Poems and Translations
Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in
Pub Date: 01/01/1988
List Price: $22.95
Poems and Translations
Alastair Reid began publishing poetry in the New Yorker in 1951 and has since contributed reviews, translations, stories, and reportage as well. Having lived variously in Scotland, the United States, Spain, France, Greece, Switzerland, Central and South America, Reid has until recently called Magazine his only permanent address.
Many of the poems in Weathering arise from Reid’s itinerant life. Chosen by the poet from previous books published on both sides of the Atlantic since the 1950s, they range from the windowed corridors of New York city to Isla Negra, Chile, where the poet sits 'with the Pacific between my toes.'
Whether lyric or narrative, whether moved by wit, irony, or humor, all Reid’s poems test the strength of language to ‘summon the moment when amazement ran through the senses like a flame’ and gauge the power of words to catch fire in an instant of realization. Including translations of poems by Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges, and Jose Emilio Pacheco, Weathering displays the diverse talents of the poet, the recurring preoccupations of the itinerant traveler, seeking to encompass the world with words.
Alastair Reid has always been one of my favorite poets. . . . What he writes about are the interstices of life, the odd moments when clarity replaces the usual fuzz, when a mood takes hold and defines life along a fresh axis of understanding. . . . I go back to the poems in Weathering year after year, like memories of first love. This is what poems are for
Reid has the accumulated wisdom to go for the great poem wherever he finds it, in his own work, in his editing at the New Yorker, and in the poems of Pacheco, Neruda, and Borges, poems which alone could become the basis for writing classes, poems which deserve to be in every high school library, and poems such as Borges' 'Matthew XXV:30' which everyone should be required to read.
The book is a beautifully coherent presentation of selected poems from Reid's earlier volumes, together with new poems previously uncollected, that make up, in fact, a definition of a self. . . . It is a clear, exact, and often brilliant poetry that demonstrates the half-forgotten possibility of giving pleasure. . . . Weathering is a first-rate book by a first-rate writer. It belongs in every library and collection.