A feast of hundreds of courses, this new book of poetry in translation (and occasionally in English) looks away from the Occident towards the work currently being produced in the east. It is a rich addition to Norton's collection of meticulously produced verse anthologies.
The current climate of unrest -- of overpopulation, of food shortages, of looming environmental crisis, of religious polarization -- only adds urgency to what would have already been a necessary project. Language for a New Century, a new anthology edited by Nathalie Handal, Tina Chang, and Ravi Shankar, is poised to bear witness to the complexity and multiplicity of a world in flux.
This ambitious yet accessible gathering of hundreds of poets . . . is likely to excite poetry fans as well as those new to poetry. Seeking a response to 9/11, the three editors, who are poets and teachers of Asian-American descent, hoped to share 'an alternate vision of the new century in which words, not weapons, could define our civilization.' . . . [I]t is packed with treasures.
This ocean of verse from dozens of poets from around the world includes English-language work as well as translations from Hebrew, Arabic and various Asian languages. The result is an anthology that offers a smorgasbord of unfamiliar — but often delicious — work that, in its essence, defines the multicultural experience of life.
This extraordinary, library-in-one-volume: what a resource! Assembled here not the Tower of Babel, but the astonishment and subtlety inherent in many languages and their experimental modes to expand the power of words. The introductions to each section offer perceptions engagingly, against which to place one's own readings. The editors have boldly envisaged and compiled a beautiful achievement for world literature.
This rich collection of poetry from Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, fills a huge gap in our cultural heritage. It is a formidable achievement, and an important contribution to our education.