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Cluster index: Hoyt Rogers

Three poems from Together Still.

Yves Bonnefoy: Yes, but look: the grass is crushed, where an animal has slept.
Its hideaway is like a sign. The sign is more
Than what was lost, than life going by—
Than the song on the road, late at night.

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Sonnets of Music and Memory.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘Naturally, Bonnefoy was well aware of the signal role of music in Shakespeare. His plays contain or allude to well over a hundred songs, many of which were probably performed with instruments as well as voices, as part of the entertainment. ‘

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Paths to Speech.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘I have the impression that we never fully hear the tonal subtleties of each other’s languages. Probably I want to imagine stronger accents in French than really exist for you as a native speaker, whereas I note in your English versions that you soft-pedal the metrical beats, as though our language were as mildly accentuated as yours. Most of the time, when you find me slightly altering the semantics in a verse, I am in quest of a prosodic fit—not just ignorant of the faint modulation in meaning.’

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Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016), in memoriam.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘Whether we are Yves Bonnefoy’s family, friends, translators, publishers, and readers, we all join in looking back on his immense achievement with gratitude and awe. Throughout his lengthy and productive life, he selflessly refined the letter of his writings, in order to bequeath to us a lasting spiritual gold.’

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Translating André du Bouchet.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘…there’s no such thing as a perfect translation. If readers have little or no French, then we owe them—not a word by word translation like those old interlinear texts we used to crib with in Greek class—but the best poem the translator is capable of making while staying true to the basic meaning, and above all the spirit, of the original. To paraphrase the parting shot of [Peter] Riley’s review, when I am reading a translation of poetry from a language I don’t know, I’d rather be overpaid than shortchanged. I want to know what the poem says; but to some degree, I also want to know what it connotes, what it evokes, and how it would sound if the poet had written it in English. In poetry, some things are lost in translation; but as with Bonnefoy’s version of Yeats, quoted earlier, other things are gained. In any case, there is far more to poetry than a simple string of words.’

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Writing to Shakespeare.

Bonnefoy: ‘…you’re standing in a corner of the theatre. It’s cold, and a wind seems to be blowing. You’re talking to several men, young and old. One of them will be Hamlet; another, Ophelia. Do you have an idea to explain to them? No. Hamlet is being written here, at this very moment, in the sentences that come to you, that take you by surprise. It’s virtually an improvisation, over several days divided between your table—I don’t know where—and the stage: a text, certainly, but one you cross out off-the-cuff, as when you understand—for example, at this very instant—that your future Hamlet doesn’t grasp all that well what you’re trying to tell him.’

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Three essays on ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘The heart of the play—the “heartless” heart—is the final scene of Act IV. Ill-assorted, often omitted, it takes on its full meaning only in retrospect. The House of Capulet is in mourning: the Nurse babbles her sorrow, Juliet’s parents are repentant, and Paris joins them in their laments, flat as his platitudes may sound. The concluding vignette leaves all that behind, looping back to the comic vein of the play’s first half.’

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A portfolio from ‘Openwork’.

André du Bouchet: ‘and so the most beautiful poems have led to some blank texts
like a sheet of blank paper—are available: that is,
they have not ceased to act. Like everything that has begun
to act.

‘I always write to make myself worthy of the poem that is not
yet written.’

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‘Recessional’ and other new poems.

Hoyt Rogers; Day can’t die, eyes / never close. But isn’t that the courage of language? To blind / by seeing, to deafen by saying, to divorce the world for words.

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Venice and the theatre of memory.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘Venice teaches us that history is never dead: the humblest portico affords us a proscenium composed of centuries—but not as an album of faded recollections, settled and done. The theatre of memory unveils its meaning only when we behold it as a vital, breathing gospel of the present.’

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A Venetian’s view of Venice.

Michele Casagrande: ‘Energetically, many want to change things, yet in everyday life the city’s rhythms would seem to be too slow—extremely light-hearted, but fundamentally lazy. The attitude can be expressed through reactions like the following: Living in such a marvelous city, a center of attention for the entire world, why should anyone want to leave? Why should anyone want to move away from a place that can offer very high earnings to people who are basically manual workers, such as gondoliers and taxi drivers?’

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Homero Pumarol: New poems.

Hoyt Rogers: Homero Pumarol is one of the foremost younger poets in the Dominican Republic. He has published six books of verse, among them Fin de Carnival (Carnival’s End) and Poesía Reunida 2000-2011 (Collected Poems 2000-2011). Pumarol’s work has appeared in several major anthologies of contemporary poetry, such as the Latin American Twenty-First Century anthology and the Essential Anthology of Dominican Poetry. Along with Frank Baez, he is a founding member of the musical group and poetry collective El Hombrecito.

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Frank Báez: New poems.

Hoyt Rogers: Acknowledged as one of the Dominican Republic’s most important younger poets and short-story writers, Frank Baez has won the Book Fair First Prize for Short Stories in 2006 and the National Poetry Prize Salomé Ureña in 2009. He has published five books, including Jarrón y Otros Poemas (Vase and Other Poems), Postales (Postcards) and En Granada no duerme nadie (In Grenada Nobody’s Sleeping). As editor and translator for the online poetry review, Ping Pong, he has published scores of poets from Latin America, North America, and Europe.

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Two Dominican poets.

 Selections from  El HOMBRECITO Two Dominican Poets: Frank Báez and Homero Pumarol Selected, Translated, and Introduced by Hoyt Rogers. FRANK BÁEZ AND Homero Pumarol might both be described as homegrown versions of Junot Diaz: native Dominican authors rather than a son of the diaspora like Diaz, but with the same hip originality and with-it verve. […]

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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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