Posts tagged ‘2001’

Thursday, 4 November 2021

The Invisible Woman by Zafer Şenocak

Even the paths to us are getting shorter
look through the sunny wall of the house
a woman leans on the door
beautiful in her invisibility
all of this is makeshift
waiting for us to take a step
but we don’t move
hold our hands back
we don’t sleep
when we don’t want to wake from a dream
lean for a while on the door
and search for the word that is not written

From: Şenocak, Zafer and Wright, Elizabeth Oehlkers, ‘The Invisible Woman’, Agni, Volume 53, 2001, p. 53.

Date: 2001 (original in German); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Zafer Şenocak (1961- )

Translated by: Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright (1966- )

Friday, 22 October 2021

[I Have Accustomed These Bones to Grief] by Miguel Hernández Gilabert

I have accustomed these bones to grief
and these temples to deception:
grief goes, deception comes
like the sea from sand to beach.

Like the sea from beach to sand
I go from this wavering shipwreck
through a dark night, poor, black,
and sad as a round cast-iron pan.

If your love is not the plank I clench,
if your voice is not the north I follow,
no one will save me from this wreck.

So I go on eluding the dark omen
that I will never be safe in you,
smiling from heartache to heartache.

From: Hernández, Miguel and Genoways, Ted (ed.), The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández: A Bilingual Edition, 2001, University of Chicago Press: Chicago, p. 57.

Date: 1936 (original in Spanish); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Miguel Hernández Gilabert (1910-1942)

Translated by: Ted Genoways (1972- )

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Ghost by Cynthia Huntington

At first you didn’t know me.
I was a shape moving rapidly, nervous

at the edge of your vision. A flat, high voice,
dark slash of hair across my cheekbone.

I made myself present, though never distinct.
Things I said that he repeated, a tone

you could hear, but never trace, in his voice.
Silence—followed by talk of other things.

When you would sit at your desk, I would creep
near you like a question. A thought would scurry

across the front of your mind. I’d be there,
ducking out of sight. You must have felt me

watching you, my small eyes fixed on your face,
the smile you wondered at, on the lips only.

The voice on the phone, quick and full of business.
All that you saw and heard and could not find

the center of, those days growing into years,
growing inside of you, out of reach, now with you

forever, in your house, in your garden, in corridors
of dream where I finally tell you my name.

From: Huntington, Cynthia, ‘Ghost’ in Agni, Volume 53, 2001, p. 115.

Date: 2001

By: Cynthia Huntington (1951- )

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

The Rescue of Ignorance by Julia Connor

there can no longer be any mistake
the angels have traded in their haloes for hard hats
they carry bowls of fire on their backs
bent by the dead white heat of grief
“you can’t go in there”, we shout
but hip to planetary need
they enter everywhere
wings deftly folded into scapulas
black-gloved and dragging a hose
would you challenge their decision?
the pleats of heaven’s garb
are complicit with inquiry
conflagration is their familiar
this ordeal…it must enter you
it must burn clear thorough
to the truth of our vulnerability
pick up your hatchets, pick up your hearts
we are late
the transparency we must each become
waits desperate in the rubble.

From: Perihelion (

Date: 2001

By: Julia Connor (19??- )

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Lightning from Thunder by Phoebe Sophocles

Because sound is slower
we separate lightning from thunder
as if they were separate events
like we separate everything else
tea leaves from water
death from life
people from nature and one another
as though having different forms
gives us license to control
or even worse, not care
as if we didn’t share
the same atoms in rearranged patterns.

From: Sophocles, Phoebe, Uneven Edges, 2001, Pearl Street Publishing: Denver, Colorado, p. 5.

Date: 2001

By: Phoebe Sophocles (1950- )

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Try to Praise the Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.


Date: 2001 (original in Polish); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Adam Zagajewski (1945- )

Translated by: Clare Cavanagh (1956- )

Monday, 28 September 2020

Elementary Principles at Seventy-Two by Richard Joseph Howard

When we consider the stars
(what else can we do with them?) and even
recognize among them sidereal

father-figures (it was our
consideration that arranged them so),
they will always outshine us, for we change.

When we behold the water
(which cannot be held, for it keeps turning
into itself), that is how we would move-

but water overruns us.
And when we aspire to be clad in fire
(for who would not put on such apparel?)

the flames only pass us by —
it is a way they have of passing through.
But earth is another matter. Ask earth

to take us, the last mother —
one womb we may reassume. Yes indeed,
we can have the earth. Earth will have us.


Date: 2001

By: Richard Joseph Howard (1929- )

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Revealing Why by Elisabeth Spinks

Your warm hug good-bye
kept brief and brotherly,
a friend lingers curb-side,
bags in the car.

You couldnt talk about poetry,
literature or philosophy.
So why make you stay
another ten years?

To send me off to the spa,
serve hot tea with my pasta,
make my cheeks ache from banter,
to listen, listen, hold me if I cry?

But you couldnt talk about poetry.
You savoured Bukowski, scowled over Eliot,
but never revealed why.
Never pierced any surface, but mine.

You couldnt talk to me about poetry.


Date: 2001

By Elisabeth Spinks (1970- )

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Cholera by Nazik Al-Malaika

It is night.
Listen to the echoing wails
rising above the silence in the dark

the agonized, overflowing grief
clashing with the wails.
In every heart there is fire,
in every silent hut, sorrow,
and everywhere, a soul crying in the dark.

It is dawn.
Listen to the footsteps of the passerby,
in the silence of the dawn.
Listen, look at the mourning processions,
ten, twenty, no… countless.

Everywhere lies a corpse, mourned
without a eulogy or a moment of silence.

Humanity protests against the crimes of death.

Cholera is the vengeance of death.

Even the gravedigger has succumbed,
the muezzin is dead,
and who will eulogize the dead?

O Egypt, my heart is torn by the ravages of death.


Date: 1947 (original in Arabic); 2001 (translation in English)

By: Nazik Al-Malaika (1923-2007)

Translated by: Husain Haddawy (19??- ) and Nathalie Handal (1969- )

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Australia Day by Bronwyn Lea

On the blackboard
(which in truth is green)
Mr Lyndon writes:

When Europeans first
(the chalk is white
and so are the children)

black people lived here
(but some were the yellows
of sand, the pinks of shell,

the variegated browns
of rough hewn bark).
There were lots of fights,

but the white people
used guns (they are
learning their colours)

to beat the Aborigines
(the blood reds of history,
how bone is hidden

white on a page). For
homework, the children
must draw pictures

to match nulla nulla,
woomera, boomerang

(they already know

what gun is). And
remember, Mr Lyndon says,
to colour inside the lines.

From: Lea, Bronwyn, Flight Animals, 2001, University of Queensland Press: St Lucia, Queensland, p. 34.

Date: 2001

By: Brownyn Lea (1969- )