Posts Tagged ‘ translation ’

First Known When Lost: What The Leaves Say


Far from your own little bough,
Poor little frail little leaf,
Where are you going? — The wind
Has plucked me from the beech where I was born.
It rises once more, and bears me
In the air from the wood to the fields,
And from the valley up into the hills.
I am a wanderer
For ever: that is all that I can say.
I go where everything goes,
I go where by nature’s law
Wanders the leaf of the rose,
Wanders the leaf of the bay.

Giacomo Leopardi (translated by J. G. Nichols), in Giacomo Leopardi, The Canti (Carcanet Press 1994).

The poem is a translation of “La Feuille” (“The Leaf”) by the French poet Antoine-Vincent Arnault (1766-1834).  Hence the title “Imitation.”

Source: First Known When Lost: What The Leaves Say


Palabras Errantes » Archive My Neighbour without Men – Palabras Errantes


By Dinapiera Di Donato. Translated by Fionn Petch.


a fence made of cactus
marked the home of the sting ray’s harpoon
her black veils rippled
no one talks to her

not the breeze, not the dried-up well

the girls from Madeira
sell lace from a white bundle
they feel like pigeons beneath her gaze
avoid her

my grandmother takes pails of water for her
an offering placed before the shut door
while teaching us courtesy
forcing on us ladylike manners
comb our hair say thank you bid farewell
and catch stones
in mid-flight

the vengeful sayona gathers up her
Diogenes syndrome and spills
yards of smooth filaments
around her neck
I do the same
in the ceremony of the waters

hers silver with tortoiseshell
mine dark
an eternity taming
my thatch
an eternity she
brushes hers to a shine
between us
the water
my grandmother knew.

we were good demons
taking care of each other

her barbed wire fence attracts hummingbirds
to the cactus flowers

the sweet fruits allowed us

her threadbare cloak washed for us
my four-year-old war cloak
her ninety-year-old solitude

my own
my grandmother knew

that we could
pluck up the courage
if we were to carve
a pathway through
the house
polish gooseberries
as a gift

not me
I didn’t know

my grandmother crosses the threshold
because Gema Orta is dying
I clear a path through the midden
with a junior witch’s
because I am a soldier and
never a princess
her remains are carried off
in suitcases full of wind that
I choose

my grandmother knows

it was the wrong choice:
wrong to pack oneself up
fold oneself up inside with fear and
grey cacti with their fuchsia flowers
a shotgun a silence
to protect oneself
and the unfailing love of another old woman
who understands

it was a place of encounters
but I got lost
mixed up the customs

my stubborn grandmother would not succumb to a bribe
for an ID card that lawfully belongs to her
Gema Orta the vampire the weird forlorn one
the only one on our street
without running water
let the stones fall
my grandmother wraps her in Madeira lace

these are different times
a village of unploughed, fog-wrapped hills
golden dust choking the streets
at the bottom of the last water pail I perceive
the future and the starting point:
this shady place of entwined leaves
will be good
the oasis for parched mining caravans
but not yet

a fence of spiky plants
dry tracks of the great river

a suitcase of bones as strong as jasmine flowers
the word canarí
arrives on the breeze



Source: Palabras Errantes » Archive My Neighbour without Men – Palabras Errantes

from Microliths they are, Little Stones, by Paul Celan – Pierre Joris, tr. | Dispatches from the Poetry Wars


82.11  They asked the man dying of thirst if the dripping faucet in the next door cell didn’t disturb him, and promised to quickly remedy this nuisance.

82.14  Not the measured verse, but the unmeasured, where the lyrical and the tragical meet and cut across each other, is what makes the poem a poem.

103.2-i- Who goes into details, helps things to gain their rights.

104. Truth is revolutionary. I believe that too, but when it is quoted at me, I do sniff a little around the quotation marks.

– from Paul Celan, Mikrolithen sinds, Steinchen, the collected posthumous prose, Barbara Wiedemann and Bertrand Badiou, editors, published by Suhrkamp Verlag, 2005 — apprx 200pp of Celan’s writings (divided into sections of aphorisms, narrative gragments, dialogues, notes, theoretical-critical fragments, unsent letters & texts concerning the Goll affair), all followed by a 700-page apparatus of bio-bibliographic cpmentaries. The English translation by Pierre Joris of the texts with a reduced commentary section, from which the present excerpts are taken, will be published as Microliths they are, Little Stones, in late 2018 by Attem-Verlag.

Source: from Microliths they are, Little Stones, by Paul Celan – Pierre Joris, tr. | Dispatches Poetry Wars

First Known When Lost: Anew

I intended
Never to grow old, —
But the temple bell sounds!

Jokun (translated by R. H. Blyth), in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 4: Autumn-Winter (Hokuseido Press 1952), page 202.

Source: First Known When Lost: Anew

otata 33 (september 2018)

John Hawkhead

passing through
missed him


the play of light
across the walls
I put up

Alegria Imperial



i see you in my veins river tide on heavy lids from night’s
bowels a faint slurping

the pearl in his skull a porous sheen in a night bridge the last
star safe on the dark side

somewhat bruised the crescent’s womb a shallow breathing
in the heat a pulse in the maple’s breast

a labyrinth thickening in my hand an eel stuck in blue air
the tail vanishing eternally

on whale clouds hanging on to me for breath a swollen sun
sliding airless on sharpened knives

a monkey dangles from the orange crane musing on the position
of the rose vs allegation of lasciviousness


Peter Yovu


from Six Words


Most words that begin with the letters st convey a sense of the stationary, of being
stuck or still. One might say that story is an exception, as stories change, though
people seem to prefer to stick to them as they are.

Interestingly, many words that begin with str seem to break out into some kind of movement: stream, stray, strike.

Words beginning with sn often convey of sense of sneering. In his book on poetry
John Frederick Nims includes a photograph of a woman, her nose lifted in disgust.
Think snicker, snake, snide.

Why does the word snow behave differently? Is it just that snow— what falls and
fills the branches of tall pines— may be considered beautiful where a snake (for
many, reflexively) is not? I cannot quickly come up with another word that com-
bines the sn sound with a long o. The vowel seems to carry the word beyond its

All yesterday it rained. This morning when I woke and looked out my window,
yes: swirling snow. Strange that in January, in Vermont, that was a surprise.

I may not have said it out loud, but I did think: oh.

snow     so now is known


Lucia Cardillo

bocciolo ingiallito …
un amore impossibile
mai sbocciato

yellowed tight bud …
an impossible love
never blooming


Eufemio Griffo

stelle infinite
un pescatore disegna i confini
tra il mare e il cielo


endless stars
a fisherman draws the borders
between the sea and sky


pioggia al crepuscolo
i colori mutevoli
dei cachi maturi

twilight rain
the shifting colours
of the ripe persimmons


otata 33 (september 2018)

When the Plug gets Unplugged, by Kim Hyesoon – YouTube


When The Plug gets Unplugged, by Kim Hyesoon

Today’s Haiku (August 11, 2018) | Blue Willow Haiku World (by Fay Aoyagi)

向日葵の話しかけたくなる高さ  駒木根淳子

himawari no hanashikaketakunaru takasa


its height makes me feel like

talking to it


Atsuko Komakine

from ‘Haiku,’ a monthly haiku magazine, March 2017 Issue, Kabushiki Kaisha Kadokawa, Tokyo

translation by Fay Aoyagi


Source: Today’s Haiku (August 11, 2018) | Blue Willow Haiku World (by Fay Aoyagi)