Hi! I've just finished blackbird and you don't know how much I love it. I'm still reeling from all the emotional turmoil over it, the research you did and how you did the characters, how you placed them and how everything just fit. I could go on and on, give me a few more weeks to recuperate (BECAUSE IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD. ( IM REALLY SAD THAT I HAD ORIGINALLY MARKED THIS FOR LATER BUT IT WAS WORTH IT) But I really wanted to ask where I can read Paul Verlaine's Romances sans par in english?
Thank you! There are English translations of all the poems in the book here, although I’m not wild about them- the translator prioritises preserving rhyme patterns over accuracy, but isn’t particularly good at either. Norman Shapiro’s translations of Verlaine are apparently well-regarded, and they are at least published in bilingual parallel, but again the devotion to preserving a rhyming scheme seems to take priority over preserving the nuance and atmosphere of the originals. I am personally planning to try and get hold of Martin Sorrell’s translations- I really like his approach in the two featured in that blogpost.
It’s kind of amusing to me the way Verlaine became such a Thing, both to myself in writing Blackbird and to readers. I picked Romances sans paroles because I wanted Yuuri to have a Gay French Book to go with his copy of Auden’s Poems, and Rimbaud was both too obvious and too miserable- I was vaguely aware of Verlaine’s existence beforehand, but I’d never read any of his work. But I suppose sometimes these things pick you!