I gave strict instructions for two specialists to watch over you twenty-four hours a day.
from A Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter’s SagaSeptember 2013
Without a doubt, my friend has told you the tale about my parents, and about the various things that I experienced when I visited the Forest of Irunmale.
Four WallsMarch 2013
…you can sleep without stretching your legs; / you can live never lifting your head.
Sonallah Ibrahim: Notes from PrisonMarch 2013
An excerpt from the Egyptian novelist’s prison journal, translated by Robyn Creswell.
at the side (côtés) of poetryNovember 2012
I have written this poem on the theme “To the post-3.11 world, as I see it,” but this is just the prelude.
Marilyn Hacker: The Paradox of TranslationOctober 2012
The prolific translator talks with Guernica’s poetry editor about her work ethic, contemporary Morocco, and what connects poetry with journalism.
The Last Hour of the Bengal TigerOctober 2012
What was I going to do when I saw her? It was a question I had asked myself a thousand times. Slap her? Scream insults? Demand she give my husband back?
Summer by the RavineSeptember 2012
I wish there were simpler words for this—to reach a point zero or the limit, to write: “It was so hard without you.”
One NightAugust 2012
But the girl is still asleep. Perhaps, thinks the prince, he kissed her too lightly. He stoops down again and kisses her a second time, this time a touch more vigorously.
Caiçara SongJuly 2012
My fishhook snagged two catfish / three squid on the zangareio
Against the LineJune 2012
The literary legend on his new book of poetry, about a personal evolution, and those he’s published; MFA’s and prizes; and the ongoing river of language.
I imagine what Janneke and Karin would say if they saw us together: Oh, she’s lost it now.
It was the sound of an historical wrist, of resistance
Their bodies converse. They forget that very soon one of them will be burned alive on Place de Grève.
[Those green Huldra]April 2012
Soon / she’ll let the rodent go / and give you the best thing she knows
Astri von Arbin Ahlander: Interview with Sam LipsyteApril 2012
Sam Lipsyte on being an American writer in translation and the venerable tradition of masturbation in literature.
Things (Part Two)April 2012
Never again will men be treated as things.
Mithraic and Poor Summer in FranconiaMarch 2012
With his sea-goat ready / for departure the mythologist / beholds once again / the shattered world egg
Things (Part One)March 2012
A member of the public complained that the settee was getting overheated. And he was right.
An Early Morning in Daylight-Saving SummerMarch 2012
In a razor sharp buzzing they come to haul me / from my bat-infested nightmare-time—
Suddenly, a Knock on the DoorMarch 2012
“Tell me a story,” the bearded man sitting on my living-room sofa commands. The situation, I must admit, is anything but pleasant.
[Tomorrow morning I will take a shower]February 2012
Tomorrow morning I will take a shower, / nothing else is certain but this.
Bamboo Grove and A Place Named for DeerJanuary 2012
Strum a song I can whistle to—
Behind The Rise of the Great PowersJanuary 2012
China’s imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner asks what a TV miniseries can teach us about the direction of the new China. From his new book of essays.
It’s Late, Europe and A Lesson in ObservationJanuary 2012
do not worry so much, Madame, / here, it will never happen, / you will see, / never here.
Dog’s Walking SongDecember 2011
It will be the night of sirens, of police searching / empty apartments for a starfish, / of the bird that wanted to be a girl.
From Until the Dawn’s LightOctober 2011
“What attracts you to the Jews?” Blanca asked her.
Boulevard des InvalidesSeptember 2011
You don’t take out your horses / your madmen and whales / you don’t tidy your seagulls / in the seagull drawer
death keeps its eyes open / and looks into my right pocket
Every DayJuly 2011
War is no longer declared, / it is continued.
And tomorrow the sun will riseJuly 2011
Say—die quietly—I’m a poet and poets / don’t speak the truth.
gut feelingJuly 2011
unlike potatoes I do not want /
to be stirred.
Other Cultures, Other RealmsJuly 2011
For his guest-edited issue, Ilya Kaminsky chooses nine far-flung writers who attempt to answer the question, “What are poets to do in this moment of uncertainty?”
