Featured Writer Sonnet Mondal: Four Poems

Answer Maa

The day you hid the door of afterlife —
Earth, flames and ashes
erased
the apprehensions
allying illusion and reality.

I still sense your presence
around that door
but a sound from this opening
seems like an echo in the wilderness —

warning as well as bewitching me
to reveal myself to the untraveled.

Still for my senses,
like a deserted impala calf —
I am hurling questions and calls
to the woods     drowsy in meditation.

Maa, I know you won’t answer.
I am therefore     standing

soaking myself
trying to find answers
in the undertone     of this rain
falling     on the tin house.

In a skirmish with anxiety
I am awake — waiting
to meet sleep in person

[if she has heard you somewhere.]

Answer Maa

Or what’s the purpose of
perpetuating the thirst of my eyes

Tears are digging deep inside

a canyon of remembrances
is getting drilled

Answer Maa

 

Still intact

That day     when I heard the sound—

of swallowing my saliva
sitting in front of a pond

I discerned the vibrations
resonating the strings of my breath.

Ripplets from insects
falling in the waters    disappeared

.   like the prevailing silence lost in serenity
.   like the lost sound of saliva
.   descending from tongue to neck.

With too many questions      to be answered
the need to inquire                got lost

and I was left       with thoughts of the sky

beneath which      I was born
the roads which    I walked

and the nakedness
that still keeps me intact.

 

from Tushar’s Apartment [Malabar Hills, Mumbai]

A stable flute is pushing me

and a drunken gale is retaliating.

My life drifts     like a stranded kite
between the melodious and the mysterious.

Nature gazes like a winsome stranger
strolling     dancing     jumping
like the Bauls of Bengal.

Chirrups of mystic birds
ride on the chariot of the sea
pulled to the shore by its horses.

Thoughts     in an intercourse
with naked waves
scream of a world lost in lust.

Hypnotism of the inconclusive
charms me into the grey
of pregnant clouds and pensive waves.

In front of paradoxical nature-sounds
.                I realise
My mind is heavier than my soul.
.   What seemed impossible
.        was always possible.

Dear Nature — I am thinking
if to marry you
or, keep you as an escort!

 

Snapshots of a Dying Soldier

1.

A loath combat helmet     lying over a weary head
and an ever vigilant gun     pregnant with bullets
lean against each other in a moot discipline
A mixture of the absurd and the fantastic

2.

Eyes fixed on a rising dawn     with the Sun at heart
absorb the drowsy silhouettes and weeping clouds.
They blink like Mimosa pudicas     as thoughts perish
on the border line of infused patriotism

3.

Shroud of smokes     follow far flung air strikes
and the cloud above roars     to obliterate screaming pleas
A tired imagination rises     and falls like musical notes
on the strings of realism boxed inside solitude

4.

A faithless hand burns a cigarette     and pelts stones
at a nearby ditch     frowning toward the obvious.
A pair of embattled lips murmurs childhood songs.
An ominous twister forming from wandering smokes.

5.

The head lies flat     with dreaming eyes fixed at dawn.
The gun awaits its next partner     and the helmet escapes.
The feeble ditch     almost dry     refuses to lend water
and the seeping blood refuses     to lend it either.

6.

A family in its infancy     plays at home     uninformed.
Reasons scratch against broken walls     to find ways
of banishing the magical gun     from the pop culture of war.
Mirages of hope smile amidst scattered sands of anguish.

 

-Sonnet Mondal

notes:
Maa – Mother
Bauls- Mystic singers in Eastern India
Mumbai- City in India

These four previously unpublished poems by Sonnet Mondal were written in English and, as such, are untranslated.


 

Sonnet Mondal photo credit John Minihan

Sonnet Mondal. photograph by John Minihan (2017).

