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Collected Poems and Other Verse

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,099 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Stéphane Mallarmé was the most radically innovative of nineteenth-century poets, and a key figure in Modernism. His writings, with their richly sensuous texture and air of slyly intangible mystery, perplexed or outraged many early readers; yet no writer has more profoundly influenced the course of modern poetry - in English as well as in French. This is the fullest collect ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, Bilingual (English-French), 282 pages
Published January 15th 2009 by Oxford University Press (first published January 9th 1899)
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Steven Godin
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, france
Whenever Possible, it's always great to get hold of French poetry written in the original language.
Reading in English ain't bad either, after all, I am English, and collection features the best of both worlds. The English translations running parallel with the original French text.
Mallarmé, one of the founders of modern European poetry and a key figure in modernism, writes with a diverse range of themes which are a mixture of the light and airy to the dark and mischievous. His style has clearly
...more
Heather
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could read French, but unfortunately it's not one of the languages that I've studied. Mallarme is notoriously untranslatable, however this particular edition is well respected and does include the French text on the left hand side, so it can, at the very least, provide you with the option of getting a feel for how it was meant to sound. I think that Mallarme's poetry is brilliant in that it is so extraordinarily self-reflexive. On the other hand, Mallarme seems to be an alchemist with l ...more
Tosh
Nov 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is Mallarme even translable? Besides that point this coffee table sized book is wonderful. Mallarme wrote poetry like a visual artist - and one of the reasons why Marcel Duchamp was a big fan of his work.

The way the poems were layed out on the page were just as important as the text itself. A work about ideas than feelings. Fantastic!
Adam
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bedside-prozess
All the stars.

I can't, without inadequacy and attendant embarrassment, expose myself by pretending to review this. Mallarme knew any heart worth a beating was always-already broken, so all that remains is to shatter the mind into marvelous smithereens. Immediate tear-jerking lyricism is gauche; Mallarme's method slips inside the faults and fontanelles from your pate down, down, down, quaking seismic chasms from the cranial epicenter whose aftershocks collapse the rib cage. He is the patron sain
...more
Caspar Bryant
Okay I finally worked through this here's Mallarmé & it turns out this is a COLLECTED which I somehow didn't notice beforehand but it's fine I've read it all now. French french French He's a bit of a genius it's pedestrian to say ugh translation bad BUT I think here I allow the less goodness because it manages to underscore what SM is doing here w/r/t what Foucault describes as his discovery of 'the word in its impotent power', its 'fragile density'. He shines. ...more
Quiver
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it

If you wish we shall make love
with your lips wordlessly
never break off that rose
except to shed worse silence

no song can ever spark
the sudden gleam of a smile
if you wish we shall make love
with your lips wordlessly

softly softly between the rounds
sylph in imperial purple
a flaming kiss is sundered
on the very tips of the pinions
if you wish we shall make love


Poet of Nothingness and the Void, a great Experimenter of form, lover of wide white space, typographic variation, musicality, Mallarmé was notori
...more
Justin Evans
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-and-drama
There's much in Mallarme that I'm not particularly fond of: portentous art-for-art's-sakeness, tiring decadence, and the combination of those two, naturally.

On the other hand, this excellent little volume gives you the French, with not entirely awful English translations, at a reasonable price, and the French gives even poor French readers like myself the means to find the gold in Mallarme. Being able to see the full range of his poetry, in French, meant that I could finally place him where he
...more
Maddy
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, poetry
This is really exciting especially with regards to Kristeva's idea of the poetic function of language as a means of overcoming the systems of oppression and eventually coming into contact with the abject. Otherness, absence rather than presence, underlying psychological drives are done so well here and the submarine quality of the searching throughout these poems for 'it' are exquisite. At the same time Mallarme is such a strong writer that the systems of poetry are just as prominent as the poet ...more
Wryly
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seated in the sensual this book of poems will take your perceptions for a flight. The translation is very sound conscious. The langauge bubbles.
Anima
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Azure

“The everlasting Azure’s tranquil irony

Depresses, like the flowers indolently fair,

The powerless poet who damns his superiority

Across a sterile wilderness of aching Despair.

In flight, with eyes shut fast, I feel it scrutinize

With all the vehemence of some destructive remorse,

My empty soul. Where can I flee? What haggard night

Fling over, tatters, fling on his distressing scorn?

Oh fogs, arise! Pour your momentous ashes down

In long-drawn rags of dust across the skies unreeling

To darkly dre
...more
Hind
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The moon grew sad. Seraphim in tears, dreaming,
bows poised, amid the stillness of the steaming
blossoms, derived from moribund violas
white sobs that slid across azure corollas––
it was the blessed day of your first kiss."

- Apparition


I think I know now why I truly and passionately love French poetry.

