Author: Edward Ford
ISBN 978-1-60264-368-0 (softcover)
In "Light From the East," Ford gives a non-rhymed translation of poems from three of the four published volumes of Leconte de Lisle, and, as the title suggests, he draws from the poems that are the most heartfelt, the ones that deal with his island home, and the most exotic, those that are located in the Orient, where exotic animals and tropical flowers exist in a world of good and evil, redeemed by beauty. Ford's work is, indeed, timely, for Leconte de Lisle was a creole, a half black son of the Isle of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. We live in a more multicultured era, and it can be argued that Leconte de Lisle is the first multiculturalist to write in French, being a multiculturalist himself! In short, it seems as if "his time has come." Indeed, Ford's translation of the majority of Leconte de Lisle's poems is the first translation ever of the works into English. Ford does not translate any of Leconte de Lisle's Wagnerian poems; although popular in his day, these poems would appear dated today. Although this omission distorts our picture of Leconte de Lisle's oeuvres, it is precisely this distortion that will make the poet appreciable by a new generation of readers.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Ed Ford holds masters degrees in French and English. He has published nine books and has taught at Boston area colleges.
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