Good translators must somehow avoid the dangers of mere literalism on the one hand and creative embellishments on the other. Hadas has succeeded admirably by offering rhythmical and accurate translations of a wide variety of texts by Tibullus, Seneca, Hugo, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Rimbaud, LaForgue, Valery, and the modern Greek poet Konstantine Karyotakis, among others. Nostalgia, ennui, melancholy, and grief are the dominant tones of these poems, which speak poignantly of love lost and the inexorable passage of time. Hadas often finds a contemporary phrase to formulate an older writer's meaning. Thus, Tibullus can say that love protects him from ""the switchblade knife"" while LaForgue is ""suddenly zapped by lightning."" Some readers may miss the presence of en face texts in the original languages, but the author's assertion that she did this work purely ""for the pleasure"" is apparent throughout. Recommended for larger collections.
- Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.