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The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  13 reviews

In this remarkable anthology, introduced and edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris, poetic visions from the twentieth century will be reinforced and in many ways revised. Here, alongside renowned masters, are internationally celebrated poets who have rarely, if ever, been translated into English.

Paperback, 592 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Ecco (first published April 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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A large collection of poetry that presented me with old friends and new discoveries. It's a great collection, perfect for reading and revisiting and keeping finding new images, new sounds, new combinations. A very good choice for a summer companion, if you want to have a book that has a wide variety of experience to offer.
Jan 11, 2014 Steve rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with a poetical bone in their body.
Recommended to Steve by: I found it in an English Dept free pile at St Olaf College just before summer break.
So many great poems by poets I'd otherwise have been unaware of. It's a travelling book for me now. I can open it up anywhere and begin to read. Here's one by Maria Negroni I opened on just now translated from the Spanish by Anne Twitty.

The Baby

He who has nothing to hide,
has nothing to show
---Marguerite De Hainut

My baby is playing in the bath, delighted. I begin
to wash his head and spend some time at this.
Then he begins. When I start to rinse his hair, I
can't find him. I turn around, and ther
When your thoughts
don’t take you too far
and you are silent
as you tremble
and gaze
at the trellis of your hands.

When the chariot of your imagination
does not lead you into tunnels
lit up with apprehensions
and lightnings
as you remain silent
and tremble
gazing at the smoke twirling
around your wrist.

When the woman who lets
her scarf fall
through the evening’s emptiness
greets you, and you don’t
her greeting, but rather
remain silent, and tremble
as you gaze
at the destinies that unfold, lurching
in you
Personal favorites include: Paul Celan's "Corona" p. xxxvi, "To Kiss a Forehead" by Marina Tsvetaeva p. 63, "Farewell" by Lorca p. 88, "What's Beyond" by Giacomo Noventa p. 101, "I, the Survior" by Brecht p. 101, "Body of a Woman" & "I Remember You as You Were" "Nothing More" Neruda P. 142, 150, "Quantitiative" by Orhan Veli Kanik p. 203, "A Prayer That Will Be Answered" by Anna Kamienska P. 226, "Who Is A Poet" by Tadeusz Rozewicz p. 234, "A Lesson of Silence" by Tymoteusz Karpowicz p. 236, ...more
I'm a bit partial, as I helped with its creation (in a small way-- this is the only time my name will appear in the same book as Anna Akhmatova's), but still... it could be better. I love just about every poem in here, but do we need that much Milosz republished? It's not like he's an obscure figure.

Botton line: great intro to world poetry with a few surprises.
Ja. Haan. Da. Ken. Si. Na'am. Oui. Tak. A wonderful, eclectic, refreshing collection--wonderful to slowly pour through over many months. Made me realize how amazing images and ideas must be if a poem is to be translated and still have power. I also responded to the directness of many of these voices. Though I got a little tired of anaphora, it had its efficacy too.

I read this in between things on my trip to china. Has some really gorgeous stuff. But I guess like a lot of anthologies some not so gorgeous stuff.

I hoped there would be more Asian content, but alas, it was mostly European - which is also good, just not as balanced as I'd hoped.
Harper Curtis
A beautiful, international book, a book of wonders. This anthology should be required reading for anyone who enjoys the Norton Anthology.
Margo Berdeshevsky
What a generous collection. It holds most welcome place on my shelf-- I will return to it often.
James Schwartz
Always a fan of words without borders. This is an amazing anthology, highly recommended.
Nov 21, 2011 Zola marked it as to-read
Shelves: poetry
I love poetry, especially from other cultures!
Megan C
Love. So much love.
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Ilya Kaminsky is the Poetry Editor of Words Without Borders. His awards include a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine and first place in the National Russian Essay Contest. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa which won the Dorset Prize.
More about Ilya Kaminsky...
Dancing in Odessa Musica Humana Poetry International (15/16) Dancing in Odessa: Poems A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith (Tupelo Press Lineage Series)

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“A Ballad of Going Down to the Store

First I went down to the street
by means of the stairs,
just imagine it,
by means of the stairs.

Then people known to people unknown
passed me by and I passed them by.
that you did not see
how people walk,

I entered a complete store:
lamps of glass were glowing.
I saw somebody - he sat down -
and what did I hear? what did I hear?
rustling of bags and human talk.

And indeed,
I returned.

--Miron Bialoszewski (Poland, 1922-1983)”
More quotes…