Sonnet Mondal is an Indian English poet, editor and literary curator. His latest collection of poems, Ink and Line, was released in 2014. Sonnet has read at literary festivals in Macedonia, Ireland, Turkey, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, and in many festivals throughout India. He received the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence for an Indian English author whose work has appeared in major North American publications. Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes project from the International Writing Program at University of Iowa from 2014 to 2016. He is one of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, an editor of the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive (Haus für Poesie), and the series editor of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. He was a guest editor of Poetry at Sangam, India in 2017. His poems have appeared in Kyoto journal, Irish Examiner, the World Literature Today, the Mcneese Review, Blesok, Palestine Chronicle, Drunken Boat, Indian Literature, Asia Literary Review, Fieldstone Review, and Two Thirds North. He is currently a Writer in Residence at the Sierra Nevada College as part of their MFA in Creative Writing. Sonnet represented India at the 10th anniversary of the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival. He conducted poetry workshops at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in January 2018 and acts as a curator for Dutch poets travelling to India on behalf of The Dutch Foundation for Literature. His poetry has been translated into Hindi, Italian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Turkish, Macedonian, Bengali, and Arabic. website: www.sonnetmondal.com

 

 

 

 

Featured Writer Sonnet Mondal: Biographical Note

Sonnet Mondal photo credit John Minihan

Sonnet Mondal. photograph by John Minihan (2017).

Sonnet Mondal is an Indian English poet, editor and literary curator. His latest collection of poems, Ink and Line, was released in 2014. Sonnet has read at literary festivals in Macedonia, Ireland, Turkey, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, and in many festivals throughout India. He received the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence for an Indian English author whose work has appeared in major North American publications. Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes project from the International Writing Program at University of Iowa from 2014 to 2016. He is one of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, an editor of the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive (Haus für Poesie), and the series editor of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. He was a guest editor of Poetry at Sangam, India in 2017. His poems have appeared in Kyoto journal, Irish Examiner, the World Literature Today, the Mcneese Review, Blesok, Palestine Chronicle, Drunken Boat, Indian Literature, Asia Literary Review, Fieldstone Review, and Two Thirds North. He was featured as one of the Famous Five of Bengali youths in the India Today magazine in 2010, and the Culture Trip magazine, London listed him as one of the top five literary entrepreneurs of Indian poetry in March 2015. On 15th August 2015, his literary endeavours were featured in the Kuwait Times– Indian Special edition. Sonnet has featured several times in the Bulletin of Ministry of External Affairs, Macedonia for contributing to international cultural exchange with Macedonia since 2011 through The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. Sonnet’s poems were translated into Slovenian by Barbara Pogacnik and broadcast on the Literary Nokturno program of the Public Radio & Television of Slovenia in 2016. His poems, translated into Hungarian by Lanczkor Gábor, were published in SZIF magazine in 2018. He read at the International Uskudar Poetry Festival in 2015 and International Young Poets’ Meet in 2016, both sponsored by the Government of Turkey. Sonnet led an Indian cultural delegation to the Ars Poetica International Festival, Slovakia in November 2016 and read at the 2017 Cork International Poetry Festival, Ireland. He is currently a Writer in Residence at the Sierra Nevada College as part of their MFA in Creative Writing. Sonnet represented India at the 10th anniversary of the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival. He conducted poetry workshops at the 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in January and acts as a curator for Dutch poets travelling to India on behalf of The Dutch Foundation for Literature. His poetry has been translated into Hindi, Italian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Turkish, Macedonian, Bengali, and Arabic.
website: www.sonnetmondal.com

Featured Writer Sonnet Mondal: Four Poems

 

 

 

Featured Writer Yury Zavadsky: Biographical Note

Yury Zavadsky. photo by Uri Sobi

Yury Zavadsky (ЮРІЙ ЗАВАДСЬКИЙ). photo by Uri Sobi.

Yury Zavadsky (ЮРІЙ ЗАВАДСЬКИЙ) is a Ukrainian poet, translator and publisher with a strong body of work comprising of both free verse and sound poetry. He is the author of ‘ЦИГАРКИ’ which was initially released on CD in 2006 and is one of the first hypertextual poems published in the Ukraine. Yury has published ten books of poetry, including, ТАКСИСТ (Taxi Driver), a collection of free verse and sound poetry which was shortlisted for the Ukrainian Book of the Year in 2015. His most recent collection of poems, ТІЛОМ (The Body), is forthcoming. In collaboration with Barcelonan poet, Andriy Antonovsky, Yury created and published Rotvrot/ Bocaaboca (Krok 2010), a bilingual book of concrete and zaum poetry. In 2010, he recorded the album zsuf yuryzavadsky with the band, ZSUF. It was the first recorded Ukrainian project of music and sound poetry. He is a member of the noise band, Suprodukt. Yury was one of the editors of AU/ UA: Contemporary Poetry of Australia and Ukraine, a collection of poetry from Ukrainian and Australian poets with translations in both languages published by Krok Books in association with Meuse Press in 2012. He is the director of the Publishing House, Krok (http://krokbooks.com) and holds a PhD from the Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatyuk National Pedagogical University. website: http://yuryzavadsky.com/

