By Tanya Davis
This annual event, celebrating untranslated poetry from around the world, is an aural delight. The rhythms and cadences of languages with which we may be unfamiliar can transform us to other places.
At this time, we have readers signed up for French, German, Dutch, Friesian, Arabic, Hindi, and Portuguese.
With roughly 6,500 languages spoken globally, this represents a mere thousandth of the possibilities.
We are still accepting readers of any language aside from English to share a poem on Tuesday. You needn’t be fluent in the language, merely capable of reading it aloud.
To sign up to read, please visit here.
For event details, please visit here.
She wants to set the house on fire,
gas in both hands, gas on the wall.
It’d be like the sea torched from its floor. She’d run like light
from basement windows. or maybe
suck all arms to room ablaze, so housed
in gut piping. the copper hollowed, reaching to a
heated black rot at bottom. Like ants; maybe she crawl in the dark.
low on the belly maybe she thug out late, lay low
and ink eight walls. lay low like cold, she might
strip bare, black glass. sometimes strut, sometimes
hide late. she runs from house to ember,
a sum of sink. She breathes through flame
a room of spoons. one
bar brick, one black-eyed room splatter, one torch
spent for each arm, from coal to alley, she heaves
hue of concrete into each limb. A house of blue-ring flames
to mimic; someone better run.
image by jerry veldhuizen
We try it,
a toe at a time. I
falcon my ankle
to hunt a higher step.
The game of it—
trying to fly
by oak trunk, by nerve
and sunken sinew.
But the fall.
But you see me tumble
you quicken above.
Oak limbs fan wide
like a lily awake.
Even an inch is sky.
How would they classify
what you are up there—
a human is more caged
the fern-wren more instinct
than revelator you.
image by Rosilyn Young @ http://www.drunkencows.com
By Carol Barrett
Reckon I’ll be gone in three months.
You never know. I’m trying
a social experiment. The ladies
come to supper all gussied up
well before the appointed hour,
lined up in their finery like orchids
on a lean branch. But the men,
they come drab as the boondocks
like they just got off their horse
out near Lexington or Castle Rock.
And we all know the farm’s
long gone, no stallion’s kicked
that field in twenty years.
What I’m fixing to do
is wear my bow tie down to dinner,
different one every night, see
if I can get a gentleman or two
to follow suit, come to dinner
like they are going out on the town,
like they really mean it. The ladies
deserve some civility. We only have
image: “Luncheon At The Boating Party”, Pierre-August Renoir
Hello, Friends of the Poetry Center,
We were saddened to hear from Sheila Kay Adams this morning that an injury will keep her from visiting here during the week of February 15. Like you, we were eagerly anticipating her visit.
We hope, along with the Ten Pound Fiddle, that we’ll be able to bring her here next year sometime.
Astros y fuentes y flores, no murmuréis de mis sueños,
Sin ellos, ¿cómo admiraros ni cómo vivir sin ellos?
– Rosalía de Castro
We’re now accepting readers for the Festival of Listening – An Evening of Untranslated Poetry at (scene) Metrospace on Tuesday, March 1.
Any and all languages are welcome! In the past, we’ve heard Spanish, French, German, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Dutch, Korean, Chinese, Farsi, and more.
If you’re interested in reading, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the title and author of the poem by February 22. Try to keep your selection under three minutes.
By: Andrea Gibson
Check out more of Andrea’s work here!