Ugly Duckling Presse

Sleep's Powers
Sleep's Powers

Jacqueline Risset

translated by Jennifer Moxley

Poetry | $15 $12
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Sleep is the loam of dreams, the material in which they grow. But it is also something more: something hidden, made obscure by the accumulation of images—a sort of grand dream which, because of its intense and manifold nature, is undecipherable. Compared to sleep, dreams offer us a free, easy, almost anodyne, show. Sleep abides from the start in the interior tissue out of which we are formed. Moments of astonishment, precious passages filled with rapid, disconnected symbols—light birds like late evening swallows—a single swallow still squawking overhead, halfway to sleep.Sleep's Powers is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Author

Jacqueline Risset

Born in Besançon, France in 1936, Jacqueline Risset has published many books of poetry as well as literary essays. She was one of the editors of Tel Quel, and is well-known for her translations of Dante’s Commedia (1985-90, fifth edition 2006). Her most recent book is Traduction et mémoire poétique. Dante, Scève, Rimbaud, Proust, which won the Award of the Académie Française in 2007. She teaches French literature and is President of Centro di Studi Italo-francesi at the Università degli Studi di Roma III. Sleep’s Powers was originally published in French under the title Puissances du Sommeil by Éditions du Seuil in September 1997.

About the Translator

Poet Jennifer Moxley's collections include: Clampdown, The Line, Often Capital, The Sense Record, and Imagination Verses. In addition to her books of poetry, she has published a memoir, a volume of essays, and three books of translation from the French. More info on Moxley here.