A Smile Between the Stones by Claude Esteban, Translated from the French by John Montague.
These translations of Claude Esteban, winner of the Prix Goncourt for Poetry, by well-known Irish poet John Montague, flow with apparent ease.
In this sequence, inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear, Montague serves not only to bring to the English-speaking public the work of a distinguished French poet, he also serves triumphantly to further his own avowal that ‘on the edge is best’.
"John Montague has captured the simplicity of language combined with seriousness of intent in a most deft fashion."
"John Montague stands apart as a voice of translation. Only a poet who has already published work of the power of 'Life Class' and 'Mount Eagle' with their delicate filigree lines and meditative calm could have captured such an essence in Esteban. These poems are the best kind of translation in that they are events within the host tongue itself."
Claude Esteban, 1935-2006, French poet, essayist and translator, published 13 books of poems, several collections of essays on poetry, literature and the visual arts, and translated Paz, Borges and Garcia Lorca into French.
John Montague, born 1929, has spent his life in Ireland, France and the United States. A highly-respected Irish/international poet, he has won many major awards for his publications which include several collections of poetry, essays and memoirs. He has also translated Francis Ponge and Guillevic. His latest collections are published by The Gallery Press, Dublin.