Tuesday, June 05, 2012

poems of Mallarme by Brian Coffey (1990)

Poems of Mallarme
Brian Coffey
New Writers Press
Dublin, Ireland
The Menard Press
London, England

Oversized staple-bound chapbook. 34 pages. Bilingual Edition. Mallarme was a visionary poet who anticipated several 20th century movements (Dadaism, Surrealism, Futurism) as well as through use of typography laid the foundation for Concrete Poetry roughly 50 years after he began his own experimentations. In that sense, this book is a sampling - a tease of the range and scope of Mallarme. A first bite from the fruit. An introduction to his work.

It succeeds in that, but does not include any of his typographic works. His breath-taking and breakthrough piece, A Throw of the Dice, itself could be this book. Laid out in a manner not seen since it's original French appearance, perhaps. This collection is worthwhile but not stunning. A viewing of Mallarme's work should attempt to be stunning. Nonetheless worthwhile.

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