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Index: Poetry and prose in translation


  By MARINA TSVETAEVA. translated with a note by Belinda Cooke. ♦ This little-known sequence, ‘Snowdrifts’, written in 1922, shows Marina Tsvetaeva at a transition point. Her mind is filled with the apocalyptic events she has experienced at home, at the same time as she looks to her unknown future abroad. The Soviet writer Ilya […]

Six Swedish poets in translation.

Elliot Vale: “The ‘loner’ of Karlfeldt’s poem is suspended between generations, cut off from both future and past, with no progeny, property, or parentage to define him. As he declares: ‘I am no man’s son, I have no home, / no home or son shall I ever own’, a condition as liberating as it is lonely.’

Four poems from ‘La luce immutabile’.

Flavio Ferraro: ‘I know, there is greater glory
than a stalk, and greater
mysteries the forest conceals
than this maiden acorn.’

The Course of Empire: Reloaded.

Kornelia Koepsell: ‘Oppressors, tyrants, butchers on the stair,
ascending thrones and bawling: I am God,
which no one had the courage to declare
before, and everyone proclaims: I’m polyglot.’

Poems and prose poems.

Geo Milev: ‘Today …

speak: do you see through the lie
of these destructive dreams?’

For Jens.

Kriatian Leth: ‘And you won’t read this poem
I don’t say that because I know something
but because you never read poetry’


Leida Kibuvits: ‘Margus’s eyes stop suddenly at a fashion boutique’s display window. The bright colours of a particular ladies’ hat forced him to stop. Violet-green-pink. An odd combination, utterly tacky, thinks Margus absent-mindedly.’

Five poems from ‘Neue Gedichte’.

Rainer Maria Rilke; ‘So, Jesus, I look upon your feet again,
which before were the feet of a young man,
when I nervously stripped and bathed them’

Extracts from Siebenundsiebzig Geschwister.

Zsuzsanna Gahse: ‘These children,
these siblings, had known one another
for a long time, naked, so to speak,
from the outset, or, at the latest,
from the onset of their first memories.’

from ‘Dialyzing’.

Charline Lambert: ‘She fluctuates, frees her contours, draws watersheds in quicksand.

No properties, except those of all the chemical elements she synthesizes.’

from ‘Heart Monologues’

Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani: ‘I am sending my wordless reports on gossamer parchments more fragile than my damned soul. My heart is the colour of tamarind blue mornings bleeding on a foreign shore. A sinking truth.’

Ein Winter in Istanbul.

Angelika Overath: ‘Time and space were in conflict with one another. In the epoch of acceleration, time was considered the victor. But was the past really over? Weren’t seas, shores, clouds, the light on the Bosphorus still speaking, beyond all transience, of what it was like here?’

Six poems.

Sophia Parnok: ‘Lead me further from my death,
You with your fresh, sun-coloured arms,
Who, striding by me, set me alight!’

Poems from ‘The Lesser Histories’.

Jan Zàbrana; ‘Grey waves that yawl and tack
about the sky, these float,
these pigeons coming back
to darkness in the dovecote.’


Enomoto Saclaco: ‘Numberless camellias are cut down and flow to the fishing port, then soft silver seeds like paper plates are caught on the fasteners of the frozen bags on the eyes and ears of Umibozu, the legendary sea monster.’