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BABEL Verlag
Kevin Perryman


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With Claws of Fire

Mit Fängen aus Feuer

On the tenth anniversary of the death of the fine Welsh poet R. S. Thomas (1913-2000) BABEL brought out a new bilingual selection of 30 poems from six decades.

BABEL's beginnings were firmly linked with this poet. In 1983, the first issue of the international poetry and translation magazine BABEL was devoted to R.S. Thomas' work on the occasion of his 70th birthday. It included an unpublished poem and a checklist. Frieze followed in 1992, a collection of new poetry put together for BABEL by R. S. Thomas. BABEL then brought out four bilingual selections: The Bright Field / Das helle Feld (1995), Deciduous Language / Laubbaum Sprache (1998), Charity's Scarecrow / Die Vogelscheuche Nächstenliebe (2003) and Stone Twittering / Steinzwitschern (2008), all including uncollected, and most unpublished poems.

BABEL's fifth bilingual volume, With Claws of Fire / Mit Fängen aus Feuer contains no poems that have appeared in any of the other four. It is, like each of the others, a selection of some of R.S. Thomas' best poems from 16 different collections spanning five decades and offering a wide range of themes and tones. It contains four poems still uncollected in English, one of which has only ever appeared in a private publication in an edition of 20 copies.

With Claws of Fire / Mit Fängen aus Feuer was printed by offset lithography by Dinauer Druck, Puchheim, on 120gsm off-white wood-free paper. Format: 24 x 17.5 cm; 84pp.; 1,000 copies. The book is sewn, with a 240gsm wrap-around wood-free paper cover (Munken Pure Design Card) printed in two colours. 75 numbered specials (including the printed list of subscribers) contain an original etching by Vroni Schwegler, also limited to 75 numbered copies, signed by the artist (born in 1970, studied with Hermann Nitsch at the Städelschule, Frankfurt, where she now teaches), who has provided etchings for several recent BABEL books.

R. S. Thomas, With Claws of Fire / Mit Fängen aus Feuer    £ 18

With Claws of Fire / Mit Fängen aus Feuer   special: numbered (1-75), with signed, numbered (1-75) etching by V. Schwegler    £ 98

cf.   The Bright Field / Das helle Feld,   Frieze,   Decidious Language / Laubbaum Sprache,   Charity's Scarecrow / Die Vogelscheuche Nächstenliebe,   Das Kreuz,   The Cross,   The Sky-Rhyming Child / Das himmelreimende Kind,   In Delicate Nooses / In zierlichen Schlingen,   Stone Twittering / Steinzwitschern   and   Dove-Marks on Stone

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