ТІЛОМ (The Body) by Yury Zavadsky
‘ЦИГАРКИ’ by Yury Zavadsky
zsuf yuryzavadsky on soundcloud
AU/UA: Contemporary Poetry of Australia and Ukraine

Featured Writer Yury Zavadsky (ЮРІЙ ЗАВАДСЬКИЙ): ‘Distance’ (ВІДДАЛЬ)

 

Featured Writer Fahredin Shehu: Biographical Note

Fahredin Shehu. photo by John Sellekaers

Fahredin Shehu. photograph by John Sellekaers

 

Fahredin Shehu was born in 1972 in the village of Rahovec in Kosovo and graduated from Oriental studies at the University in Priština. He is a poet, writer, essayist, editor, an independent researcher of the world spiritual heritage and sacral aesthetics, and a calligraphy enthusiast. He writes mystical and transcendental poetry, prose, essays, and articles in Albanian and English. Fahredin’s recent books range from a collection of poetry, Crystalline Echoes (2011) to essays and articles on culture and spirituality, Makadam i Smagradtë (Emerald Macadam, 2012), and the novel, Hojet (Honeycomb, 2013). In 2014, he released NALIVPERO (The Pen) and the epic poem, MAELSTROM – The Four Scrolls of an Illyrian Sage (Inner Child Press), in which he writes about spiritual visions and the author’s creative unrest that oscillates between Theurgy and Revelation. Fahredin’s poetry has been translated into over twenty languages, and included in many anthologies and literary journals around the world. He is a frequent guest of literary festivals. Fahredin is the director of the renowned, international poetry festival, Poetry and Wine, that takes place in his birth village. He is a founder of the fund for Cultural Education and Heritage (www.fekt.org).

Featured Writer Fahredin Shehu: ‘The Crystalline Side of Time’ (‘Ana kristaline e kohës’)

 

Featured Writer Sudeep Sen: One Poem

Disembodied

1.

My body carved from abandoned bricks of a ruined temple,
.                                                           from minaret-shards of an old mosque,
.           from slate-remnants of a medieval church apse,
.                                               from soil tilled by my ancestors.

My bones don’t fit together correctly                                     as they should —
the searing ultraviolet light from Aurora Borealis
.                                               patches and etch-corrects my orientation —
magnetic pulses prove potent.

My flesh sculpted from fruits of the tropics,
.                                                           blood from coconut water,
skin coloured by brown bark of Indian teak.

My lungs fuelled by Delhi’s insidious toxic air
.                                   echo asthmatic sounds, a new vinyl dub-remix.
Our universe — where radiation germinates from human follies,
.                                                           where contamination persists from mistrust,
.                       where pleasures of sex are merely a sport —
where everything is ambition,
everything is desire,                            everything is nothing.
.                       Nothing and everything.

2.

White light everywhere,
.                                   but no one can recognize its hue,
no one knows that there is colour in it —                   all possible colours.

Body worshipped, not for its blessing,
.                                               but its contour —
.                                                           artificial shape shaped by Nautilus.
Skin moistened by L’Oreal
.                                   and not by season’s first rains —
skeleton’s strength not shaped by earthquakes
.                                               or slow-moulded by fearless forest-fires.

Ice-caps are rapidly melting — too fast to arrest glacial slide.
.           In the near future — there will be no water left
or too much water that is undrinkable,
.                                                                       excess water that will drown us all.
Disembodied floats,                afloat like Noah’s Ark —

no gps, no pole-star navigation,                                  no fossil fuel to burn away —
.                       just maps with empty grids and names of places that might exist.

Already, there is too much traffic on the road —
.           unpeopled hollow metal-shells                                   without brakes,
swerve about               directionless —                       looking for an elusive compass.

