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Yves Bonnefoy (1923–2016)

Author of The Curved Planks: Poems

196+ Works 1,404 Members 14 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author

Yves Bonnefoy was born in in Tours, France on June 24, 1923. He studied mathematics at the University of Poitiers and philosophy at the Sorbonne, where he completed a thesis on Søren Kierkegaard and Charles Baudelaire. Bonnefoy worked at the National Center for Scientific Research, where he wrote show more on the New Criticism and the philosophy of literary criticism in the English language. In 1953, he wrote a long poetic sequence entitled On the Motion and Immobility of Douve. His collections of poetry include Yesterday's Wilderness Kingdom, Words in Stone, The Lure of the Threshold, In the Shadow's Light, Beginning and End of the Snow, The Wandering Life, The Curved Planks, and The Long Chain of the Anchor. He received the grand prize for poetry from the French Academy in 1981 and the Goncourt Prize for Poetry in 1987. In 1972, he published a philosophical memoir, L'Arrière-Pays (Heartland), about his summer visits to his maternal grandparents. As a translator, Bonnefoy was well known for his renderings of Shakespeare into French including Hamlet, Julius Caesar, A Winter's Tale, and Henry IV, Part I. During his lifetime, he translated 15 of the plays, all of the sonnets, and wrote extensively on Shakespeare's poetics. His translations of Yeats are equally well known in France. He died on July 1, 2016 at the age of 93. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Yves Bonnefoy

The Curved Planks: Poems (2001) 120 copies
Giacometti (1991) 90 copies
Rimbaud (1961) 76 copies
L'Arrière-Pays (1972) 58 copies
Asian Mythologies (1993) 46 copies
Mythologies (1991) 38 copies
In the Shadow's Light (1987) 38 copies
La Quête du Graal (1924) — Editor — 38 copies
Poems 1959-1975 (1985) 26 copies
New and selected poems (1996) 22 copies
The Present Hour (2011) 17 copies
Rome, 1630 (1994) 16 copies
Selected Poems (1968) 15 copies
Early Poems 1947-1959 (1991) 12 copies
Hier régnant désert (1958) 9 copies
Récits en rêve (1987) 9 copies
L'imaginaire metaphysique (2006) 8 copies
Le nuage rouge (1992) 7 copies
Ce qui alarma Paul Celan (2007) 7 copies
Prose (2020) 6 copies
La poésie et la gnose (2016) 5 copies
The Digamma (2014) 5 copies
De gebogen planken (2016) 5 copies
El territorio interior (2014) 5 copies
Miro (1967) 4 copies
Remarques sur le dessin (1993) 4 copies
Sous l'horizon du langage (2002) 4 copies
Wat in de schaduw bleef (2015) 3 copies
Œuvres poétiques (2023) 3 copies
Obra Poética 3 copies
Goya, le pitture nere (2006) 3 copies
L'‰entroterra (2004) 3 copies
Il secolo di Baudelaire (2014) 3 copies
Raturer outre (2010) 3 copies
Le Lieu d'herbes (2010) 3 copies
Correspondance. Tome 1 (2018) 2 copies
Wandernde Wege (1997) 2 copies
Principi i fi de la neu (2006) 2 copies
Il digamma (2015) 2 copies
Språket, stenarna (2012) 2 copies
La vérité de parole (1988) 2 copies
Poésie et photographie (2014) 2 copies
Sull'haiku (2015) 2 copies
Œuvres poétiques (2023) 2 copies
Racconti in sogno (1992) 1 copy
Ein eld går føre oss (1999) 1 copy
Relatos en sueños (1900) 1 copy
Pomes 1 copy
William Blake (2013) 1 copy
Farhad Ostovani (2004) 1 copy
Palézieux (2000) 1 copy
Poezi 1 copy
Eseje 1 copy
Livres et documents (1992) 1 copy
Bonnefoy's Select (1969) 1 copy
La bufanda roja (2018) 1 copy
Poems: 1 (2018) 1 copy
Keats et Leopardi (2000) 1 copy

Associated Works

Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (2003) — Contributor — 768 copies
The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry (1996) — Contributor — 306 copies
Surrealist Painters and Poets: An Anthology (2001) — Contributor — 67 copies
Igitur ; Divagations ; Un coup de dés (1976) — Foreword, some editions — 63 copies
Masaccio's Trinity (Masterpieces of Western Painting) (1998) — Contributor — 20 copies
Poetry Magazine Vol. 205 No. 2, November 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 4 copies
Yves Bonnefoy (2010) — Contributor — 4 copies
Baudelaire/Paris (1993) — Preface — 4 copies


Common Knowledge



My first Bonnefoy, probably not the Bonnefoy I should have started with. I honestly came in expecting some subtle modernism - and, well, experienced plenty of subtleties (I am sure some of them have slipped by me), but the modernist part was rather thin. For a poet that comes after Surrealism, Bonnefoy comes across as remarkably backwards-stepping and it is only the remarkable atmosphere from some poems that redeem this mishmash of rather different poems. "La voix lointaine" is the cycle that gets closest to my expectations; on the other end of the spectrum, "L'encore aveugle" made me wonder at times why did I bother to read this (let aside the musicality, which is the thing Bonnefoy seems to excel in)... The last cycle is not so bad, but it makes me want to return to Ponge. (Why was such a feeble book released from the very beginning in the NRF Poésie Gallimard collection? Oh, because Bonnefoy is a "no-risk winner" choice by now... I guess the best things French poetry can offer nowadays are (as usual?) far from the "establishment"...)… (more)
yigruzeltil | Feb 14, 2023 |
Some truly excellent poems, with a few too many that aren't very good. The most recent work in prose was generally fascinating, but the verse was far too clearly the work of an old man: unnecessary formalism, memorials, little to say. So, the prose was solid throughout, and the earlier poetry was often astonishingly good.

My French isn't great, but it does seem that Rogers simplifies Bonnefoy's syntax *substantially*. If you know French better than I do, please tell me if I have this right, or not.… (more)
stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Bonnefoy's poems use deceptively simple, repetitive words to explore a world that is natural and mysterious, open and hidden. While I don't speak French, Lang's translation has a smooth rhythm and having the French original on facing pages gives even a non-speaker a sense of Bonnefoy's original metre and rhyme.

[full review here: http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2012/10/words-in-stone-pierre-ecrite-by-yves.html ]… (more)
kristykay22 | Oct 17, 2012 |



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