An Audible Blue: Selected Poems Klaus Merz - trans. by Marc Vincenz
$20.00, ISBN 978-1-945680-54-0
“Throughout his career, Swiss Poet Klaus Merz has been praised as an artisan of the understatement, and it is precisely in these smallest of details that the great unexpected has the potential to be illuminated. As Merz himself has said: “The poetry nudges toward a secret, hopefully without ostentation, rather through the power of its own alphabet.” This seminal volume brings together selections from Merz’s fifteen collections of poetry (1963-2016).
“Marc Vincenz has brought these dynamic poems to life in English: his lucid translations make these varied and vivid poems delightful, incisive, responses to the world and life imagined in startling images that upend our ways of seeing: he provides a visual glossary of the poetry of everyday life: “A brackish mouth / speaks to the dead. But a new celestial body / rolls in with the last wave.” “Go down / on one knee / before the Capuchin monkey!” Swiss poet Klaus Merz’s poems in An Audible Blue (1963-2016) are reanimated in this precise and energetic translation. Whether in the brief, haiku-like early poems or the prose poems or longer verse poems, the language is seamless and draws us in.”
— Maxine Chernoff
"Through all the mirrors of his compact mind, Klaus Merz propels his poetic pensées into an accelerating motion like a scribbler’s short breaths or an estranged Our Father. In Vincenz’s prodigious and perfectly weighted German to English translation these providential, charged word-moments collide in a benediction of sorts that transcends ancestral time and the Swiss countryside familiar to Merz. Here the miniscule expands and immensity collapses into itself. Here, also, the poet’s kingly proclamations dive deeply into the dreamlike magic of eons and spins into creation a wordplay of wonder.”
“Reading Merz's spare illuminating poems is like entering Plato's cave and witnessing the light behind the shadows.”
Klaus Merz was born in 1945 in Aarau and lives in Unterkulm, Switzerland. He has won many literary awards including the Hermann Hesse Prize for Literature, Swiss Schiller Foundation Poetry Prize and the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize in 2012. He has published over 35 works of poetry and fiction. His latest novel is The Argentinian (Der Argentine, Haymon, 2009) and his recent collections of verse are Out of the Dust (Aus dem Staub, Haymon, 2010), Unexpected Development (Unerwarteter Verlauf, Haymon, 2013), What Helios Hauls (Helios Transport, Haymon 2016) and firm (firma, Haymon, 2019)
Marc Vincenz is a poet, translator, fiction writer, editor, musician and artist. He has published over 30 books of poetry, fiction and translation. His work has been published in The Nation, Ploughshares, Raritan, Colorado Review and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing. His newest books are There Might Be a Moon or a Dog (Gazebo, Australia, 2022) and The Pearl Diver of Irunmani (White Pine Press, forthcoming 2023).