Many Things HappenedJuly 2011
irrelevant things which we’d / never do unless /
they were written down.
Outside the Gates of TroyJune 2011
They sit down in an orderly, patient manner, packed together in the belly of the beast. The smell of varnish lingers on inside and intoxicates them all.
I have seen a woman transform into a garden and a garden become increasingly more of a woman.
Ten Micro StoriesMay 2011
“Every man is limited to a certain number of words in his lifetime… Some of these words might also be words that you whisper in a foreign language that you don’t even know, in a dream, for example”: ten micro-fiction pieces.
At the end of the tubeMay 2011
They are the same worms / four billion years old, but fatter.
I Won’t Let You Go!April 2011
It’s the oldest cry resounding from earth to heaven / The solemnest lament, “I won’t let you go!”
The In-Between WomanApril 2011
It is nowhere near impossible for somebody who loves her husband to also love her co-wife.
[Like a nation’s bulk that has started]February 2011
Like a nation’s bulk that has started / to make the earth sweat, / the dust-encrusted armada / of the herd
from Prose from the ObservatoryJanuary 2011
[T]he observatories beneath the moon of Jaipur and Delhi, the black ribbon of migrations, the eels in the middle of the street or in the stalls in a theatre…
[Clothes come to the party]December 2010
What are the recently depressed accused of?
[The Ministry of Hot Water]October 2010
The Ministry of Hot Water / has posted an opening: Director. / Well, why not, we can take that on.
because I hate your every-now-and-then anthems, / because I hate the smell of your socks in the stone mihrabs.
The Wrong BloodBy Manuel de Lope, translated from the Spanish by John Cullen
An excerpt from Manuel de Lope’s first novel to be translated into English.
TravelBy Bei Dao, translated from the Chinese by Clayton Eshleman and Lucas Klein
Nobel Prize-nominee Bei Dao uses travel as a metaphor for life.
The Lucky OneBy Robert Walser, translated from the German by Daniele Pantano
…there / was always a lucky one, who carried with him / the mistakes of others, what a burden / it must have been that pushed him down, / but he was pleased by all this pushing.
New Girls and Room of SurprisesBy Grzegorz Wróblewski translated from the Polish by Adam Zdrodowski
Men suddenly become meek. / Damn, we all needed it badly.
The Diversity TestApril 2010
Why were there only 8 women on the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels of the Twentieth Century? Why is only 3% of the literature Americans read in translation?
MississipiBy Aimé Césaire translated from the French by A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshleman
Too bad for you men who do not see who do not see anything
The other part of truthBy Tadeusz Dąbrowski translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Around Friday heaven arrives; they no longer supply / hell (it stays on the shelf too long), but I’ve got / hell at home, as well as heaven and the saints.
The Book of ShapurA novella excerpt by Alimorad Fadaienia, translated from the Farsi by Leigh Shulman
You take a vacation, you take a plane, and now this. You are running away from knowing this information. This is how things are these days.
HomesickBy Eshkol Nevo, guest-edited by Assaf Gavron
The Arab is so stunned, he doesn’t move. Just stands there with his certificate and his rusty key. Not breathing.
Two PoemsJanuary 2010
To the country dug into our lives like a grave, / to the country etherized, and killed, / a sun rises from our paralyzed history / into our millennial sleep.
AlbaniaBy Yang Li translated from the Chinese by Steve Bradbury
Back in our day there wasn’t anyone who didn’t know Albania / who didn’t know it was the bright light of European Socialism / or that the other bright light was us.
the sentenceBy Sébastien Smirou translated from the French by Andrew Zawacki
we imagine rose tintedly because his hands are in his lady
Romania. A Post-history HysteriaBy Chris Tanasescu translated from the Romanian by David Baker and the author
…fir on a barren rock-sharp wall, the kind / the shepherds around here talk and sing to /
before felling when someone young and single dies.
The Bleating of CopperBy Amjad Nasser translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa
Night and horses— / is this what history is all about?
The QuestionBy Justo Arroyo translated by Seymour Menton
The first thing you notice are his eyes.
