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The Collected Poems If this is considered a good preview of Proust as a writer I must say I'm not a fan I felt like I was on a bad date where someone pulls out their journal and asks would you like to hear my poetry? No sir I would not Some pretty moments but nothing worthy of the hype This volume begins with a full throated paean to pederasty entitled Pederastie Thereafter we get lots of first world rhapsodies and odes to important artists like Paulus Potter Christoph Gluck and one poem being insufficient we get two about Albert Cuyp Okay so its dated and self absorbed but the poetry itself my friends is absolute shit In French and English I read this because it looked uick and I LOVE Proust It's over 380 pages but it's dual language I sometimes would look over to the French but I wish I knew French The English side was okay writing some translations felt off Proust wasn't a good poet Dare I say maybe if he wrote longer poems they would be a little betterWhen to read this? Don't make this your first Proust book It's much easier to read compared to his big book but he mentions so many different people the general public doesn't know this gets confusing I feel like this reads better either in the middle of or after À la recherche du temps perdu and I feel like I need to read a biography at some point tooI'm gonna give this four starts because I love the fact you can read this in two languages but the poems themselves are 3 2 stars honestly I might have to read this after À la recherche du temps perdu whenever that will be I didn't have a whole lot of supplementary reading beyond the group page posts for the Proust 2013 read along but this was the one I saw this dual language edition of Proust's poems in the bookstore of my brand new grads school university and picked it up With all the life changes this year I kept on reading Proust These poems as noted in the introduction are ephemeral than In Search of Lost Time since most of them were written somehow attached to letters for friends The spontaneous side of Proust something that was most often lacking from In Search of Lost Time was something I was pleased to see Most of the poems that were not meant for publication are spontaneous in jokes between Proust and his social circle and the ones that were meant for publication were in honor of famous artists or musicians One notable one is a prose poem that echoes very strongly the themes that Proust later explores in Swann's Way The dual language edition was a particularly nice as well I have just enough high school French to puzzle out what some of the shorter poems were saying and after reading a prodigious amount of Proust this year it was interesting to see what the original French was compared to the English translation The subtle differences were a nice touch when reflecting on all of a year of reading Proust I think the only reason this doesn't get one star is 'cause of the book itself as in the purely physical elements of the book The uality of the paper is amazing not something I'd usually care about but you'd need to see it to know what I mean as well as the presentation the attention to detail in the editorial notes etcHowever having not read In Search of Lost Time and not knowing much about the era particularly not in terms of Proust's social circle it doesn't really do anything for me Any supposedly classic volume of poetry will always have a couple of standouts even if the rest is trite unless its Wordsworth and this is no exception but mostly it consists of letters and tributes I don't get However Proust clearly doesn't take any of this too seriously so I guess it gets a point for that For one of my classes this year I some selections from Swann's Way and Budding Grove and I fell in love with Proust's writing style—typical of most Joycians I'm sure But of course the problem with falling in love with Proust especially in university is not having the time to read 'À la recherche du temps perdu' This book was really a dream come true myself an avid poetry lover and at the same time this collection gives so much insight into Proust's life as a gay man in a time when homosexual activity was outlawed in France looking at his friends and fellow artists a variety of styles of writing his relationships with people c Mon français is not good enough to pick up all the differences in diction between the originals and translations but good enough to know how beautiful some of it reads and to pick up on the rhyme schemes in the French poems I realize that not every poem in here is phenomenal but I think one has to take that into perspective when reading a collected poetry book some of these poems were from Proust's early life as a writer and guess what he got better at writing as his life went on The footnotes at the end are also very well done taking up the last 14 inch of the book For the centennial of Swann's Way the most complete volume of Proust's poetry ever assembled in a gorgeous deluxe edition As a young man Proust wrote both poetry and prose Even after he embarked on his masterful In Search of Lost Time at the age of thirty eight he never stopped writing poetry His verse is often playful filled with affection and satire and is peppered with witty barbs at friends and people in his social circle of aristocrats writers musicians and courtesans            Few of the poems collected here under the editorship of Harold Augenbraum founder of the Proust Society of America have ever been published in book form or translated into English until now In this dual language edition of new translations Augenbraum has brought together nineteen renowned poets and poetry translators to bring Proust's exuberant verse back to life When this book jumped out at me At the bookstore last week I was immediately intrigued by its rough appearance Flipping open to the poem Sonnet I knew I had to read this book After getting it home I did wish I would have examined it further I loved the poems They did what poems should do I feel have movement have life make you think or completely make zero sense The notes at the end I could of did without The part I wish I would have known was that the book had their true form also I would like to hear a few of them in this form Hopefully my sister still remembers some French If not then I will have to just leave that part alone Impressively bad If anything Proust's early poems and short stories give me a strange sort of hope; if the author of Proust's early work could become the author of À la recherche then the human spirit can accomplish anything Very interesting as a collection of historical artifacts but the poems themselves are not particularly good Many were not intended for public consumption so it’s hardly a surprise I’m sure die hard Proust fans will find much to live here but for the passing poet it’s missable

  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • The Collected Poems
  • Marcel Proust
  • Multiple languages
  • 14 October 2016
  • 9780143106906

About the Author: Marcel Proust

French novelist best known for his 3000 page masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time a pseudo autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream of consciousness style Born in the first year of the Third Republic the young Marcel like his narrator was a delicate child from a bourgeois family He was active in Parisian high society during t