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Maurice Carême, “Défier le destin – Defying Fate”, trans. Christopher Pilling; Arc Publications

The Belgian author Maurice Carême (1899 – 1978) is apparently much loved and seen as a major figure in his homeland. I read this volume with growing respect and a growing sense that for all their absence of obvious difficulty these were poems that would reward extensive rereading. Carême’s predilection for short (sometimes very short) lines, the brevity and tight focus of the poems and their generally simple syntax and vocabulary give them a modest air, but they are the fruits of much meditation, accumulated wisdom and technical skill, and they cover a wide range of feelings and attitudes. There … Continue Reading