‘He is an exquisite poet, a deliverer of nations … a father of light’, said Ezra Pound in 1918 of Jules Laforgue. Among the most innovative of poets in the French language, Laforgue was an important influence on the young T.S. Eliot. Part symbolist and part impressionist, his associative method, speech-rhythms and boldly heterogenous diction make him not only one of the most individual of French poets but also among the most entertaining. Notable also for his early protests for the liberation of women, Laforgue died in Paris in 1887 aged just 27. In this revised edition of his verse translation, Peter Dale (described by Donald Davie as an ‘exceptionally thoughtful and enterprising translator’) captures the energy and panache of Laforgue’s poetry in translations which are by turns as playful, wild, clear, obscure and impossible as the French poems.