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The Bestiary, or Procession of Orpheus

Guillaume Apollinaire translated, with an essay, by X. J. Kennedy woodcuts by Raoul Dufy

Publication Year: 2011

Guillaume Apollinaire’s first book of poems has charmed readers with its brief celebrations of animals, birds, fish, insects, and the mythical poet Orpheus since it was first published in 1911. Though Apollinaire would go on to longer and more ambitious work, his Bestiary reveals key elements of his later poetry, among them surprising images, wit, formal mastery, and wry irony. X. J. Kennedy’s fresh translation follows Apollinaire in casting the poems into rhymed stanzas, suggesting music and sudden closures while remaining faithful to their sense. Kennedy provides the English alongside the original French, inviting readers to compare the two and appreciate the fidelity of the former to the latter. He includes a critical and historical essay that relates the Bestiary to its sources in medieval “creature books,” provides a brief biography and summation of the troubled circumstances surrounding the book’s initial publication, and places the poems in the context of Apollinaire’s work as a poet and as a champion of avant garde art. This short introduction to the work of an essentially modern writer includes four curious poems apparently suppressed from the first edition and reprints of the Raoul Dufy woodcuts published in the 1911 edition.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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A Natural History of the Poet: Apollinaire’s Mythic Zoology

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pp. vii-xvii

The Bestiary, or Procession of Orpheus is Guillaume Apollinaire’s very first book of poems, published in 1909, and in it we find the genetic code of his work to come. Only two years later, it was followed by his ground-breaking collection Alcools, to which hosts of later French poets remain indebted...

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About This Translation

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p. xix

Apollinaire’s love lyric “Le Pont Mirabeau” first challenged me in 1955–56 when I was a student in Paris on the GI Bill, and over the years I have printed several failures to persuade it into adequate English. The Bestiary, too, has been a long-term challenge. Poems so concise, resembling casual...

The Bestiary, or Procession of Orpheus

Orpheus

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pp. 2-3

Tortoise

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pp. 4-5

Horse

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pp. 6-7

Tibetan Goat

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pp. 8-9

Serpent

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pp. 10-11

Cat

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pp. 12-13

Lion

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pp. 14-15

Hare

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pp. 16-17

Rabbit

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pp. 18-19

Dromedary

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pp. 20-21

Mouse

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pp. 22-23

Elephant

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pp. 24-25

Orpheus

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pp. 26-27

Caterpillar

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pp. 28-29

Housefly

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pp. 30-31

Flea

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pp. 32-33

Grasshopper

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pp. 34-35

Orpheus

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pp. 36-37

Dolphin

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pp. 38-39

Devilfish

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pp. 40-41

Jellyfish

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pp. 42-43

Crawfish

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pp. 44-45

Carp

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pp. 46-47

Orpheus

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pp. 48-49

Sirens

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pp. 50-51

Dove

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pp. 52-53

Peacock

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pp. 54-55

Owl

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pp. 56-57

Ibis

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pp. 58-59

Ox

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pp. 60-61

Four Deleted Poems

Condor

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p. 65

Crab Louse

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p. 66

Ape

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p. 67

Spider

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p. 67

Notes

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pp. 70-75

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About the Translator

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p. 76

X. J. Kennedy, a graduate of the Ecole supérieure de préparation et de perfectionnement des professeurs de français à l’étranger (Sorbonne), has published translations of poetry by Apollinaire, Ronsard, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Pierre Reverdy, and Robert Desnos, and a version of...


E-ISBN-13: 9781421401560
E-ISBN-10: 1421401568
Print-ISBN-13: 9781421400075
Print-ISBN-10: 1421400073

Page Count: 96
Illustrations: 31 halftones
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 743187287
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Bestiary, or Procession of Orpheus