Primal Vision

Poetry by Gottfried Benn

Translated by E. B. Ashton

Edited by Gottfried Benn

Gottfried Benn (1886-1957) occupies a position in modern German literature often compared to that of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound in English. This volume presents a comprehensive anthology of the author’s finest work-poetry (with the German originals en face), short stories, a scene from one of his plays, essays and autobiographical writings, including a unique insight into the German intellectual metamorphosis before, under and after Hitler. And in a long introduction, the editor, E.…
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It seems clear that Williams is the twentieth-century poet who has done most to influence our very conception of what poetry should do, and how much it does not need to.
—Adam Kirsch, The New York Review of Books
It's difficult to be modern about the charm of these brief portraits… Delicious, slyly ironic… A delightful volume.
—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
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