Two PoemsBy Rafael Acevedo translated from the Spanish by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado
With these five bones, human bones, / Doctor Chanca makes me a cannibal / by arranging feathers from the hand / of another cannibal
Three PoemsBy Novica Tadic translated from the Serbian by Charles Simic
Poor us, we are all kings / when we gaze at the starry sky.
EarringBy Aleš Šteger translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry
The whole time he tells you what to do. / His voice is chocolate candy filled with hysteria. // He is a loving blackmailer. An owl blind in one eye.
Two PoemsBy Umberto Saba translated from the Italian by George Hochfield and Leonard Nathan
It’s as if for a man battered by the wind, /
blinded by snow—all around him an arctic /
inferno pummels the city— /
a door opens along a wall.
The TrapdoorBy Sergio Ramírez Mercado, translated by David Unger
Five rounds passed, without pain or glory. Nothing happened in the ring to excite the sparse crowd.
Two PoemsBy Manoel de Barros, translated from the Portuguese by Idra Novey
To enter the state of being a tree it’s necessary / to begin with a gecko’s amphibian torpor /
at three in the afternoon in the month of August.
Mutable and ImmutableBy Maya Bejerano translated from the Hebrew by Tsipi Keller
let me go don’t be a dog / my very dear cage / haven’t we agreed
Two PoemsBy Gabrielle Althen translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker
Space is full of mental rooms where we can go / Like a hunter unleashing his dogs, I freed my spirit into them
Two PoemsBy Hamutal Bar-Yosef translated from the Hebrew by Rachel Tzvia Back
I am a poisoned well, / I told the ram / as he flared his nostrils. / Everything in me is poisoned.
Two PoemsBy Edip Cansever translated from the Turkish by Julia Clare Tillinghast and Richard Tillinghast
No matter the time or place, I’ll always grow for the one who is the sea. / With one thin finger cut in half. / That is why I’m the oldest recipient of your on-again, off-again love.
Two PoemsBy Ales Debeljak translated from the Slovenian by Andrew Zawacki and the author
How it rises out of waves in the bay / and shudders like a gentle thrust / of the sea, which sooner forgives /
than punishes, doomed as it is to feckless birth.
UntitledBy Pēters Brūveris translated from the Latvian by Inara Cedrins
I am given ten cubic meters of darkness / every night I pace over them obediently
Three PoemsBy Adonis translated from the Arabic by Adnan Haydar and Michael Beard
In the name of his own history, / in a country mired in mud, / when hunger overtakes him / he eats his own forehead.
Why Can’t WeBy Kim Hyesoon translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi
We make Buddha ride an elephant like the way a village boy rides on a man’s shoulder, and we let Buddha run and play, then make him cry, and we make him couple blissfully with a buttery woman and call it Tantra…
Love TokensBy Tran Da Tu, translated from the Vietnamese by Linh Dinh
I’ll give you a roll of barbwire / A vine for this modern epoch / Climbing all over our souls / That’s our love, take it, don’t ask
Wholesale RomaniaBy Chris Tanasescu, translated from the Romanian by Ilya Kaminsky and Martin Woodside
Yes, that’s right, maybe I’ve run out of / patience, we have certainly run out of cigarettes / and the later, as Cioran used to say // hold more fire than the Gospels in our blessed country.
Four New Translations of Paul CelanBy translated from the German by Ian Fairley
I HEAR THE AXE HAS FLOWERED, / I hear the place can’t be named
Four Erotic PoemsBy Chinese poets translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping
Her tears drop on the mirror / and around the guttering lamp insects swirl.
Four Poems on WarBy Chinese poets translated by Geoff Waters
A few horses returned with torn flags we couldn’t make out. / I would have a ceremony for you, but what if you are alive?
