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Steel Cricket, The
Stephen Berg
$16.00 paperback
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Steel Cricket, The
Versions 1958-1997
Stephen Berg

For nearly forty years Stephen Berg 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, the poetry of Miklos Radnoti and Ruben Dario among many others. As Stephen Berg points out in his Preface, "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." Here are Berg's "versions" of poems ranging from ancient Nahuatl religious songs to twentieth-century poems from Hungary and Latin America; from ageless Eskimo songs to turn-of-the-century Russian poems; from Octavio Paz to Innokenty Annensky.

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For Steel Cricket, The, Stephen Berg

"For readers interested in the shape and range of poetry and poetic expression, this volume is a must."—Contemporary Literary Criticism, "The Year in Poetry 1997"

"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."—Publisher's Weekly

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