Mum is Down

By Oscarine Bosquet

Translated by Cole Swensen, Simone Fattal


The Post-Apollo Press
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover art & book design by Simone Fattal
Poetry, Translation
Edition, Year
First Edition, 2014
In Print

From the Contemporary Poetry Series #1

Mum is Down is Oscarine Bosquet’s second collection of poetry to be translated into English.

Oscarine Bosquet
Oscarine Bosquet was born in 1964 in Paris. She is the author of four volumes of poetry in French and has published extensively in magazines and anthologies. She teaches at the Ecole Supérior des Arts in Brest. Her ... Read More
Cole Swensen
Cole Swensen has published 17 volumes of poetry, most recently On Walking On (Nightboat Books, 2017). Art in Time, a collection of hybrid lyric writings on landscape art, is coming out from Nightboat in 2021. The author ... Read More
Simone Fattal
Simone Fattal was born in Damascus, Syria, and raised in Lebanon, where she studied philosophy at the École des Lettres in Beirut. She then moved to Paris, where she continued her philosophical pursuits at the Sorbonne. In 1969 she ... Read More

Praise for Mum is Down

Mum is Down is at once a harrowing work and, by the sheer integrity of its agonistic confrontation with the unthinkable, a profoundly redemptive one. The unswerving poetic force of her language proves yet again that Bosquet stands among the most formally audacious and humanly perceptive poets of her generation in France.

— Michael Palmer

Dear Oscarine, I have for the third time reopened your book and found myself in tears and I want to tell you how much this poem is magnificent and that my tears are not simply due to an emotionalism one should dismiss. This gift of tears is the perfect sign for letting us know that the poem goes way beyond its subject. The poem/object is for each person a key, an opener as much as it is a personal enigma. Your book is not only a sublime eulogy—with its strawberries and artichokes, but the treatment of terrible subjects that are embedded into every maternal lineage. The overwhelming cruelty of the siren cut with scissors as well as the condemnation to the dwarves are those sections whose tones are the most poignant to me. Your poem is haunting. I read and reread, as one treats an aching tooth. Its material, its linguistic core, sorrow and plight with no ornaments are one of my highest reading moments.

— Liliane Giraudon, from a letter to the author upon the publication of Mum is Down 

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