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Poetry Canadian

Ricochet

Word Sonnets - Sonnets d'un mot

by (author) Seymour Mayne

translated by Sabine Huynh

Publisher
University of Ottawa Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2014
Category
Canadian, Translating & Interpreting
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9782760319417
    Publish Date
    Apr 2011
    List Price
    $9.99
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9782760307612
    Publish Date
    Apr 2011
    List Price
    $14.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9782760321298
    Publish Date
    Jan 2014
    List Price
    $14.95

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Description

 

Ricochet is a bilingual collection of word sonnets by one of the chief innovators of the form, Seymour Mayne. It includes three sequences of pithy and evocative poems that encapsulate moments of sharp perception while also drawing attention to instants of humour that suddenly appear in daily life.

 

Concise and visual in effect, word sonnets are fourteen line poems, with one word per line. Frequently allusive and imagistic, they can also be irreverent and playful. While informed by other short poetry forms such as the Haiku, Mayne’s word sonnets are deeply influenced by the Talmudic tradition of maxims, proverbs and images that instruct and inform everyday life.

Presented with an excellent translation of the poems into French, Ricochet is a unique volume that showcases this innovative new form. The collection also includes a short preface by the poet and an introductory essay by the translator on the challenges of translating word sonnets.

 

 

About the authors

Seymour Mayne is the author, editor or translator of more than fifty books and monographs. His writings have been translated into many languages, including French, German, Hebrew, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. His latest collections include Light IndustryRicochet: Word Sonnets (Mosaic Press, 2004), September Rain (Mosaic Press, 2005) and Les pluies de septembre (Éditions du Noroît, 2008), his Selected Poems translated into French by Pierre DesRuisseaux. He serves as Professor of Canadian Literature, Canadian Studies, and Creative Writing at the University of Ottawa. --- Seymour Mayne a écrit, édité ou traduit plus de cinquante volumes et monographies. Ses écrits ont été traduits en plusieurs langues, dont le français, l’allemand, l’hébreu, le polonais, le russe et l’espagnol. Ses dernières publications comprennent Light Industry (Mosaic Press, 2000), Ricochet: Word Sonnets (Mosaic Press, 2004), September Rain (Mosaic Press, 2005); et Les pluies de septembre : poèmes choisis, traduit de l’anglais par Pierre DesRuisseaux (Éditions du Noroît, 2008). Il est professeur de littérature, de création littéraire et d’études canadiennes à l’Université d’Ottawa.

Seymour Mayne's profile page

Sabine Huynh is a sociolinguist, translator, novelist, short story writer and poet who writes in both French and English. She has translated Uri Orlev and Richard Berengarten, among others. Her first novel, La Mer et l’enfant, was published in France by Galaade Editions in 2012. --- Sabine Huynh est sociolinguiste, traductrice, romancière, nouvelliste et poète. Elle écrit en français et en anglais. Elle a traduit Uri Orlev et Richard Berengarten, entre autres. Son premier roman, La Mer et l’enfant, a publié en France par Galaade Editions en 2012.

Sabine Huynh's profile page

Excerpt: Ricochet: Word Sonnets - Sonnets d'un mot (by (author) Seymour Mayne; translated by Sabine Huynh)

 

OMENS

Birds
script
the
auspicious
calligraphy
of
flight
as
they
arc,
link
sky
and
earth.

 

LES PRÉSAGES

Les
oiseaux
tracent
la
calligraphie
prometteue
du
vol,
ligne
courbe
unissant
ciel
et
terre.

 

Editorial Reviews

As it frequently is throughout this collection, the tone is wry. Indeed, the dry humour and colloquial language of several poems contrast forcefully the tone’s more frequent seriousness. The collection ricochets between the two attitudes much as the English originals hit up against the French translations, interrupting the smooth flow of the sequences. The strong attention to and repetition of sound, as well as the—as the translator Sabine Huynh puts it— “daunting challenge of translating fourteen English words into exactly fourteen French words” makes Ricochet an interesting collection to publish bilingually (xxiii). Yet, the thematic interest in language—with issues of words, poetry, and communication as frequently explored as images of nature— makes Ricochet a fitting investigation into the elements of poetry and their potentials for rearticulation.

Dale Tracy, The Bull Calf - REVIEWS OF FICTION, POETRY, AND LITERARY CRITICISM, 10/24/2016

This is an A5 perfect bound book of word sonnets. Poets for about the last 20-30 years in the UK have produced word sonnets and it has proved to be a very restricting form. It is extremely difficult to produce outstanding word sonnets, worthy of re-reading, as they tend to end up being one or two sentences written vertically with a line count of 14 with the 'so what' factor. Some do have more than one word to a line, but Mayne's word sonnets all have one word to the line as can be seen in DECEMBER FLIGHT: These starlings swerve in flocks, turning their frantic wings towards the sun's slanting light. This word sonnet builds a laudable image. Nature is predominant in Seymour Mayne's word sonnets, as is a sense of spirituality, which is not commonly achieved in this form. JUNE HEAT sets a nature scene and focuses on light: A flashback of snow shadows this thick lingering wind and curtain of humid light. Doreen King, New Hope International Review

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