That there have been in the last hundred years or so a goodly number of outstanding French and francophone poets is beyond debate: Apollinaire, Perse, Breton, Éluard, Reverdy, Senghor, Michaux, Césaire, Ponge, Char, Glissant, Jaccottet, Chedid, Frénaud, Réda, Dupin, du Bouchet, Noël, Deguy, and many others such as Tellermann, Khoury-Ghata, Michel, Fourcade. The list is long and extraordinarily rich. That the work of Yves Bonnefoy stands high among them is also indisputable. Some might argue his place is indeed at the very pinnacle of such vast poetic achievement. And this for various reasons: Bonnefoy’s tireless appreciation and thinking through of the work of other poets and many artists, forming thereby a broad and richly woven poethics; the delicate, shifting, ever developing perspective and texture his own poetry deploys; his bringing into question of fundamental values of the written word in the broader context of our life’s meaning and purpose; and,...

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