoy Greece--Odysseus Elytis, Yannis Ritsos India--A.K. Ramanujan Israel--Yehuda Amichai Japan--Shuntaro Tanikawa Mexico--Octavio Paz Nicaragua--Ernesto Cardenal Nigeria--Wole Soyinka Norway--Tomas Transtromer Palestine--Mahmoud Darwish Poland--Zbigniew Herbert, Czeslaw Milosz Russia--Joseph Brodsky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko Senegal--Leopold Sedar Senghor South Africa--Breyten Breytenbach St. Lucia, West Indies--Derek Walcott


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This groundbreaking volume may well be the poetry anthology for the global village. As selected by J.D. McClatchy, this collection includes masterpieces from four continents and more than two dozen languages in translations by such distinguished poets as Elizabeth Bishop, W.S. Merwin, Ted Hughes, and Seamus Heaney. Among the countries and writers represented are: Banglades This groundbreaking volume may well be the poetry anthology for the global village. As selected by J.D. McClatchy, this collection includes masterpieces from four continents and more than two dozen languages in translations by such distinguished poets as Elizabeth Bishop, W.S. Merwin, Ted Hughes, and Seamus Heaney. Among the countries and writers represented are: Bangladesh--Taslima Nasrin Chile--Pablo Neruda China--Bei Dao, Shu Ting El Salvador--Claribel Alegria France--Yves Bonnefoy Greece--Odysseus Elytis, Yannis Ritsos India--A.K. Ramanujan Israel--Yehuda Amichai Japan--Shuntaro Tanikawa Mexico--Octavio Paz Nicaragua--Ernesto Cardenal Nigeria--Wole Soyinka Norway--Tomas Transtromer Palestine--Mahmoud Darwish Poland--Zbigniew Herbert, Czeslaw Milosz Russia--Joseph Brodsky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko Senegal--Leopold Sedar Senghor South Africa--Breyten Breytenbach St. Lucia, West Indies--Derek Walcott

30 review for The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    T.

    My only gripe is that there are no works from Filipinos. There are a lot of wonderful, fantastic poets born and raised here in the Philippines, whose works, either in the vernacular or in English, take my breath away. It's one of my dreams to someday see my fellow writers' names in 'world' poetry anthologies alongside those whom we read today.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dustyn Hessie

    This is the best anthology I own and the translations are SUPERB! I fell in love with Dahlia Ravikovich as soon as I read her poems in this anthology, but as soon as I bought one of her few books available on amazon, I realized that I was mostly just in love with the translator ... same goes for others (Neruda, etc.) If you're even remotely interested in poetry give this one a whirl!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Always on the lookout for a good anthology of world poetry for teaching creative writing: all students have access to, generally, is American poetry, which is great and all, but it's worth seeing what kinds of things are possible outside of our tradition -- a little hybrid vigor. So McClatchy's selection is interesting and broad (quibble: only 1 Palestinian poet, though? There are a few that are really noteworthy these days) and he provides five or six pages of poems for each poet, so you can get Always on the lookout for a good anthology of world poetry for teaching creative writing: all students have access to, generally, is American poetry, which is great and all, but it's worth seeing what kinds of things are possible outside of our tradition -- a little hybrid vigor. So McClatchy's selection is interesting and broad (quibble: only 1 Palestinian poet, though? There are a few that are really noteworthy these days) and he provides five or six pages of poems for each poet, so you can get some little taste of her style. The three stars come from the fact that the translation is uneven. This is due, I think, to two issues: McClatchy relies on a number of different translators, which makes for a variety of attitudes toward translation and a variety of styles, from the Nabokov literal-sense-and-style-be-damned to the Pound all-that-matters-is-that-the-result-is-a-great-poem. Fine, but with so many styles, you're never sure what you're getting, how closely the translation hews to the literal sense or captures the stylistic flavors of the original. The second issue is quality: not every translator is all that great. Some are fantastic and well-known, others are fantastic (at least judging by the resulting poem) and unknown, and others produce mediocre poems -- rhythmically-stilted or -senseless or written in translatese. I'm not sure what McClatchy could do about this, since I don't know how many great translators of modern Greek or Turkish poetry there are, so I don't want to bitch about his hard labor or imagine that he hadn't thought through these issues, but if the translation is bad, it isn't much use for the teacher or pleasure for the student.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cami

    This is a wonderful collection of poetry from around the world. It is divided by region/country and then highlights the handful of poems from a few poets. I like this because you get to read more than one thing from one person, giving better insight on how a poet from Poland or Senegal writes about. It also includes a great biography on each poet at the heading of their section.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ilze

