The Plural of Happiness: Selected Poems of Herman de Coninck (2006)

Translated by Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Kurt Brown, The Plural of Happiness is the first volume of Belgium’s leading poet, Herman de Coninck, to be available in English. Witty, tender, trenchant, wise, de Coninck’s poems range from playful, terse love lyrics to darkly ironic, somberly truthful observations about human experience. The ability to compress huge subjects into small, formally sculptured poems is a hallmark of his style; conversely, what might seem too small to write about is often transformed by his imagination into his understanding of war, and of how psychological imperatives and social roles may trap us in self-destructive fates.