Across a Sheet of Paper

Across a Sheet of Paper

A selection of German poems translated by Christine McNeill

Price: £10.00

ISBN: 978-1-915553-00-3

Number of pages: 132

Poetry, Translation from German, Paperback, 135x210mm

This is a selection of German poems on the themes of creativity, childhood, spirituality, nature, and ageing, translated by Christine McNeill.

“Why write poetry? For the weird unemployment. / For the painless headaches, that must be tapped to strike / down along your writing arm at the accumulated moment. / For the adjustments after, aligning facets in a verb / before the trance leaves you. For working always beyond / your own intelligence.” – Les Murray, New Selected Poems

Les Murray’s quote would have resonated with the poets selected in this volume of German poetry, as it does with its translator. The poems chosen represent different styles and perspectives on the themes of writing, childhood, spirituality, nature, and the process of ageing.
Christine McNeill was born in Vienna and has published the poetry collections Kissing the Night (Bloodaxe), The Outsider, The Scent Gallery, First and Last Music, Still Life, Sehnsucht (all with Shoestring Press). She has translated Rilke’s poem cycle The Life of the Virgin Mary (Dedalus Press), and co-translated Rilke’s The Book of Hours (Agenda Editions).

On Sehnsucht: “In ‘The Real Me’ the abiding concept of Sehnsucht permits realistic and surrealistic impressions of identity to coalesce and the possibility of reassurance. In ‘Gustav Mahler at Attersee’, Sehnsucht is given a different, historical and musical perspective. Her deft and highly sensory poem emulates the tonal changes in Mahler 3rd and provides a valuable creative locus for her exploration of yearning in the world.”  – Stella Pye, Stand Magazine

“Like the word itself, the poems in Christine McNeill’s Sehnsucht are ‘encrusted with meanings.” – Stephen Claughton, The London Grip Poetry Review

On First and Last Music: “The first thought that Christine McNeill’s title inspires is, ‘Is this a collection about music – perhaps its relationship with poetry – or is this just a metaphor for life and death?’ She has succeeded in making the book all these things.” – Dilys Wood, Artemis Poetry

“… she can balance language with precision to reach what is beyond language.” – D.A. Prince, The London Grip Poetry Review