This was such a beautiful read and I was elated that I got to explore his poetry in more than one style, theme and structure.
He is as great as everyone who told me to read his work claimed and I thin
...more
Tait
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, poetry
While more often poetic then a prose writer, the Symbolist Mallarmé, along with Baudelaire in "Paris Spleen" and Rimbaud in "Seasons of Hell," attempted to destroy the boundary between poetry and prose, creating narratives outside of traditional syntactic forms that could be read for both the story and images at once. These works also capture the picture of the distraught French writer so eloquently distilled later in Sartre's "Nausea." On the other hand, Mallarmé's most famous poem, "A Throw of ...more
Alex Obrigewitsch
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is wonderful that this volume contains the original French text on the facing pages, as Mallarmé is notoriously difficult to translate, given the place that he accords language.
My French is not very good, so I am thankful for the translations, though some feel as though they fall wide of the mark.
The volume is well worth it for Un Coup de dés alone, however.
J.M. Hushour
I'm not sure if it was the translation or the scouring jadedness that fills the decade or so between readings, but Mallarme just isn't as good as I remember him being. I love me some Symbolist literature, and Steve is the pinnacle and figurehead of the movement in poetry, at least. Too bad I found his poems largely banal and of little weight to mark them off from much of its contemporary ilk. There are a few exceptions, the "Tombeaus" and a few others, but mostly just not that great. Certainly n ...more
Ed
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How Mallarme was able to push the ambits of how heady and cryptic verse can be while still keeping suit with the artless ideation of the Symbolists can no better be read than in this translation than in its original, even-more-stirring French. A gem with true literary lustre, but that's not what Mallarme would take it to mean. ...more
Lysergius
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Quite some of the strangest poetry I have ever read. I especially liked his incorporation of his friends addresses in rhymes on the envelopes...
Egor Sofronov
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This diction could have no contenders: it is he who fondles the spinning lustre of dissemination. One trembles before a page
Loki
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fucking beautiful.
Marcos Augusto
Jul 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
Stéphane Mallarmé was an originator (with Paul Verlaine) and a leader of the Symbolist movement in poetry.

Mallarmé early poems, which he began contributing to magazines in 1862, were influenced by Charles Baudelaire, whose recently published collection Les Fleurs du mal (“The Flowers of Evil”) was largely concerned with the theme of escape from reality, a theme by which Mallarmé was already becoming obsessed. But Baudelaire’s escapism had been of an essentially emotional and sensual kind—a vague
...more
Mattea Gernentz
May 31, 2022 rated it liked it
"Yes, for myself alone I bloom, in isolation! / You gardens blossoming amethyst, you know this, / endlessly buried in some dazzling deep abyss, / unknown golds that preserve your old illumination" (Herodias, 35).

The things I do for Berthe Morisot... So, my dissertation keeps haunting me, and I wanted to immerse myself more in the writing of Mallarmé, a French poet who was a dear friend and penpal of Morisot.

This collection was definitely worth a read overall, but I favor his more experimental w
...more
Peter Crofts
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best place to go if you can't read French. The layout of the book, something like that of a coffee table book, is a great idea. This leaves a lot of blank space on the page in which the text is situated. That in itself carries a high degree of symbolism for this particular poet. Besides the quality of the translations, which try and preserve meter and rhyme, this volume also offers an abundance of commentary. Mallarme is one of the most elusive poets there is, after years of reading ...more
Sean A.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
re-reading it after all these years...
this is a really hard book to rate. it was rather hit or miss. even as a life-long student of poetry, a lot of these were wordy and oblique to me. (i guess that's what i get for not brushing up on the classics more often...) yet often right when i would be totally lost in the words between the margins, they would hint at sardonic glory. also good thing there's the explanations in the back although its a bit weird how these are longer than the poems themselve
...more
Ian
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory-fiction
Four stars, not for the poems themselves, but rather for the translation, which sacrifices a host of virtues at the altar of rhyme. Mallarmé is one of the two or three greatest French poets and, as such, is among the greatest poets in any language — but if any writer were ever truly untranslatable, it is him. Which is where Weinfield’s commentary (taking up half the volume) proves useful. It’s lucid, transparent, and references both Mallarmé’s journals/correspondence as well as plenty of scholar ...more
cristiana
Aug 10, 2007 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
i saw (literally, you see his work, which i think strikes up an interesting relationship between the viewer - who is also the reader - and the text) a whittled down version of un coup de des in that mccafferty anthology. i also am beginning to write in such a way where i want to actually set up words on a grid system, and perhaps mallarme often wondered - 'what are the limits of a poem? or are there limits? where is the conceptual boundary between visual art, concrete poetry, and poetry?'

...more
Michael
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
not crazy about the translations here, but I probably wouldn't like *any* translation of Mallarme. Struggling through him with two years of desultory french and a French English dictionary is, frankly, worth it. ...more
Nate
Sep 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful edition, but why in God's name isn't "Igitur" in the collection? A real shortcoming... ...more
Dave H
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Mallarme wrote a couple of my favorites; much of this is too symbolisty for me.
Lori
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I really need to learn French to properly enjoy this poetry; still, even in translation, it is wonderful.
June
Sep 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Regarde Mallarme--I know he is a great poet. Mon Dieu! I just don't get him... ...more
Bjørnar
Apr 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't buy the kindle edition. It's bilingual, and probably fine in print, but on kindle it's a hot mess. ...more
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Stéphane Mallarmé (French: [stefan malaʁme]; 18 March 1842 – 9 September 1898), whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He was a major French symbolist poet, and his work anticipated and inspired several revolutionary artistic schools of the early 20th century, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.

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“I see myself––an angel!––and I die;
the window may be art or mysticism, yet
I long for rebirth in the former sky
where Beauty blooms, my dream being my coronet!

But, alas, our low World is suzerain!
even in this retreat it can be too
loathsome––till the foul vomit of the Inane
drives me to stop my nose before the blue.

O Self familiar with these bitter things,
can the glass outraged by that monster be
shattered? can I flee with my featherless wings––
and risk falling through all eternity?”
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“You made the sobbing white of lilies too,
tumbling lightly across a sea of sighs on
their dreamy way to weeping moonlight through
the azure incense of the pale horizon!”
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