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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  574 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This bilingual edition of the 15th-century poet's work incorporates recent scholarship.
Hardcover, Historia Universal de la Literatura, #51, 168 pages
Published 1984 by Editorial Origen - Editorial OMGSA (first published 1459)
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Can't believe I haven't rated this one yet... Villon is Rimbaud and Baudelaire and Poe and Genet a half-millennium before those beloved brethren in sin. Villon is the bloodied words of God writ on the Satanic chasuble. Villon is the banished poet-murderer-thief haunting the interstices of a dead-lily hued Middle Ages. Villon is original sin. Villon wrote "Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?", one of the most famous lines of poetry ever penned. Villon is the snows of yesteryear- Villon is the shadow...more
translation by Galway Kinnell

There's a game I've always loved to play when looking at portraits: imagining people in other costumes and other eras. The aristocratic lady who in all her Watteau finery looks as if she'd be happiest manning a stall at the church bring-and-buy sale in a nice sensible jumper. Or how about a Roman toga instead of a suit for him? The gormless looking young noble who would suit casting as a mailroom boy; peasants with an air of confidence and leadership who look like th...more
I have about 12 different translations of Villon dating from the mid 19th century through the late 20th. This version by Kinnell is the best. He captures both the spirit and form of the master so well it's almost spooky.

For sheer fun though, my favorite is the free verse translation done by Anthony Bonner and published in 1960 by Bantam.
Dec 02, 2011 selena rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to selena by: Aaron
Shelves: 2011, poetry
Verity, are you ready to hear it?
In sickness alone is there joy
Life's true stories are tragedies
Louts are the only knights errant
Only in screeches are there melodies
Nor any cool heads but lovers.

-passage from Ballade (pg 169-171)

thank you, aaron.
Jul 13, 2007 david-baptiste rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
i reread this continually
one of the most completely alive poets and poetries there is
J'ai eu du mal à pouvoir apprécier à sa juste mesure un texte où il faut à chaque mot se rapporter au notes, lesquelles sont plus abondantes que le texte lui-même. Ça en ôte bien du sel. J'ai eu la même impression avec Rabelais. Pour autant, certaines poésies sont extrêmement marquantes. A ruminer ...
Al Maki
I've read a number of renderings of Villon into English; this one is my favourite. This is apparently a reprint of the old St. Martin's Press edition from the 70's which is what I have. Villon's voice is absolutely distinct and Peter Dale seems to me to have done an excellent job of translating it.
passion. humor. // don't piss off the king. if u do, make sure u have a poem good enough to pardon u before your hanging.
Forrest Gander
These are straight translations and well done. We miss (it will forever be missed) those poems written in underworld slang, but we get from these translations the sense of a vibrant, rascally personae, a man with friends and grudges, a lyric and narrative poet stuffed with talent, eager to break normative constraints. Still, it would be crippling to read only this translation and not, beside it, the work of genius by Stephen Rodefer, translated under the pseudonym of Jean Calais: Villon and publ...more
I've always liked the "superhero" writers (kafka, villon,Disraeli!), working a desk job by day, writing gold by night.
Melissa Whitney
I've read this collection of poems many times and each time I find something new to admire in it. Villon was a dark, disenchanted soul and his poetry reflects that. There is an aching realism to his verse. Something so beautifully morbid about the way he lays words one after the other with seeming casualness.
You feel a part of what he's telling you, even though the situations and hardships are from a completely different era. Villon allows us to see the humanness of life, not in spite of, but b...more
Matti Lotvonen
Good company and help on "Mondays"!
** And contrary I’ve worked hard my entire life to become a complex Academic, and I could never be a purely religious or ‘church person’ of any sort, i’d like to sum you up, what I’ve been writing down in my native Romanian one hour ago, ‘cause this is(the real top professional) who I am and I’ve always been: ‘Înaintarea spirituală are loc atunci cînd facem din dragoste ceea ce am fi făcut din datorie’’.(pg.3, ‘Gînduri pentru fiecare zi’ de Vladimir Ghyka Ed. Arh. Romano-Catolice Bucuresti, 2002...more
Pour un amateur de Villon ne pouvant se permettre de lire seul, directement dans le texte, ses œuvres, le principal intérêt de cette version consiste en la présentation du texte original face à de très nombreuses annotations explicitant le contexte, le sens de certains mots (avec les multiples sens possibles à l'époque) et les différentes interprétations possibles pour un terme, une référence ou un vers.

