The Steel Cricket: Versions 1958–1997

Stephen Berg, trans.

The Steel Cricket is a collection of “versions” of some of the world’s great, untranslated literature by Stephen Berg, who has established himself as a major American poet while exploring the boundaries between original verse and translations. These “versions” and translations aim to make accessible poetry from sources as diverse and intriguing as ancient Aztec, Chinese, and Inuit song, as well as the poetry of Miklós Radnóti and Rubén Darío among many others. In his preface, Stephen Berg writes, “One can argue that a poet’s most ambitious love is the exercise of technical gifts, but I doubt it: he is pursuing something beyond poetry, for himself and the reader—a vision that embraces everyday life, a way of seeing, of thriving; insight that sparks a bit of understanding, the growth of the mind.”

ISBN: 9781556590757

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Stephen Berg (1934–2014) was the founder and co-editor of The American Poetry Review and the editor, with Robert Mezey, of the highly acclaimed Naked Poetry anthologies. He was the author of numerous collections of poetry and translations and received the Frank O’Hara Prize, a Columbia University Translation Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim, Pew, Rockefeller, and Dietrich foundations, as well as from the National Endowment for the Arts. He taught at Princeton and Haverford, and was a professor of humanities …

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“For readers interested in the shape and range of poetry and poetic expression, this volume is a must.” —Contemporary Literary Criticism

“These wildly diverse reworkings and translations of poems share a sense of spiritual extremity, of crisis in the relation of the human to the divine that threatens everything ordinary… One of Berg’s strengths is a fluid transparency, words that sink straight into the reader’s heart… Stephen Berg has brought us a cornucopia of voices that are, like him, ‘happy about the happiness that’s possible… [and] singing to end their pain'” —Express

“Whether channeling Sappho… Rimbaud, Russian or Hungarian Poets, anonymous Aztec or Eskimo Songs… Berg finds a ripe and credible voice and offers it humbly.” —Publishers Weekly