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Index: Poetry and prose in translation

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.’

A Poetic Sequence from ‘Trás-os-Montes’.

José-Flores Tappy: ‘When concentrating she is unaware
of our calling out to her, doesn’t even raise
her head when we speak to her’

Leaving Sidi Bou Said.

Lorand Gaspar: ‘Things and events are at every moment what they are and nothing else. We are, each and every one, like the furrow of a drop of bird-life looking for a passage in the currents that alternately lead and threaten us.’

New translations from ‘The Dice Cup’.

Ian Seed: ‘In 1894 Jacob left Quimper to study law in Paris, but abandoned his studies two years later to become an art critic. In 1899 he decided to become a painter, supporting himself through a series of menial clerical jobs. When he met Picasso in 1901, the two became friends immediately. Picasso expressed his admiration for some poems Jacob showed him. From this time on, Jacob regarded poetry as his true vocation.’

Three récits by Georges Limbour.

Georges Limbour: ‘However, as soon as the first white-painted houses appeared, as though sensing it would have been dangerous to go further, they stopped and scattered amid the cacti and fig trees. I entered the village. A woman rooted to the spot by the pitcher she carried on her head raised the edge of her cloak to her eyes. ‘

Rrose Sélevy.

Rrose Sélevy: ‘Marcel Duchamp: In the lane there was a blue bull near a white seat. Now explain the motive for the white gloves.’

New translations from ‘The Dice Cup’.

Ian Seed: ‘Max Jacob’s father was a tailor and the owner of an antique shop. Jacob’s large family, including uncles, aunts and cousins, often make an appearance in his poems. In 1894 Jacob left Quimper to study law in Paris, but abandoned his studies two years later to become an art critic. In 1899 he decided to become a painter, supporting himself through a series of menial clerical jobs. When he met Picasso in 1901, the two became friends immediately.’

New poems from ‘The Little Book of Passage’.

da Libretto di transito By FRANCA MANCINELLI. Translated from the Italian by John Taylor. NON È SOLO preparare una valigia. È confezionarsi, vestirsi bene. Entrare nella taglia esatta della pena. Gesti a una destinazione sola. Calzando scarpe che non hanno mai premuto la terra, dormiremo nel centro dello sguardo, come neonati. IT’S NOT JUST packing […]

Devotions.

Yves Bonnefoy: And always to quays at night, to bars, to a voice saying I am the lamp, I am the oil.

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.

How should we translate ‘A scrap of paper’?

For a Scrap of Paper By PAUL HYACINTHE LOYSON. Translated by J. G. Frazer. WHY BURSTS THE CLOUD in thunder, and to devastate the world The levin bolt of battle from heaven, or hell, is hurled? Why march embattled millions, to death or victory sworn? Why gape yon lanes of carnage by red artillery torn? […]

The Lay of Love and Death of Christoph Cornet Rilke von Langenau.

Rilke: ‘Outside, a storm is racing across the sky, breaking the night into pieces, white pieces, black ones. The moonlight goes past like a drawn-out lightning flash and the flag which doesn’t move has restless shadows. It is dreaming.’

Five poems.

Gëzim Hajdari: ‘The stones along the road are silent,
the bitter grass in the field trembles.
Under a sky always dark
naked, orphan trees.’