(éd. bilingue, traductions anglaises par Alexander Dickow / bilingual edition of poems translated into English by Alexander Dickow)

Henri Droguet's Clatters is a series of textual 'bricolages,' the poet's accurate description of his own work, appearing in translation here for the first time. At once wonderfully cluttered and strikingly barren; meaning and sound, man and landscape, interiority and exteriority merge together in this collection, as overcast as the landscape of the poet's home of Northern Brittany.

Droguet's characters are unfortunate phantoms, existing outside of time but anchored to a desperately isolated world by crunchy phrases evoking the haggard, the weary and the rusty. Clamorous and unruly textual fragments, disjointed syntax and sonic textures are framed in an atmosphere of playfulness. Wordplay, inversions, 'ellipses, anacolutha, paranomatha, parataxis.' Language unmakes itself, serving as another inconstant in an enchanting and terrifying world. Clatters is a telling title, the eponymous verb indicative of a sonorous contact, friction or conflict, of the mechanical vocabulary and the physicality of the poems.

The work is full of binaries -of editorial production, of the poet's equivocal fame, of the double valence of Droguet's world. As such, Clatters is particularly effective as a bilingual publication. As puppets and phantoms wrestle with new ways of inhabit the stark landscape, “as the paving stone resounds in time with that human stump pummeled lacking forward marching” (Littéralement/Literally,) the translation contributes to new ways of inhabiting the literary landscape. Although Droguet's work is filled with figures that produce crisis, this is certainly not the case with Alexander Dickow's exquisite translation, the result of a highly collaborative process and exceptional relationship between translator and poet.

Both translation and poetry are language-led means of approaching a truth. In this instance, Dickow was faced with the challenge of using his own words to redo the author's work of undoing, to retell the cyclical story mapped onto the pages; of the rise and fall of tides, of desolation and regrowth, of splendor and desolation; to wonder at ruin.

—Aoife Roberts, for Rain Taxi



    • Author: Henri Droguet
    • Translator: Alexander Dickow
    • Publisher : Ohm Press / Rain Taxi Review of Books (February 2014)
    • Language : English and French
    • Paperback : 48 pages