A Handful of Blue Earth. Hacker, Marilyn (9781786940117). Paperback.

A Handful of Blue Earth. Hacker, Marilyn (9781786940117). Paperback.

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In her preface the distinguished American poet and translator Marilyn Hacker describes the poems included here as 'exploded narratives, re-assembled in a mosaic or labyrinth in which the reader, like Ariadne, finds a connecting thread'. Khoury-Ghata's book, published in her eighty-first year, is testimony to this Lebanese poet's enduring brilliance. Earlier translations by Hacker were described by Alica Ostriker as emerging 'from the embers of loss and death, from childhood and the moon, from villages and cemeteries and forests, geography and God'. In two moving sequences, we find Khoury-Ghata's voice retuning to familiar themes of death, intimacy, enforced silence and the surreal horror of war. Rendered faithfully and exquisitely by Hacker's concise eye, the poems mark an important contribution to world poetry in translation.  

Reviews

'Marilyn Hacker's translations are always precise, resourceful and limpid. With Vénus Khoury-Ghata, she has given the English-language reader a major Francpphone poet in all her sensuality, intelligence and cultural richness.'
Patrick McGuinness

'Hacker’s translations are fully alive. It would be hard to ignore this book any time, anywhere. I very strongly recommend it.'
George Szirtes, Poetry Book Society Bulletin

'Marilyn Hacker offers English readers a sequel to her previous translations of Khoury-Ghata’s work, observing in a preface that Khoury-Ghata’s poems are “exploded narratives, re-assembled in a mosaic or labyrinth in which the reader, like Ariadne, finds a connecting thread”. This connecting thread is woven through in recurrent themes such as nature, resistance to time and death, and the triumph of language over silence. Khoury-Ghata reminds the reader that poetry is a gruelling and demanding journey from the darkness of pain and separation to the always resurgent power of language and creation.'
Khalid Lyamlahy, Poetry Society

'In her preface the distinguished American poet and translator Marilyn Hacker describes the poems included here as 'exploded narratives, re-assembled in a mosaic or labyrinth in which the reader, like Ariadne, finds a connecting thread'. Khoury-Ghata's book, published in her eighty-first year, is testimony to this Lebanese poet's enduring brilliance. Earlier translations by Hacker were described by Alica Ostriker as emerging 'from the embers of loss and death, from childhood and the moon, from villages and cemeteries and forests, geography and God'. In two moving sequences, we find Khoury-Ghata's voice returning to familiar themes of death, intimacy, enforced silence and the surreal horror of war. Rendered faithfully and exquisitely by Hacker's concise eye, the poems mark an important contribution to world poetry in translation.'
Grolier Poetry

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