Showers and Bright Spells
July 27, 2021
|Subtitle||Selected Poems 2009-2019|
|Publisher||Spuyten Duyvil Publishing; Bilingual edition|
|Release Date||July 27, 2021|
Henri Droguet provides a sense of the thickness, of the incredible consistency of the world. He mixes it up, he loves it, but he runs up against it ceaselessly. So he grumps, whistles, moans in his little ironic melody, by way of revenge. There is at bottom a real distress, without self-indulgence, which does not withdraw into the consolation of elegy, but persists in trying to reestablish dialogue—which is to say to give and take blows in a language at once choppy and square, full of ruptures that produce rhythms, of images that catch the visible and blind substance off its guard, of little songs that grate, mock, splinter. It all sounds true. And the paradox is that this poetry of laceration and conflict becomes invigorating through its firmness, its tonicity, and through the spirit that pervades it.
Henri Droguet’s savvy derangements of language call for a super-savvy translator, and found that prestidigitator in Alexander Dickow. With neologisms, internal-intestinal rhymes, arcane diction, a fierce wit, Droguet creates dreamscapes at once linguistically fraught and true to his North Atlantic habitat. His song, he says in “Soliloquy,” is “spasm hemorrhage/ epiphanic and black.” These are poems of mortal intensity.