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From The Antioch Review, Summer 2013, Volume 71, Number 3

John Taylor writes of translating Klaus Merz’s poetry in his piece in the current

Klaus Merz

Klaus Merz

issue of The Antioch Review. You can read the full article recently republished in Poem Daily.

“Even my own
still unthought thought
you are already
beginning to read
on my forehead

Such poems are very simple in form and diction, yet they make one consider one’s own minor joys and lurking turmoil. What else can I say? Can any other critical commentary be put forth except that of underscoring their psychological subtlety? Merz raises no rhetorical façade. He does not try to impress with lexical or syntactic brilliance; whatever formal “modernism” he has assimilated, it consists here of little more than some suppressed punctuations between lines. If he is slightly ironic, as with the word of endearment unexpectedly employed at the end of the above poem, the irony does not make us sneer or snicker, but rather mediate more sincerely—this is the paradox of the irony—on a certain feeling of amorous uneasiness from which we may also suffer.”

John Taylor is the author of the three-volume essay collection, Paths to Contemporary French Literature, as well as Into the Heart of European Poetry, all published by Transaction. He has recently published If Night is Falling (Bitter Oleander Press) and Now the Summer Came to Pass (Xenos Books).

© 2013 The Antioch Review