 

-Sudeep Sen

‘Disembodied’ by Sudeep Sen first appeared in the June- July issue of the London Magazine (UK) in 2017. ‘Disembodied’ has been republished in Rochford Street Review with the permission of the author.


 

!! Sudeep Sen (hands) by ARIA SEN (new)

Sudeep Sen. photograph by Aria Sen

Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (1997), Rain (2005), and Aria (2011), winner of the A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award. A special commemorative edition of his collected poems, Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions), was released by Derek Walcott. His latest book, EroText, is experimental fiction and was published by Vintage: Penguin Random House. Blue Nude: New Poems & Ekphrasis, winner of the Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize, is forthcoming. Sudeep’s works have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has translated and edited poetry for numerous anthologies, including The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry by Indians (2012). He has a Masters in Journalism with articles published in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, and India Today. Sudeep has been recorded for, and broadcast on, BBC, PBS, CNN IBN, NDT, AIR, and Doordarshan. His poems have been included in several anthologies. His newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/ Random House/ Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell), and Name me a Word (Yale). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sudeep is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Festival. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”

 

 

Featured Writer Sudeep Sen: Biographical Note

!! Sudeep Sen (hands) by ARIA SEN (new)

Sudeep Sen. photograph by Aria Sen

 

Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (1997), Rain (2005), and Aria (2011), winner of the A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award. A special commemorative edition of his collected poems, Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions), was released by Derek Walcott. His latest book, EroText, is experimental fiction and was published by Vintage: Penguin Random House. Blue Nude: New Poems & Ekphrasis, winner of the Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize, is forthcoming. Sudeep’s works have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has translated and edited poetry for numerous anthologies, including The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry by Indians (2012). He has a Masters in Journalism with articles published in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, and India Today. Sudeep has been recorded for, and broadcast on, BBC, PBS, CNN, IBN, NDTV, AIR, and Doordarshan. His poems have been included in several anthologies. His newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/ Random House/ Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell), and Name me a Word (Yale). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sudeep is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Festival. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”

Featured Writer Sudeep Sen: ‘Disembodied’

 

Featured Writer K. Satchidanandan: One Poem

The Girl of Thirteen

The girl of thirteen
is not the boy of thirteen.
She has died drowning in nightmares
until she forgot her butterflies.
She has passed through caverns of darkness
leaving the lullabies behind.

The girl of thirteen is forty-three.
She knows a bad touch from a good one
She knows it’s not wrong
to tell a lie in order to survive.
She knows how to fight a war,
with teeth or with songs.
You see only the rose on her body;
but it’s full of thorns

The girl of thirteen can fly.
She doesn’t want to leave the sun
and books just for men.
Her swing circles the moon
and moves from melancholy to madness.
She doesn’t dream of the prince
as you seem to think.

The girl of thirteen has her feet
in the netherworld even as she
touches the rainbow.
One day, sword in her hand, she
will come riding a white horse.
Listening to the hooves echo in the clouds
you will know, the tenth avatar in the puranas prophesy is a woman.

-K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍)
translated from Malayalam by the poet

 

പതിമൂന്നു വയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി
പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള ആണ്‍കുട്ടിയല്ല.
പൂമ്പാറ്റകളെ മറക്കുവോളം അവള്‍
ദുസ്വപ്നങ്ങളില്‍ മുങ്ങി മരിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്
താരാട്ടുകളെ പിന്നിലാക്കി അവള്‍
ഇരുട്ടിന്റെ ഗുഹകളിലൂടെ കടന്നുപോയിട്ടുണ്ട്

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയ്ക്ക്
നാല്‍പ്പത്തിമൂന്നു വയസ്സുണ്ട്
അവള്‍ക്കു നല്ല സ്പര്‍ശവും
ചീത്ത സ്പര്‍ശവും തിരിച്ചറിയാം
അതിജീവനത്തിനായി നുണപറയുന്നത്
തെറ്റല്ലെന്ന് അവള്‍ക്കറിയാം
അവള്‍ക്കു യുദ്ധം ചെയ്യാനറിയാം,
പല്ലുകൊണ്ടും പാട്ടുകൊണ്ടും.
നിങ്ങള്‍ അവളുടെ ഉടലിലെ
പനിനീര്‍മാത്രം കാണുന്നു,
പക്ഷെ അതില്‍ നിറയെ മുള്ളുകളുണ്ട്‌.

