Poems of Yves Bonnefoy 2 (trans. Ian Brinton & Michael Grant)



-Reviewed by Hayden Westfield Bell

Poems of Yves Bonnefoy 2 translated by Ian Brinton and Michael Grant is the second collection of poems in the Bonnefoy series published by Oystercatcher Press. The second collection builds upon the success of the first; re-capturing Bonnefoy’s delicate, apocalyptic environments in a minimal style with a greater sense of tension, emphasis and intensity. Brinton and Grant’s translations are more confident and sure-footed in this collection than the last, the poems more varied in subject and tone, showing further understanding of Bonnefoy’s poetical approach and his characteristic use of language.

The opening poem ‘The Garden’ reintroduces us to images explored in the first collection; we see the resurrection of ‘stone’, ‘death’ and ‘a prow’s shadow’, these images of darkness juxtaposed with the optimism of ‘stars vault[ing] high garden walls’ and ‘pure wood’ jostles the mind between comfort and unease. Suddenly, ‘every road of…

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