Guy Goffette is one of the most unabashedly lyrical contemporary French poets, a man from northern France (born in the Ardennes in 1946) who claims Verlaine, issued from the same geography, as one of his literary godfathers with no compunction. Goffette makes frequent homage to his sources, however oblique, in an ongoing series of ‘Dilectures’ – doubled readings/readings of predilection and delectation : deft verse portraits of writers as diverse as Auden, Ritsos, Borges, Max Jacob, Valéry Larbaud, Pound, Pavese, Rimbaud, and, of course, Verlaine, to whom he also devoted a prose book, neither biography nor criticism but a poet’s re-imagination of another poet’s life and mind. He has written a similar volume on Bonnard ( some of his verse homages are to visual artists as well). Auden, that least French of poets, has fascinated Guy Goffette for years, and his latest , just-published book , L’Oeil de la baleine, confronts him in a similarly idiosyncratic prose encounter.
– from Marilyn Hacker’s introduction in MPT Series 3/3 Metamorphoses