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Index: Poetry & Fiction

Three poems by Osip Mandelstam.

Osip Mandelstam: ‘Watch me grow stronger, then blind,
as I follow these humble roots.
What a park! My eyes come alive
now thunder is passing through.’

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Eight poems.

Iain Britton: ‘sunlight squints at distortions
trapped in tinted glass /
a ceremony breaks black bread
the wind creaks the floorboards /’

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Happiness Is the New Bedtime.

Becka Mara McKay: ‘I was living in a cliff-side hollow. I had no real friends. The local swallows tried to teach me to use mud to seal off the chinks and leaks in my dwelling. But they were creatures who could only eat on the wing, and I am a creature who can barely drink a glass of wine in a seated position without spilling it on my shirt, and so we could hardly find a common tongue, much less a way to understand each other’s tools and trademarks.’

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Three poems by Alain-Fournier.

Alain-Fournier: Firstly…no…well…in the evening…perhaps…
I will dare to take her hand, le petit pas;
If this takes too long, and the evening is fresh,
I will speak the truth until I’m out of breath,
And her eyes will be wet with words so tender
And with no-one overhearing, she will answer.

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Trois poèmes par Alain-Fournier.

Alain-Fournier: ‘…aux petits gars qui ne s’en vont avec personne
dans le cortège qui s’en va, fier et traîné
vers l’allégresse sans raison, là-bas, qui sonne.’

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From ‘A time to come to a place and introduce oneself’.

Conor Robin Madigan: ‘The south borders of the country rage in conflagration. His happiness at this moves his feet back and forth upon themselves under the covers and he fits an entire halved buttered toast into his mouth before smiling through his orange and soda. After his meal he tries to pull his legs from the tangled bedclothes but falls to the floor and flounders there until he hears the caretaker coming down the great hall and his anxiety mounts him to commit to freeing himself. At once he vanishes to the bathroom. Such a mess of a man.’

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Otto telegrammi dalla città assediata.

Marco Genovesi: ‘La piazza era buia, quella notte. Quasi tuti i lampioni erano spenti, fatta eccezione per due o tre. Il vento spazzava via tutto quanto. Gelido, assassino, veniva dal nord, dove ghiacciai affilati ringhiavano dall’inizio dei tempi in una notte eterna, mentre i palazzi di marmo e i colonnati della piazza stavano immobili, indifferenti all’inverno che infuriava.’

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Eight Telegrams from the City under Siege.

Marco Genovesi: ‘She turned another page, but then it seemed as if a hunch had started tickling her brain. She swiveled around and saw somebody walking along the street. He wasn’t from the neighborhood, and from the way he was dressed he probably came from the North Side, with its working-class houses of concrete, clumps of stores with bullet-proof glass, asbestos wrecks dumped in the parks, and factories with barred doors and broken windows.’

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Marco Genovesi: translator’s note.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘By systematically reducing his vocabulary and syntax to the lowest possible common denominator, Genovesi declares his independence from the Italian rhetorical tradition. He has taken this approach in his novel and his short stories as well as in his poetry, and it will be interesting to see how he develops his work from here. ‘

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Ten poems by Francesco Giardinazzo.

Francesco Giardinazzo: ‘Voices crack and vanish/
just as pages never read/
introduce the occasion,/
project light/
where nature loves to hide.’

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New Italian poetry.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘It would be difficult to imagine two paths more divergent than those of Francesco Giardinazzo and Marco Genovesi.’

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Two poems: ‘Eucalypso Redux’ and ‘Battleships/Romance’.

Alex Houen: ‘Spring out of touch makes the blood count for nothing,/
Sugar. Till I saw you and felt an instant tense erase/
all before me – a microwave pinging its chicken burrito/
back to adolescence. ‘

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Yves Bonnefoy dossier: Index.

Yves Bonnefoy, often acclaimed as France’s greatest living poet, has published nine major collections of verse, several books of tales, and numerous studies of literature and art. He succeeded Roland Barthes in the Chair of Poetics at the Collège de France. His work has been translated into scores of languages, and he is a celebrated translator of Shakespeare, Yeats, Keats, and Leopardi.

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The Bonnefoy dossier: Three new translations by Beverley Bie Brahic.

From ‘Egypt’ by Bonnefoy: ‘But this memory was being effaced, and vanished completely with the final episode, right from its start, as if it were in its nature to unravel, without violence but for ever, something that the joys, preoccupations and lessons of a lifetime had brought to maturity.’

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The Bonnefoy dossier: Three new translations by Hoyt Rogers.

From the ‘translator’s note’ to ‘Nisida’: ‘Nisida is a prison for juvenile offenders on an island off the coast of Italy, not far from Naples. When he sent me this poem in June 2012, Yves Bonnefoy wrote the following about his visit there: “The text appeared in a prison leaflet. An attempt is made to engage these young people, who are still minors, in cultural activities. The poems they write, and which they read aloud to me that day, seemed more like poetry to me than many writings published under that name in France.”’

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