    Poetry in translation is something that has always fascinated me. I mean, does the translator need to be a poet in order to produce another poem? Does the newly translated "poem" need to have all the literary bits and pieces that made the original famous? This book has introduced me to some amazing poets, e.g. the Czech Miroslav Holub and the Spanish Angel Gonzalez; some of the others I've read or heard about elsewhere, such as Wislawa Szymborska and Yehuda Amichai. Occasionally it felt as thoug Poetry in translation is something that has always fascinated me. I mean, does the translator need to be a poet in order to produce another poem? Does the newly translated "poem" need to have all the literary bits and pieces that made the original famous? This book has introduced me to some amazing poets, e.g. the Czech Miroslav Holub and the Spanish Angel Gonzalez; some of the others I've read or heard about elsewhere, such as Wislawa Szymborska and Yehuda Amichai. Occasionally it felt as though the translator had simply dumped the words into English and left them there for the reader to disentangle. At other times, such as with Holub, the meaning of the poem hit home. One thing I can say is that the European poets had a far greater impact on me than the Asian and Middle Eastern ones, certainly by the time I'd reached the section called "The Caribbean", I was ready to put the book back on the shelf and have to admit that the last poem went unread!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Bobbitt

    I'm just not a huge fan of the variety here.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Y.

    This is the first anthology of poetry I ever read, so going through it again is both nostalgic and refreshing. I'd echo some of the quibbles mentioned in past reviews; although I am not as well-versed with prominent translators, I can echo the sentiment that certain demographics were underrepresented, or represented by poets who wrote on stereotypical themes at times (female poets, for example). However, this remains one of my favorite anthologies of poetry to date -- I still go back fondly throu This is the first anthology of poetry I ever read, so going through it again is both nostalgic and refreshing. I'd echo some of the quibbles mentioned in past reviews; although I am not as well-versed with prominent translators, I can echo the sentiment that certain demographics were underrepresented, or represented by poets who wrote on stereotypical themes at times (female poets, for example). However, this remains one of my favorite anthologies of poetry to date -- I still go back fondly through these pages to remember my first encounter with Rozewicz and Hikmet -- and it is a good introduction for any reader wanting to get a taste of mostly good international poetry.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christina Maria

    It's always difficult for me to review anthologies, in this case especially with a such a variety of styles from so many regions. All I can say is that it's a great introduction if you're looking for new poets or if you just want to get into poetry in general. (I've seen some griping about the translations, which I don't feel qualified to comment on, but I'd be interested in seeing an anthology that preserved all original languages)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matt Holloway

    Well, a Czech doctor named Miroslav Holub is a new hero of mine. Who knew the Eastern Bloc was so grim?! Distinguishing mark of this collection is the quality of the translations and translators -- Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, etc.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily Gamez

    This is my textbook for the Creative Writing course I'm taking and it's so good! There is a variety of poems and I find myself reading the unassigned ones anyway. Probably the best textbook I've had yet.

  11. 5 out of 5

    secondwomn

    a well put-together assortment of poetry from around the world in excellent translations. my only complaint is that i wish it were a bit less euro-centric, but the editors still did a pretty good job of balancing well- and lesser-known poets who are all writing extremely great poems.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Salem

    i stole this book from ms. edmonds during ap english...its awesome.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Really terrific browser.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mejix

    Very uneven, which is understandable because of the breadth. Not the best anthology I've ever read but it does have some great poems.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark Dickson

    J D McClatchy has almost succeeded in The Vintage Book of replicating for the last fourth of the 20th century what Barstone did for the first half in Modern European poetry.

  16. 4 out of 5

    beau

    philipe jaccottet, swoon.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    This is a great go-to book for those days when you just want to pick up some poetry. The collection is quite good overall. It's become one of my favorite anthologies.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Rollenhagen

    Although the anthology is great from a stylistic and technique perspective, a lot of the included works didn't suit my pallet. However, it is a good read for aspiring poets

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joey Gamble

    A solid collection of some of the world's most brilliant recent poets.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    A lovely collection. This introduced me to many poets I had not read from all over the world. Now I can look for their full volumes in bookstores.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cami

    I discovered my favorite poem in this book by Shu Ting called "Fairy Tales"

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christy Seedorf

    If your a fan of all cultures and poems then this is the book to read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    kimberly

    I adore this collection.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Namrirru

    I think it's amusing how "World Poetry" encompasses the entire world except the US, Canada, and UK.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    An essential piece for the poetry lover.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Regoni

  27. 5 out of 5

    Asae

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  29. 5 out of 5

    K.C.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ugonma Iroaganachi

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