PoemseBook - 2010
Hédi Kaddour’s poetry arises from observation, from situations both ordinary and emblematic—of contemporary life, of human stubbornness, human invention, or human cruelty. With Treason, the award-winning poet and translator Marilyn Hacker presents an English-speaking audience with the first selected volume of his work.
The poetries of several languages and literary traditions are lively and constant presences in the work of Hédi Kaddour, a Parisian as well as a Germanist and an Arabist. A walker’s, a watcher’s, and a listener’s poems, his sonnet-shaped vignettes often include a line or two of dialogue that turns his observations and each poem itself into a kind of miniature theater piece. Favoring compact, classical models over long verse forms, Kaddour questions the structures of syntax and the limits of poetic form, combining elements of both international modernism and postmodernism with great sophistication.
Capturing Kaddour’s full range of diction, as well as his speed, momentum, and tone, Marilyn Hacker’s translations brilliantly bring these poems alive.