Oriental Poems of Leconte De Lisle

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This work offers the first translation of the neglected nineteenth-century French poet, Leconte de Lisle, revealing him to be one of the first and most talented of the multi-culturalists. A creole sage born on the Isle of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, de Lisle spent much of his life in Paris working as the national librarian. His work was respected by the major poets of his day, but his Buddhist sense of detachment caused him to be underappreciated. These poems are his most heartfelt evocations of the Orient and the island of his birth.


“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 ... The translations are brilliant, for Ford is an accomplished linguist whose translations bring to the reader all the verve and subtlety of the original works.” - Dr. Lewis Overaker, Language Department Chair, Holderness School

“Edward Ford’s The Oriental Poems of Leconte de Lisle should help attract the audience Leconte de Lisle deserves. Ford’s judicious selections from Leconte de Lisle’s long career show the poet’s range in subject matter and skill in poetic expression, many poems translated into English for the first time. His compilation offers an excellent opportunity for Leconte de Lisle to be discovered (or rediscovered) and better appreciated.” - Dr. Findley, Visiting Lecturer, Indiana University

Table of Contents

Polynesian Genesis (La Genèse polynésienne)
The Verandah (La Vérandah)
The Desert (Le Désert)
Djihan-Ara (Djihan-Arâ)
Leïlah's Sleep (Le Sommeil de Leïlah)
The Oasis (L'Oasis)
The Vined Fountain (La Fontaine aux lianes)
The Howlers (Les Hurleurs)
The Ravine of Saint-Gilles (La Ravine Saint-Gilles)
The Elephants (Les Éléphants)
The Virgin Forest (La Forêt vierge)
The Palanquin (Le Manchy)
A Sunset (Un Coucher de soleil)
The Black Panther (La Panthère noire)
The Dawn (L'Aurore)
The Jungle (Les Jungles)
Surya (Vedic Hymn) (Sûryâ [Hymne Védique])
Vedic Prayer for the Dead (Prière védique pour les Morts)
The Joy of Shiva (La Joie de Siva)
The Orient (L'Orient)
Peace of the Gods (La Paix des Dieux)

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