From fantastical Romanian tales to French post-war weariness via Dada, Surrealism and Marxism, Tristan Tzara’s poems were always exploring the frontiers of language and thought. He continually pushed to the limits the possibilities of words, of what language might be able to reveal and convey. Tzara saw poetry as an essential catalyst in society capable of creating a permanent atmosphere of openness and active change. He pursued this ambition with intense vigour, but also with wit and an essential humanist insistence.
Lee Harwood began translating Tristan Tzara’s poetry in the early 1960s with the approval and enthusiasm of Tzara himself. ‘The Glowing Forgotten’ is a selection from that remarkable work.
‘Selected Poems of Tristan Tzara’, translated by Lee Harwood, is the best collection of poems by the leader of Dada to have appeared in this country. Harwood has caught nicely this poet’s blend of irony, black humour and lyricism. (The Sunday Times)
Tristan Tzara, born 1896 in Moinesti, Romania, was a poet, playwright, prose writer, critic, editor, scholar, and, most of all, an instigator. He died in Paris in 1963.
Lee Harwood has published many books of poetry, including a large ‘Collected Poems‘ (Shearsman Books, 2004). John Ashbery described him as ‘one of Britain’s best poets’. He was born in 1939, and lives in Brighton, England.