Collected Poems

Rainer Brambach

Translated by Esther Kinsky


 

5 x 8.5 inches, 184pp. February 2014

ISBN : 9780857421715


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Rainer Brambach, one of the most widely appreciated Swiss poets in the 1950s and '60s, was notorious for walking to the beat of his own drum, denying convention and standing his ground against popular styles and trends. He grew up in Basel and left school at the age of fourteen to become a manual laborer. He spent much of World War II in prison and in labor camps, an experience which greatly influenced his writing. After the war, Brambach began to make his name as a poet. Recognition and awards notwithstanding, Brambach remained an outsider in the literary world and lived for many years in poverty.

 

Marked by his disregard for material values, a profound engagement with the landscape of the Upper Rhine, and a lasting commitment to humanity, Brambach’s poems are direct, unadorned, and free of pomp or ideology. His quiet images conjure up landscapes, small rural scenes, and interiors of bars and cafes. Brambach was, above all, an observer whose poems provide insights of deceptive simplicity that form a poetic essence confirming the significance of this author’s voice. This collection of poems, masterfully translated by noted writer and poet Esther Kinsky, represents the first major English translation of a significant European poet.


Rainer Brambach was born in 1917 to a Swiss mother and a German father. He grew up in Basel and left school at the age of 14 to become a manual labourer. As a German national refusing to leave Switzerland, he spent much of the Secod World War in prison and in labour camps, an experience which proved to be of great influence on his writing. After the war, Brambach began to make his name as a poet. Recognition and awards notwithstanding, however, Brambach remained an outsider in the literary world and lived for many years in poverty. He died in 1983, shortly before the publication of his poetry collection Auch im April. 

 


Esther Kinsky is a literary translator and the author of the novel Sommerfrische. She has translated poetry by Angelus Silesius, Else Lasker-Schueler, and Wolf Wondratschek, among others. 

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