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The French texts come from the most productive critical editions, or relating to the moderns, those authorized by the poets themselves. Teachers of French will appreciate the clear prose translations on facing pages; the translator does not attempt to be a poet himself, moderately to lead the reader to a full appreciation of the poem as it was once written. An introductory essay gives as understandable a short summary of the formal aspects of versification as may also be found anywhere — the early orthodoxy of rhyme and meter, the gradual introduction of enjambment and metrical variation, through the word games and innovations of Apollinaire and his circle. A biographical and critical essay on each and every poet and his work not only depicts the poet as an individual but also gives a fine sense of the progressing and changing tradition of French poetry itself. An illustration, on a regular basis a portrait of the poet, accompanies each and every selection.
The clarity and comprehensiveness of this attractive anthology (in addition to its low cost) make it an ideal volume for an introductory survey of French poetry. For the student just beginning the study of French, this book is good supplementary material; the format of this book makes it easy to experience French poetry and learn vocabulary and grammar on the same time.