Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'm very grateful to Otis Books/Seismicity Editions for publishing my translation of Aldo Palazzeschi's 1910 book of verse L'Incendiario/The Arsonist. Their announcement is here. The book will be available from SPD soon.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Poem by Yan Guo

A walk

What goes into your head when you try to not think of anything.

Who goes into your heart when you try to keep everyone from entering.

Where does a snowflake end up when the wind fails to be its wings.

How do all the promises fit into two little rings.

Walking up the hill, embracing the tender chill;

Closing up my eyes, giving back the 'hi' s.

The flag is battling fiercely with the pole;

Smell of similarity, cozying up my world.

The white used to be so pure, so pure and so perfect.

It has now been ruined, ruined with no respect.

Like Holden tried to fix the walls, I eagerly crave spring;

When all brightness will fade into a lovely green.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Translations of Beppe Salvia

Several translations by Nick Benson from the Italian of the poetry of Beppe Salvia are in the latest MPT, issue 3:18, 'Transitions'. Salvia (1954-1985) is not well known outside poetry circles in Italy. A good piece reviewing a 2004 selection of his work was just posted on the blog blanc de ta nuque, here. His poetry reminds me of Edwin Denby and Antonia Pozzi and Frank O'Hara. So that must mean he's not like anyone else! Here's another translation of a Salvia poem, which is not in MPT.

My fits have passed
and I’ve found a job. I’m less
anxious and look better; I’ve had some luck.
It’s spring now and I spend
my free time walking the streets. I watch
those who’ve known no pain and remember
the lost days. I waste my time
with my friends, and suffer a little still
from loneliness.
I have time now to read and write;
maybe I’ll go on a trip, or maybe I won’t.
I am happy, and sad. I am distracted,
and as I wander, realize what was lost.

Translation by Nick Benson of Beppe Salvia, 'I miei malanni si sono acquietati,' in Un solitario amore (Roma: Fandango, 2006), p. 162.