Complaint / Za_alenieBy Andrzej Bursa translated from the Polish by Kevin Christianson and Halina Ablamowicz
I don’t know you personally, but I saw your photo in the paper / and I feel deeply offended
Three Haiku, by Tomas TranströmerBy Tomas Tranströmer translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly
Night—a twelve-wheeler / goes by making the dreams of / the inmates shiver
SonnetBy Cecco Angiolieri translated from the Italian by Robert Bly
If I were fire, I’d burn the world down;
High NoonBy Antonio Machado translated from the Spanish by George Kalogeris and Gláucia Rezende
By this glass of wine so dark it brims / Like rising nightfall, with a heart whose deepest faith / Is insatiable thirst
StoneBy Nurit Zarhi translated from the Hebrew by Tsipi Keller
This is sanity—when love comes—/to offer a bed, a chair,/sustain and raise it like a pet
Mirror on HighBy Olga Orozco translated from the Spanish by Guillermo Castro and Ron Drummond
perhaps that agate’s circular gaze was your gaze, / which from water in the air unfolds itself
Anton Van DyckBy Marcel Proust translated from the French by Richard Howard
Under pines these riders halt beside a brook / calm like them, yet like them close to sobs
The Name of the FatherBy Jorge Volpi, translated from the Spanish by Kristina Cordero
Cowering behind an almost idiotic silence, I avoided looking into his eyes, gripped by the same fear that must have gripped Odysseus as he ran from the singular gaze of the Cyclops.
Why I Don’t WorryBy Ghalib translated from the Urdu by Robert Bly and Sunil Dutta
The sorrows of the world are truly abundant; but wine is abundant too.
The Magic BoxBy Anna Lidia Vega Serova, translated from the Spanish by David Unger
Her parents were naked, one on top of the other. Their eyes were closed, their faces contorted; they were breathing loudly and moaning. She watched them for a few moments, terrified; then she walked quietly back to her cot and covered her face with the pillow.
MidwinterBy Tomas Tranströmer, translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly
A blue glow / Streams out from my clothes. / Midwinter. / A clinking tambour made of ice. / I close my eyes. / Somewhere
The Emigrant’s HandBy Manuel Rivas, translated from the Galician by Valerie Saint-Rossy
You could look from one end to the other, but for me there was only Castro’s hand, it held me in a hypnotic grip.
Ghazal #61: The Fire of LoveBy Farid ad-Din Attar translated from the Arabic by Robert Bly
The sweetest thing in the soul is the fire / Of your love; still sweeter is the fire / Leaping out of the soul from your love
Ode to the Black PantherBy Pablo Neruda translated from the Spanish by David Unger
It happened 31 years ago, / I can’t forget it, / in Singapore, the rain / falling / hot like blood / on the ancient white walls
Seven PoemsBy Han Shan translated from the Chinese by Tony Barnstone
Like bugs in a bowl / we all day circle, circle / unable to get out.
Said the Leader of the Free WorldBy Marjorie Agosín translated by Betty Jean Craige and Laura Rocha Nakazawa
History may even forget that tonight / I determined who would live / And who would die
On Translating the Prince of WitsJanuary 2005
“Yes, I think we have to be faithful to the context,” says the translator of the Quijote. “But it’s very important to differentiate between fidelity and literalness.”
From “Four Square Poems”By Patrice Nganang translated by Cullen Goldblatt
to look for a lifesaving buoy in the flood / the destruction of the last drop of man
AbsintheBy Salavador Novo translated by Rigoberto González
But your eyelids hold such flowery perfume, / that they breed inside my mind the bastard’s doom
From “Mozart’s Third Brain”By Göran Sonnevi translated by Rika Lesser
in which city do I want to be? / I want to be in the face / between the realms
Two StoriesBy Julián Ríos, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
Are your recollections really recent or do they reflect a remote past? You feel as if time is not time on the clock, and an aura of unreality surrounds you.
Paying Dues and Drinking BoozeBy Tito Matamala, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman
So I hear you’re going around saying you sold your soul to the devil . . .
Vital InformationBy Carlos Blanco Aguinaga, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman
Since it is very hot out at sea, sometimes someone comes down with a little fever.
IonsBy Germán Sierra, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman
We sleep in sleeping bags on the beach, so in order to get close to you I have to slip out of mine first, then slip you out of yours.
Thirty-Seventh of Tales of The NamelessBy Alimorad Fadaienia, translated from the Persian by Iraj Anvar with Paul Glass
We went to a cafe I knew near the bookstore. I tried to please him by saying, they have excellent coffee here.