Notes on Poets
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421  notes on poets Anna Akhmatova. Considered in the pantheon of renowned Russian poets, along with Osip Mandelstam, Boris Pasternak, and Marina Tsvetaeva, she survived blacklisting by Joseph Stalin, and the imprisonment of her son under his regime, to become through her voice the conscience of Russia. The poems translated by Judith Hemschemeyer predate the revolution. Anonymous Fourteenth-Century Poet. He was active in the late fourteenth century, writing a more obscure northern dialect of Middle English  than his contemporary Chaucer, whose southern speech became the main source of modern English. He is referred to as either “the Gawain  Poet” or “the Pearl Poet,” from another poem accepted as by the same hand and surviving in the same manuscript not rediscovered until the mid-nineteenth century. Guillaume Apollinaire. Born in Rome, he traveled through Europe before settling in Paris. After he returned wounded from World War I, his play Les mamelles de Tiresias: Drame surrealiste (The Breasts of Tiresias), produced in 1917, contributed to establishing the surrealist movement. His poetic works include Alcools: Poèmes, 1898–1913, edited by Tristan Tzara (1913), and Calligrammes : Poèmes de la paix et de la guerre (Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War) (1918). Jean-Antoine de Baïf. One of the French poets forming the Pléiade, after the influential group of seven Alexandrian poets (third century b.c.), he created new metrical patterns and a system of spelling based on phonetics. As royal secretary to Charles IX, he lived at court in Paris and, in 1570, founded the 422 Notes on Poets Académie de Poésie et de Musique. In 1572 he published his collected Euvres en rime in four volumes. Charles Baudelaire. French poet and noted critic of contemporary art, he also gained renown as the translator of Edgar Allan Poe. Considered an early modernist, his singular volume of poetry, Les fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) (1857), published in several subsequent editions, remains a major influence on the work of poets in later periods. Joachim du Bellay. A poet, critic, and member of the Pléiade group of poets, in 1553 he traveled to Rome as a secretary to his cousin Cardinal Jean du Bellay , where he wrote Les antiquités de Rome (The Ruins of Rome) early in his four-and-half-year residence. The sonnets of Les antiquités provide a glimpse of classical Rome from the point of view of the French Renaissance. G. G. Belli. Though largely unknown in his lifetime, he authored 2,279 sonnets written in Romanesco, the dialect of the people of Rome. They give spirited , funny, frequently obscene accounts of life under the nineteenth-century papacy. Today, he is considered a major poet of the period. Yves Bonnefoy. Trained as a philosopher, he is also an essayist, literary critic, and art historian as well as the most important contemporary translator of Shakespeare and other English poets into French. Described as France’s greatest postwar poet, he has authored ten books of poetry, most recently L’heure présente (2011). His many honors include the Prix Montaigne (1978) and the Hudson Review’s Bennett Award for Literary Achievement (1988). Jorge Luis Borges. An Argentine poet, short-story writer, essayist, and translator , he is recognized as one of the foremost literary figures of the twentieth century. He was director of the National Public Library and a professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He shared the first Prix International with Samuel Beckett in 1981. Catullus. According to Cicero, he was of the “neoteric” poets who rejected the epic and its public themes in favor of using colloquial language to describe personal experiences. His poems survived in a single manuscript discovered Notes on Poets 423  in Verona around 1305 and then disappeared again but not before copies were made, one of which, with 116 poems, resides in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. C. P. Cavafy. A Greek poet born in Alexandria, Egypt, he worked at the Ministry of Public Works in Alexandria (1892–1922). He published little during his lifetime, preferring instead to circulate poems among friends. A short collection of his poetry was privately printed in the early 1900s and reprinted with new verse a few years later. Christine de Pisan. Though born in Venice, she lived most of her life in Paris. As a young widow, she began writing in Middle French to support her family, thus becoming Europe’s first professional woman writer. She composed poems on courtly love...