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Where Heat Looms

Ándre du Bouchet

Translated from the French with an Essay by David Mus

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Ándre du Bouchet
Where Heat Looms
Series No.: SMC 087
ISBN: 1-55713-238-0, Pages: 135
French Literature, Poetry

A Sun & Moon title.

* * *

Ándre du Bouchet, born in 1924, is one of the last great modern French poets whose work remains untranslated. Only one small book, The Uninhabited, translated and published by Paul Auster, has appeared in English (Living Hand, 1975). Over the next few years, Sun & Moon Press has committed itself to publishing all the major books of poetry by this world-renowned author.

That his work is so little known in English is strange, given that du Bouchet's life has been closely linked with American and English literature. At the age of 16, du Bouchet traveled to the United States, where he remained for eight years. He received a B.A. degree from Amherst College and an M.A. from Harvard, where he was a teaching fellow in English and Comparative Literature.

Upon his return to France, du Bouchet became a translator of English authors such as Shakespeare, Hopkins, and Joyce. He has also translated Holderlin, Celan, Mandelstam, and Pasternak.

Where Heat Looms (Dans la chaleur vacante) is an investigation of light and that which is associated with it: fire, white, wind, sky, air, sun, and flame. In this brilliantly lyrical collection, du Bouchet delights in the natural world while at the same time linguistically probing what he perceives: "Setting out again I start over this road doing so / well without me. A giddy firelight embedded in air, / air eddies over the sunken road; Every- / thing goes out. Already day's sheer heat."

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