I’m looking around the room and, no doubt about it, it’s a time for poetry. As it happens, it’s also April, National Poetry Month. How about that? Good timing, universe. Since the March 17th call for a shelter-in-place in the Bay Area, the Center for the Art of Translation’s home, we’ve been sharing the occasional poem from our archive, which goes back over twenty-five years and spans dozens of languages.
It being—big sigh—our cruellest month, and with the shelter-in-place order extended to May 3rd, we intend to continue sharing some of this work with you. What follows is not a pandemic reading list (then again it’s not not a pandemic reading list), but a kind of dérive or wandering through our digital archives. A reader in a scary time grasping at straws that happen to be poetry. Enjoy, stay safe, and check back for updates.
“Evening Rain” by Fabio Morábito Translated from Spanish by Curtis Bauer
“Encountering Fog on Mt. Jiuhua” by Li Li Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman
“Wearing a Red Shirt in the Afternoon” by Nhiên Hạo Phan Translated from Vietnamese by Hai-Dang Phan
“Eye of Heaven” by Valerie Mejer Caso Translated from Spanish by Forrest Gander
“The Drugs, The Words” by Ingeborg Bachmann Translated from German by Peter Filkins
“Grottoes” by Claire Malroux Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
“Sleeping” by Chika Sagawa Translated from Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu
“The Book of Grass” by Arseny Tarkovsky Translated from Russian by Philip Metres & Dmitry Psurtsev
“Ahasver” by Marko Tomaš Translated from Serbian by Rachael Daum
“Details” by Tomasz Różycki Translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal