Baltie putni / The White Birds

W.B. Yeats

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Irish classic of modernism, winner of Nobel Prize in literature, William Butler Yeats (1865—1939). In homage to the poet the Neputns Publishers launches a bilingual collection of his selected poems “Baltie putni / The White Birds”. This is another edition in the bilingual Velvet Series which already includes selected poetry by Angelus Silezius, Rainer Maria Rilke, William Shakespeare, Joseph Brodsky, Walt Whitman, Jacques Prévert and Jānis Rokpelnis.

Baltie putni / The White Birds” is the first collection of Yeats’s poetry in Latvian. Along early translations, it includes also work of contemporary translators — Aivars Eipurs, Arvis Viguls and Kārlis Vērdiņš. The book is supplemented with several versions of the translation of most popular poems, revealing individual approaches and difficulties of translating poetry that is so dense and vivid, and has outlasted various times and trends.

The outstanding Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats (1865—1939) is known to the Latvian reader since 1923, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was almost sixty years old and had already published eight poetry collections and several plays, and the development of Yeats’s poetry reflected the evolution of European literature — from symbolism and motives of the Pre-Raphaelite movement to modernist influences. It is not without merit that T. S. Eliot described Yeats as “one of those few whose history is the history of their own time, who are part of the consciousness of an age which cannot be understood without them”.

Kārlis Vērdiņš



Baltie putni / The White Birds

In Latvian and English
Compiler: Kārlis Vērdiņš. Editor: Jānis Elsbergs
Translators: Eriks Ādamsons, Knuts Skujenieks, Hermanis Marģers Majevskis, Aivars Eipurs, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Arvis Viguls
Artist: Anna Aizsilniece
204 pp., semi-hard cover, ISBN 978-9934-512-60-5

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