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയ്ക്ക്
പറക്കാനാവും, അവള്‍
സൂര്യനെയും പുസ്തകങ്ങളെയും
പുരുഷനുമാത്രമായി വിട്ടു കൊടുക്കില്ല
അവളുടെ ഊഞ്ഞാല്‍ ചന്ദ്രനെച്ചുറ്റി
വിഷാദത്തില്‍നിന്ന് ഉന്മാദത്തിലേയ്ക്കാടുന്നു
അവള്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ കരുതും പോലെ
രാജകുമാരനെ കിനാക്കാണുന്നില്ല

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി
പാതാളത്തില്‍ കാല്‍ കുത്തി നിന്ന്
മഴവില്ലുകളെ സ്പര്‍ശിക്കുന്നു
ഒരു ദിവസം അവള്‍ വെളുത്ത കുതിരപ്പുറത്ത്‌
വാളുമായി പ്രത്യക്ഷപ്പെടും.
മേഘങ്ങളില്‍ കുളമ്പടികള്‍ കേള്‍ക്കുമ്പോള്‍
നിങ്ങളറിയും, പുരാണങ്ങളില്‍ പറയുന്ന പത്താമത്തെ അവതാരം പെണ്ണാണെന്ന്.

-K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍)

Rochford Street Review are proud to republish K. Satchidanandan’s poem, ‘The Girl of Thirteen’ (‘പതിമൂന്നു വയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി’), in both English and Malayalam, with the full permission of the author. The Malayalam original, ‘Pathimoonnu Vayassulla Penkutti’, was first published in the Mathrubhumi Weekly, Calicut, Kerala, 2-8 July 2017. The English translation, ‘The Girl of Thirteen’, was first published in The Indian Quarterly, 5th Anniversary Issue, October -December 2017.


 

! K.Satchidanandan സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍ photo by Shikha Malavya

K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍). photograph by Shikha Malavya

K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍) is an award winning, bilingual, Indian poet, playwright, editor, literary columnist, and translator who writes in Malayalam and English. He is perhaps the most translated, contemporary, Indian poet with twenty-six collections of poetry published in nineteen different languages. In addition to all the major Indian languages, such as Tamil, Bengali and Hindi, Satchidanandan’s poetry has been translated into Chinese, English, Irish, Arabic, French, German, and Italian. K. Satchidanandan’s While I Write: New and Selected Poems was published by HarperCollins in 2011. Poetrywala, Mumbai, released his most recent book, The Missing Rib, in 2016. Three volumes of his collected poems, and four volumes of his collected translations of poetry, were published in 2006 and 2015, respectively. K. Satchidanandan writes poetry in Malayalam, the Indian language of Kerala, and prose in both Malayalam and English. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry, as well as several books of travel, plays and criticism, including five books in English on Indian literature. He has participated in many Literary Festivals and Book Fairs around the world. He has represented India in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Sarajevo, Moscow, Rotterdam, Beijing, Shanghai, Damascus, Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai, Lahore, Medellin, Caracas, Lima, and Havana. He was a professor of English, and later, the chief executive of the Sahitya Akademi, the Indian National Academy of Literature. He was the Director of the School of Translation Studies at Indira Gandhi Open University, Delhi, and the National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. K. Satchidanandan is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, the State Academy of Literature. He has won thirty-four literary awards, including the National Akademi award, the World Poetry Peace Prize from the UAE, the India-Poland Friendship Medal, and the Dante Medal from Ravenna. He received a Knighthood from the Government of Italy and was in the Ladbroke final shortlist of Nobel Prize for Literature probables in 2011.

 

Featured Writer Barbara Pogačnik: One Poem

Hours, Sailed Forth from the Cellar

L`heure qui pousse son troupeau
Mais on cherche ceux qui le gardent

.                               Pierre Reverdy

We polish a clock
like a drop in the sea,
and all the while it is falling back into the water.

The cats are worrying at socks & who’ll hide solitude.
Footprints around our sleepy fishing nets
are forming into clouds. A flock of hours sways by the jetty.

In the halo of pine resin new roads are emerging
shouting Schengen! Pages of history are buried below
the cats’ paws. Waters are posited according to new time.

