Complete Late Poetry of Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo: A Facing-Page Translation From the Malagasy and French Into English

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Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (1901-1937) is generally acknowledged, in his own country and abroad, as the greatest twentieth-century poet of Madagascar. Many of his poems have been included in anthologies of African poetry. The present volume contains the first complete translation from Malagasy of Rabearivelo’s late poetry.


“The Malagasy poetry of Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo, with its rich use of symbolism and the natural world, is hauntingly original, and English speakers will welcome the accessibility this new, meticulous translation provides. Lines such as ‘the old canoe of fables/ was still moored with the lianas of night’ and ‘a bird separated from its companions/looking for consolation at its own shadow/on the flowing water’ linger for a long while in the reader’s mind.” – Hilary Bradt, author of Madagascar, Guide to Madagascar, Madagascar Wildlife

"Fox reveals his intimate knowledge of Malagasy usage: he has chosen a specific rather than general term to mark the limited semantic range that vahy has in a limited geographical area and language community. This choice also underscores the role that a speaker's particular place and voice always has in lyric. ... this translation does more: it is the first step in recognizing the peerless individual voice of one of the great unknown Modernist poets." - Dr. Joel Calahan, Chicago Review

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