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Name Michael Wooff
User Name michwo
Birthday 31/08/1949
Specialism Fiction
Groups Critique Central   Poetry Writers Group   Children's and YA Writers' Group  
Location North West
Interests Foreign literature in translation
Profile I read a lot.

Latest Work

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A round dozen haiku for writing on fans by michwo Word Count: 147

This is a distillation of "A hundred phrases for fans" by Paul Claudel (1868-1955) which were not strictly speaking haiku, but were printed accompanied by Japanese ideographs. Claudel lived for a time in Japan. 
22 Mar 2019

Bothwell by michwo Word Count: 245

A translation by me of a ballad by Emanuel Geibel (1815-1884), a scholarly German from Lübeck. 
29 Oct 2017

Domesticity by michwo Word Count: 110

What with reading about Danton and Robespierre and the French Revolution generally in Hilary Mantel's "A Place of Greater Safety", I've gone back in time to the 18th century and singled out a painter who was for one of the leading lights of the Enlightenment in France, Denis Diderot, the bee's knees, even though he is now remembered for his domestic scenes and still lifes: Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (1699-1779). 
11 Mar 2018

Et in Arcadia ego by michwo Word Count: 145

Cliff Hanger introduced me to this villanelle form, though I was already familiar with virelai and rondeau (cf. previous submissions The Chart of Tenderness and Love's Torments.) This poem is based on the picture of the same name by Poussin in the Louvre. 
23 Sep 2016

Heine`s Epitaph by michwo Word Count: 85

An expatriate Rhinelander, the poet Heinrich a.k.a. Harry Heine died and was buried in Paris in 1856. 
5 Nov 2017

Krishna the Divine Dancer by michwo Word Count: 124

This is from a sonnet sequence I did once based on the avatars of Vishnu entitled "Incarnations". It's now only one of three still extant as I managed to lose all the others. Out of those three it's my personal favourite. 
17 Sep 2016

Ode to Ballaké Sissoko by michwo Word Count: 133

I couldn't make sense of André Breton's "Ode to Charles Fourier" so I wrote a much shorter one of my own and dedicated it to a Malian kora player. 
19 Sep 2016

Poussin`s Penultimate Summer by michwo Word Count: 982
1  Comment

The French painter, Nicolas Poussin, who died in Rome in November 1665, was devoted to his wife, Anne-Marie, who died of a consumptive cough in October 1664. He spent the summer of 1664 caring for her as her health gradually worsened. 
9 Sep 2016

Poussin`s Penultimate Summer by michwo Word Count: 983

Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), though born in France, spent the last years of his life in Rome. His wife, Anne-Marie, predeceased him there, dying of tuberculosis in November 1664. 
26 Jan 2018

Reformation Couplets by michwo Word Count: 511

These are taken from a long poem in German written in rhyming couplets by the Swiss writer C.F.Meyer about the final days of the Reformer Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523) who died on an island in Lake Zurich after leading a Knights' Revolt against the Archbishop of Trier. 
22 Oct 2017

Reformation Couplets (slightly amended) by michwo Word Count: 508

Some couplets have now been changed in line with sensible suggestions made by JG. 
28 Oct 2017

Supper at Emmaus by michwo Word Count: 1788

A story told by his friend Bronzino after JC's death about a picture by the 16th century Florentine painter Jacopo Carucuu a.k.a. Pontormo who died on 6 January 1557. 
28 Oct 2016

The Boy on the Moor by michwo Word Count: 367

My own approximate translation of the 1842 poem "Der Knabe im Moor" by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848). 
23 Nov 2017

The Chart of Tenderness by michwo Word Count: 89

This is a virelai as opposed to a Vera Lynn. I'm not ashamed of it exactly, but it's far too mincing and serious. I really need to lighten up to stay on this website... 
3 Oct 2016

The Child and the Date Palm by michwo Word Count: 390
1  Comment

A fable by Voltaire's great-nephew who died of TB in September 1794 as a result of being imprisoned during the Terror. Two other poets - André Chénier and Jean-Antoine Roucher - were guillotined in July that year. 
8 Mar 2018

The Novel on the Tram by michwo Word Count: 8743

I posted Part I of this work to the Short Story Writers Group thinking I would submit it gradually one part at a time, but have subsequently decided to submit the whole thing, warts and all, to Critique Central. Does it read like a translation? Hopefully not, even though it is. 
21 Sep 2016

The Snow Child by michwo Word Count: 597

A fabliau or medieval French verse tale which will probably be the last thing I post in this group for a while. It may not be everybody's cup of tea. 
7 Sep 2016

The Squirrel and the Crow by michwo Word Count: 1288

The idea for this story sort of originated with a La Fontaine fable, "The squirrel and the fox" referring to disgraced 17th century finance minister, Fouquet, and his successor in that post, Colbert. But the playwright Corneille was a friend of Fouquet's and Corneille is one word in French for a crow. 
8 Oct 2016

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