How will we fall asleep with our throats opened to
a sea which is let into our dreams drop by drop?
Even so, we are building a palace out of dry bread.

My temporary home is a cling foil bandage
separating me from unhappiness. My home is a paper house
which is leafed through whenever someone stops breathing.

Everyone changes colour when brushed by love.
We are getting ready for a shift from pigeon greys.
A crash against the eyes, brimming coffees.

Someone is slotted into unhappiness like a filter into water.
You don’t know what to do: you struggle with letters
yanking them from the earth which is not yet – or no longer – yours.

And sometimes when the letters multiply
you no longer know what you are yanking for.

The drops have fallen into the sea.
Cats miaow in the middle of the path.

You have to stop a while & let dreams go.

-Barbara Pogačnik

translated from Slovenian by Ana Jelnikar and Stephen Watts

 

Ure, vzplule iz kleti

L`heure qui pousse son troupeau
Mais on cherche ceux qui le gardent
.                               -Pierre Reverdy

Loščiva uro
kot kapljo v morju,
in ves čas nama pada nazaj v vodo.

Mački cefrajo nogavice, kdo bo skril samoto.
Stopinje okoli najinih zaspanih ribiških mrež
se oblikujejo v oblake. Čreda ur se ziblje ob pomolu.

V soju borove smole vzidejo nove ceste
in vzklikajo Schengen! Listi zgodovine so pod
mačjimi šapami. Vode so postavljene na novih urah.

Kako bova zaspala z grli, obrnjenimi v morje,
ki ga po kapalki spuščajo v sanje?
Vseeno s suhim kruhom gradiva palačo.

Moj začasni dom je celofanski ovoj, ki me loči
od nesreče. Moj dom je papirnata hiša,
ki se lista, kadar kdo preneha dihati.

Vsakdo spreminja barve ob dotiku ljubezni.
Pripravljava se na prestop iz golobje plave.
Trk ob oči, zvrhane kave.

Nekdo je postavljen v nesrečo kot filter za vodo.
Ne veš, kaj bi: boriš se s črkami
in jih puliš iz zemlje, ki še ni ali ni več tvoja.

In včasih, ko se črke namnožijo,
ne veš več, za katero stvar se puliš.

Kaplje so padle v morje.
Mački mijavkajo sredi poti.

Obstati moraš za hip in izpuščati sanje.

-Barbara Pogačnik

 

‘Ure, vzplule iz kleti’ was originally published in Slovenian in Barbara Pogačnik’s second book of poems, ‘V množici izgubljeni papir by LUD Literatura in 2008. The English translation, ‘Hours, sallied forth from the cellar’, was first published in the anthology ‘In Unfriendly Weather: Four Slovenian Poets’ which included Slovenian poems accompanied by English translations (LUD Literatura, 2011). ‘Ure, vzplule iz kleti’ and the English translation, ‘Hours, sallied forth from the cellar’, have been republished in Rochford Street Review with the author’s permission.


 

Barbara Pogačnik photograph by Ivan Dobnik

Barbara Pogačnik. photograph by Ivan Dobnik

Barbara Pogačnik is a Slovenian poet, translator and literary critic who graduated from Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and completed her MA at the Sorbonne in Paris. She has published four books of poetry: Poplave (Inundations, 2007), V množici izgubljeni papir (Sheets of Paper Lost in the Crowd, 2008), Modrina hiše / The Blue of the House (2013) and Alica v deželi plaščev (Alice in the Land of Coats, 2016). Her first volume of poetry, Poplave (Mladinska knjiga, 2007), was nominated for the Best First Book Award and the Jenko Prize. Her poetry has been translated into twenty-eight languages with books of her selected poems translated into Romanian, French and Spanish. She has participated in more than fifty different festivals in at least twenty countries and has been a writer in residence at multiple international organizations in various countries. She has translated more than one hundred and fifty authors from French, English, Italian and Serbo-Croatian into Slovenian and from Slovenian into French.