Cela permet d'apprécier l’œuvre de Villon sans le filtre de la traduction, qui tend souvent...more
Simone Subliminalpop
“Biografie lacunose, poco più che pettegolezzi fortunosamente cuciti da brandelli di storia ti descrivono avventuriero e assassino prima che di te si perda traccia e comunque io ti riconosco poeta della carità, per lo scandalo delle passioni sfrenate, per le risate scomposte a schermare inauditi dolori, per le inaccettabili sofferenze che sorgono dal tuo canto e toccano il cuore e la mente di chi ti legge, e ancora e soprattutto per i tuoi lasciti. Nel tuo testamento è sempre un regalare, anche...more
Авторът е имал живот, изпълнен с много преврати, проблеми, разочарования и това е отразено в поезията му. Той е имал далеч по-различни планове за бъдещето си, но е стигнал дъното заради собствените си грешки. В някои стихове той именно се опитва да предупреди читателя си да не повтаря собствените му грешни стъпки.
Направи ми впечатление и друго - сборникът се казва "Голямото завещание", а всъщност е писан от човек, който практически не притежава нищо. Той няма нищо, което да завещае. И в същото...more
Adamo Lanna
Questo è uno di quegli autori che qualcuno decide che va di moda, perché ha la vita che si presta a farci il film, perché quando sei all'enoteca puoi pronunciare il nome tra lo stupore degli astanti e perché sei quasi certo che l'hai letto solo tu tra tutti i tuoi amici che tengono moccia sul comodino fino alla befana. Già solo per questo vale la pena. Poi se uno non si impressiona della brutta fine che fanno i poeti e vuole leggere anche cose tristi e sofferenti non deve aspettare oltre. La let...more
La ballata degli impiccati, se vi piace De André. Il lascito, per entrare nel perverso esilarante ingranaggio Villon. Il testamento per raggiungere i vertici della lingua francese, appena nata e spinta ad una forzatura Joyciana della parola, densa come roccia nascosta da veli di senso. Una delizia da gustare in più letture.
Auntie Pam
La poesia non è proprio il mio genere ma questo autore francese medievale non è poi così tanto male! Almeno non parla solo d'amore.
David Marchese
Awesome oldey timey french poems about a rapscallion who kills people and swears vengeance and does it with girls of higher social status.
Assez drôle par moment, l'avantage c'est la rapidité de lecture de ce livre (trois heures à peine et c'est réglé).
Alysa H.
A wonderful new translation by David Georgi. For today's sensibilities!
Thomas Walsh
Pound was influenced by Villon. I wanted to find out why.
Nader Eldakak
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Manelyset marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2014
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  • Selected Poems and Fragments
  • Soledades
  • Poemes Saturniens
  • The Complete Poems
  • Horace
  • Collected Poems
  • Jerusalem Delivered
  • Selected Writings
  • Coplas a la muerte de su padre
  • Le jeu de l'amour et du hasard
  • The Poems of St John of the Cross
  • Les Chants de Maldoror
  • Pantagruel
  • The Selected Poems
  • Hymns to the Night (English and German Edition)
  • The Romance of the Rose
  • The Selected Poetry
François Villon (in modern French, pronounced [fʁɑ̃swa vijɔ̃]; in fifteenth-century French, [frɑnswɛ viˈlɔn]) (c. 1431 – after 5 January 1463) was a French poet, thief, and vagabond. He is perhaps best known for his Testaments and his Ballade des Pendus, written while in prison. The question "Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?", taken from the "Ballade des dames du temps jadis" and translated by Dan...more
More about François Villon...
The Testaments of Francois Villon Francois Villon's The Legacy & The Testament Villon: Selected Poems Lais, testament, poésies diverses Die lasterhaften Balladen und Lieder des Francois Villon (Nachdichtung von Paul Zech)

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“Yet, if the world were bettered by
My death or story left untold,
I would condemn myself to die
For misdemeanours manifold:
I bring no harm to young or old
Alive or dead, in either case:
A man so needy never rolled
A mountain from its resting place.”
More quotes…