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Index: Poetry and prose in translation

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.’

Corporation Street.

Julia Deakin: ‘Down on the gritty strand
which did for one more beach you watched
four generations, shoulder to shoulder,
thigh to bronze thigh between coolbox food,
clutter, chatter, glitter.’

Nine poems.

Veroniki Dalakoura :’From the pile of rubbish, you went up with your dual essence, with what ultimately gives substance to the quest of man. Melodies were heard everywhere. Heaps, a pile of dirt, indeed dried-up earth. A fruitless search. Voices, joyful screams—what little songs—all together bleating with moans.’

For once.

Susana Martín Gijón: ‘When the potholes in the road made me bounce, I started to imagine it.  When the vehicle stopped unexpectedly, I felt it coming.  When he got up from his seat with deliberately slow movements, I knew it with certainty.’


Peter McCarey: ‘The title was an afterthought, from Ovid, foreign also to its author, an ‘ostranenie / estrangement’, though the deep theme of yearning is not. The poem echoes Dante, Blok, folk tales and the aubade; it reads like a testament, which perhaps it was.’

Thirteen poems.

Anna de Noailles: ‘A languor now extends itself across the space between us.
Can you feel invading you the scent of drooping grass?
A damp breeze translates the dusk into some garden of despond.’

On Women.

Natalia Ginzburg: ‘I have met so many women, and now I always find something worthy of commiseration in every single one of them, some kind of trouble, kept more or less secret, and more or less big: the tendency to fall down the well and find there a chance for suffering, which men do not know about — maybe because they have a much stronger health or they are smarter in forgetting about themselves and fully identifying with their jobs, they are more assertive and actual owners of their own body, and of their life, and are freer in general.’ (Nicoletta Asciuto, trans.)

Eight poems from ‘Mala kruna’.

Franca Mancinelli: ‘The morgue is a calm lake: the boats
oval like a woman’s seed,
the flesh where a son ever sleeps.’

More new translations from ‘The Dice Cup’, tranche 4.

Max Jacob: ‘When I went inside, two women wanted to know which of them I liked best and I liked both of them best. A fine gentleman showed us how to dance the English Chain and the lesson went on and on. While the dance was being organised, the gas lamp (did we have a gas lamp?) was turned down and then the flame was increased as the music grew louder, thanks to a technical innovation as bold as it was ingenious…’

Even more new translations from ‘The Dice Cup’.

Max Jacob (Ian Seed’s translation): ‘He had come down…but how? Then couples larger than life descended too. They came from the air in cases, inside Easter eggs. They were laughing, and the balcony of my parents’ house was tangled in threads dark as gunpowder. It was terrifying. The couples settled in my childhood home and we watched them through the window. For they were wicked.’