Beginning and End of the Snow: Followed by Where the Arrow Falls

Yves Bonnefoy (Author) Emily Grosholz (Translator)


Yves Bonnefoy's book of poems, Beginning and End of the Snow followed by Where the Arrow Falls, combines two meditations in which the poet's thoughts and a landscape reflect each other. In the first, the wintry New England landscape he encountered while teaching at Williams College evokes the dance of atoms in the philosophical poem of Lucretius as well as the Christian doctrine of death and resurrection. In the second, Bonnefoy uses the luminous woods of Haute Provence as the setting for a parable of losing one's way.

Product Details

Bucknell University Press
Publish Date
August 31, 2012
4.9 X 7.9 X 0.4 inches | 0.3 pounds

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About the Author

Yves Bonnefoy is often described as the greatest French post-war poet. Trained as a philosopher, he is also an essayist, literary critic and art historian. In 1981, he succeeded Roland Barthes at the Collège de France in Paris. He is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently L'heure présente, as well as numerous works on art, history and poetry. His many honors include Canada's Griffin Poetry Prize (2011). Emily Grosholz is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy at the Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the research group REHELS / SPHERE at the University of Paris Denis Diderot. She is the author of six books of poetry (including Leaves / Feuilles with Farhad Ostovani) and an advisory editor for the Hudson Review.


Yves Bonnefoy is without doubt the most important French poet alive today. This series of poems is extraordinarily beautiful, and the translation by Emily Grosholz is excellent. It captures the delicacy and loveliness of the snowflakes, as well as the directness of the arrow.--Mary Ann Caws
Emily Grosholz, both poet and philosopher, has accompanied Début et Fin dela neige with an exquisite English translation, and her great fellow-poet Yves Bonnefoy has prefaced poems and translation with a delectable essay on "Snow" in French and English.--Richard Wilbur
This outwardly slight, paperbound volume opens to reveal an uncommon abundance: a series of exquisite poems by one of the most important poets in France today deftly rendered into English by a poet known for her delicate touch; an eloquent essay by Yves Bonnefoy himself, demonstrating his skill as a literary critic as well as a poet; and a charmingly direct meditation by the translator, Emily Grosholz, about her effort to create English equivalents of two Bonnefoy poems. As if that weren't enough, there is the further pleasure of beautiful visual art in the evocative drawings of Iranian artist Farhad Ostovani that accompany the text.--World Literature Today
It's not easy to capture simplicity. It's a matter of meanings, tone, but also of rhythm and sounds, that are necessarily different sounds in the other language. ... This is a superb book; one reads it without the least twinge of regret for what might be lost in translation. With half a dozen watercolour landscapes by the Iranian artist Farhad Ostovani, Snow is also a pleasure to look at.--Criticism & Reference