Storms Under the Skin: Selected Poems 1927-1954



Poet and artist Henri Michaux (1899-1984) was one of the most original and influential figures of twentieth century French poetry, hailed by Allen Ginsberg as a ‘master’ and ‘genius’, and by Borges as ‘without equal in the literature of our time’. His vividly strange, philosophical, touching and incantatory narratives invite us into a mercurial world of wry invention unlike any other. An intensely private person who shunned publicity, Henri Michaux composed – as he put it – for all those ‘suffering from their imaginations’. In Storms Under the Skin Jane Draycott translates poems and prose-poems from Michaux’s volumes 1927-54, including extracts from his best-loved creations Plume and the haunting realm of Les Emanglons, alongside poems written on the eve of war in Europe and during the Occupation.

‘Henri Michaux is… a conscience – the most sensitive substance yet discovered for registering the fluctuation anguish of day-to-day, minute-to-minute living’ – John Ashbery, 1961.

Reviews of Jane Draycott’s previous translations:

‘The glamour … dazzles as never before in modern English’ – Boyd Tonkin, The Independent, review of ‘Pearl’, 2011.

‘a near perfect marriage of emotion, content and form.’ – Edith Hall, Stephen Spender Prize for Translation, 2010.

Henri Michaux and edited and translated by Jane Draycott. Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 82 pages, July 2017.

Poet of the Week – 9: Jane Draycott


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