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The Earth on Fire by René Noyau trans. Gérard Noyau with Peter Pegnall


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The first translation into English of the poems of Francophone Mauritian writer René Noyau (1911–1984)

The poems are presented in their original French as well as in English translation.

‘There are many reasons to be fascinated by René Noyau… He cannot be pigeonholed in any particular style or subject matter, moves from the earthy to the ethereal, often in the same poem. A devotee of the surreal image, exotic and startling, he is also capable of a raw clarity that hammers home his meaning. Like many true artists, René was not the best custodian or promoter of his work and his native land was not entirely ready for his force or originality. The current volume is an effort to reach an audience he might never have imagined, to be a recognition and a discovery for years to come, crossing age and cultural barriers.’ — Peter Pegnall

‘It’s a revelation to read this selection of René Noyau’s passionate poems, an extraordinary window onto the life of a vivid intelligence in 20th-century Mauritian literature. The translations by Gérard Noyau with Peter Pegnall reveal a fascinating poetic development: from the strongly-felt early lyrics to the fierce inventive energy of the later surreal and political work—including the powerful ‘Sega of Freedom’—this is work that feels admirably unafraid in all its intimacy and commitment’ — Jane Draycott

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