Blaise Cendrars (1887 – 1961)

I bought “Complete Postcards From the Americas Poems of Road and Sea” University of California Press ed. (1976) off a remainder table at the long since defunct Britnell’s Bookshop near Yonge and Bloor in Toronto, kept it for years then inexplicably donated it somewhere in a crazed book reduction initiative, “What was I thinking?” category.

Have you ever done this? Got rid of some titles then later become overwhelmed by remorse and contrition when you go looking for something and realize that you have foolishly flung it away? Had to scrounge up the VPL’s lone copy to get the text of the poem below that I had never forgot. Just something about “Samoyed dogs are climbing up” that still gets me as mysterious, evocative and strange. So that’s where the name of this blog comes from. I get it!

Of course, old Blaise didn’t write exactly that.  He exactly wrote “grimpent des chiens samoyèdes”.  Translation of this excellent volume was by Monique Chefdor.

Blaise blazed a new route through twentieth century poetry, wrote some astonishing novels and passed through VCR one time in the course of his many travels.  I don’t think anyone here noticed.

Author: Steven Brown


One thought on “Blaise Cendrars (1887 – 1961)”

  1. I have to say I think it’s a cool name for the blog. (I left a comment on the first entry although it still says there’s only one comment there). Steve this is a wonderful site, I look forward to reading many more postings! Your work is great!


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