 

 

 

Featured Writer Barbara Pogačnik: Biographical Note

Barbara Pogačnik photograph by Ivan Dobnik

Barbara Pogačnik. photograph by Ivan Dobnik

 

Barbara Pogačnik is a Slovenian poet, translator and literary critic who graduated from Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and completed her MA at the Sorbonne in Paris. She has published four books of poetry: Poplave (Inundations, 2007), V množici izgubljeni papir (Sheets of Paper Lost in the Crowd, 2008), Modrina hiše / The Blue of the House (2013) and Alica v deželi plaščev (Alice in the Land of Coats, 2016). Her first volume of poetry, Poplave (Mladinska knjiga, 2007), was nominated for the Best First Book Award and the Jenko Prize. Her poetry has been translated into twenty-eight languages with books of her selected poems translated into Romanian, French and Spanish. She has participated in more than fifty different festivals in at least twenty countries and has been a writer in residence at multiple international organizations in various countries. She has translated more than one hundred and fifty authors from French, English, Italian and Serbo-Croatian into Slovenian and from Slovenian into French.

Featured Writer Barbara Pogačnik: ‘Ure, vzplule iz kleti’ (‘Hours, Sallied Forth from the Cellar’)

 

 

Featured Writer Erik Lindner: ‘One Poem’

The sea is purple at Piraeus.

A flag creeps out of the campanile
when the wind turns.

A man steps over a dog.
A woman stoops to rub her eyelid.

In an umbrella shop an umbrella falls off the counter.

A pigeon perching on a narrow branch
falls off, flutters, and settles again.
The berry out of reach at the end of the twig.
The branch that bends, the ruff that bulges when the pigeon shuffles along.

A girl gets on the metro with a desk drawer.

On the thick sand by the breakers
an angler slides his rod out horizontally
a bike beside him on its kickstand.

He stands with legs apart as if he’s peeing.
Birds’ footprints in the sand.
The rod arches over the sea.

– Erik Lindner

translated from Dutch by Francis Jones

 

De zee is paars bij Piraeus.

Een vlag kruipt uit de klokkentoren
als de wind draait.

Een man stapt over een hond.
Een vrouw wrijft gebogen over haar ooglid.

In een parapluwinkel valt een paraplu van de toonbank.

Op een smalle tak zit een duif
die erafvalt, fladdert en opnieuw gaat zitten
de bes die te ver op het uiteinde van de twijg zit
de tak die doorbuigt, de kraag die opbolt als de duif verschuift.

Een meisje stapt in de metro met een bureaula.

Op het dikke zand aan de branding
schuift een visser horizontaal zijn hengel uit
een fiets staat naast hem op de standaard.

Hij staat wijdbeens alsof hij plast.
Vogelpootafdrukken in het zand.
De hengel kromt boven de zee.

– Erik Lindner

 

This untitled poem by Erik Lindner was first published in his fourth collection of poetry, Terrein (De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 2010). It has since been translated into several different languages and was published on lyrikline in 2014 and the Poetry International Web in 2016. The original poem in Dutch, alongside the translation into English by Francis Jones, has been republished in Rochford Street Review with the author’s permission.

 

“The more I travel, the more I notice that poetry in every country, means something different. And then I mean, not only what it consists of, even where that is understood. In every country, poetry is presented differently, it takes another place in the culture. What is understood by poetry seems to say something characteristic about that culture. I gather impressions that illustrate this idea: experiences, anecdotes, messages and letters. Images of what I find in the street, meetings. Sometimes it’s not about poetry at all.”

– Erik Lindner

 

Erik Lindner reads ‘De zee is paars bij Piraeus’ (Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014) published on lyrikline: https://www.lyrikline.org/en/poems/de-zee-paars-bij-piraeus-5879#.WgfG-MaWbIU


 

Erik Lindner. photograph by Gerald Zörner

Erik Lindner. photograph by Gerald Zörner

Erik Lindner, poet, writer, and literary critic, was born in 1968 in The Hague, Netherlands. He has published five volumes of poetry, including his debut collection, Tramontane (Uitgeverij Perdu, 1996), and the novel, Naar Whitebridge. His most recent collection of poetry, Acedia, was published in Amsterdam by De Bezige Bij in 2014. His poetry has been translated in several different languages; with translations of his poems appearing in poetry anthologies published in France, Germany and Italy, and on Poetry International and lyrikline. Erik is editor of Terras magazine [http://tijdschriftterras.nl/] and lives and works as a freelance writer in Amsterdam.

website: http://www.eriklindner.nl/