Henri Chopin – Signs 1949-56 Book



Edition of 360 copies, published in 1975.

“Signs 1949–56” contains fourteen poems by Henri Chopin written between 1949 to 1956. Poems are in both their original French and translated into English by Jean Chopin.

“First published by Caracteres, Paris, in January 1957. This edition was almost entirely destroyed because of the closing down of the publishing house. This present bi-lingual edition can therefore be effectively considered as the first.”

“Signs contains fourteen poems dating from 1949 – 1955. The style has an extremely firm but varied structure; the author has broken away from the French and Parisian schools, refusing the lyricism of Saint John Perse and Paul Claudel, who were both very much in vogue at that period. There is a refusal of Surrealism too, particularly in the final poem Magic – and of the whole world of work today in the poem Work, which was written against the social realism then popular in France.”

Certain poems (e.g. The Round) show evidence of rhythmical research, prefiguring the sound-poet who was to break out of the bonds of verbal literature; in the same way, the firm, concise style precedes the graphics of this poet, which are now well-known.”

– publisher’s quote from inside cover of book