French poet and critic Nicolas Boileau-Despraux (1636-1711) was by turns venerated (in the eighteenth century) and reviled (in the nineteenth century) as the lawgiver of French classicism. Today critics see his achievement as more varied and complex than the label of classicism generally allows. This selection of Boileaus poems, translated with spirit and carefully annotated by Burton Raffel, brings the work of Boileau to English-speaking readers for the first time in a generation.Much admired for his wit and ingenuity, Boileau perceived the role of the satirist as the scourge of bad writing and delighted in the notion of lami du vrai, the brash truth-teller and enemy of humbug, inflation, and equivocation. Raffels translations, vigorous and engaging, preserve the meaning of Boileaus poems and invite todays reader to enjoy the poets astute perceptions. Julia Prests insightful introduction to the volume provides an overview of Boileaus life and achievement.

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