Shapiro Translates Collection of French Cat Poems

Olivia DrakeOctober 14, 20152min

fe-linesNorman Shapiro, professor of French and the Distinguished Professor of Literary Translation, collected and translated a book, Fe-Lines: French Cat Poems through the Ages. The collection was published by University of Illinois Press in October 2015.

The French have long had a love affair with the cat, expressed through centuries of poetry portraying the animal’s wit and wonder.

Spanning centuries and styles, Shapiro reveals a remarkable range of French cat poems, with most works presented for the first time in English translation. Scrupulously devoted to evoking the meaning and music of the originals, Shapiro also respects the works’ formal structures. Pairing Shapiro’s translations with Olga Pastuchiv’s illustrations, Fe-Lines guides the reader through the marvels and inscrutabilities of the mystique féline.

As Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République Française and member of the Academy of American Poets, Shapio has published numerous award-winning collections, including The Complete Fables of Jean de La Fontaine.

Publication of this book has been aided by a grant from the Thomas and Catharine McMahon Fund of Wesleyan, established through the generosity of the late Joseph McMahon.