Sea Rose

by Hilda Doolittle

Sea RoseRose, harsh rose,

marred and with stint of petals,

meagre flower, thin,

sparse of leaf,
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more precious

than a wet rose

single on a stem —

you are caught in the drift.
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Stunted, with small leaf,

you are flung on the sand,

you are lifted

in the crisp sand

that drives in the wind.
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Can the spice-rose

drip such acrid fragrance

hardened in a leaf?
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

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Fianuis

BY KATHLEEN JAMIE

FianuisWell, friend, we’re here again — 

           sauntering the last half-mile to the land’s frayed end

to find what’s laid on for us, strewn across the turf — 

gull feathers, bleached shells,

                                       a whole bull seal, bone-dry,

knackered from the rut

(we knock on his leathern head, but no one’s home).
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Change, change — that’s what the terns scream

                                       down at their seaward rocks;

fleet clouds and salt kiss — 

everything else is provisional,

                                       us and all our works.

I guess that’s why we like it here:

                        listen — a brief lull,

                                       a rock pipit’s seed-small notes.

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The Rose

Christina Rossetti  

The RoseThe lily has a smooth stalk,

 Will never hurt your hand;

But the rose upon her brier

 Is lady of the land.
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There’s sweetness in an apple tree,

 And profit in the corn;

But lady of all beauty

 Is a rose upon a thorn.
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When with moss and honey

 She tips her bending brier,

And half unfolds her glowing heart,

 She sets the world on fire.
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A reminder that we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor on January 25, 2018. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

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OF THE 70 WRITERS NOMINATED FOR THE 1967 NOBEL, MEET THE 5 WOMEN

M. LYNX QUALEY

OF THE 70 WRITERSThe Swedish Academy, which grants the Nobel Prize in Literature, keeps their nominees secret for fifty years after each award. At that point, they open their musty archives to the public. M.A. Orthofer over at the Literary Saloon is always among the first to notice. He posted a few observations about what’s been released about the 1967 prize, which went to Miguel Ángel Asturias.
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You can find the PDF of the nominations list online. (Warning: It’s in Swedish. Föreslag, I assume, must mean “nominated.”)
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According to Orthofer, first-time nominees for the 1967 prize “included future winners Saul Bellow and Claude Simon, as well as Jorge Amado, Jean Genet, György Lukács — and the (as best I can tell) last surviving nominee, Hans Magnus Enzensberger.”.

He amended that later, noting that Lina Kostenko and Ivan Drach are both still alive.
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The 70-strong list of writers nominated for ’67, Orthofer writes, was eventually whittled down to three. These were Asturias (the eventual winner), Graham Greene, and Jorge Luis Borges.
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Also notable is that — out of the 70 writers on the list — just five seem to have been women. Svetlana Alexievich, who won the prize in 2015, was just the fourteenth woman to win the prize since it was first given in 1901. The prize has largely celebrated Europeans and men, and male Europeans, so it’s unsurprising that the nominations list is weighted toward men.
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But the women who made it: Read the list

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One Perfect Rose

by Dorothy Parker

One Perfect RoseA single flow’r he sent me, since we met.

All tenderly his messenger he chose;

Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet –

One perfect rose.
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I knew the language of the floweret;

‘My fragile leaves,’ it said, ‘his heart enclose.’

Love long has taken for his amulet

One perfect rose.
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Why is it no one ever sent me yet

One perfect limousine, do you suppose?

Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get

One perfect rose.
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A reminder that we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor on January 25, 2018. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

 

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Is Poetry Untranslatable? Ask Aditi Machado

A conversation with Asymptote Journal’s poetry editor

RUBEN QUESADA

Is Poetry UntranslatableThe first Dear Poetry Editor of 2018 introduces readers to Aditi Machado, poetry editor for Asymptote, an international journal of translation. This ongoing series offers readers insight on poetry and publishing from editors who shape the content in literary magazines and institutions around the world.
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Machado is the author of Some Beheadings (Nightboat, 2017) and the translator of Farid Tali’s hybrid novella Prosopopoeia (Action, 2016). She is from Bangalore, India and currently lives in Denver, Colorado.
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On Perspectives of Poetry
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Poetry is untranslatable. It’s a notion that persists despite a long-desired increase in the visibility of translators, much astonishing advocacy work, and the multitude of journals and presses today that invest in translation. There’s always someone, inside or out, who thinks that a translated work isn’t “as good” as the original. Plenty of scholars who translate still struggle to convince tenure committees that their published translations are valuable. But translation isn’t simply some post-Babelian necessity. It isn’t simply sociological or anthropological work seeking to make other cultures “intelligible” to us—it’s a full and necessary literary activity in which politics and aesthetics can’t be disentangled. I rather love the provocation of Asymptote founder and editor-in-chief Lee Yew Leong’s thought that sometimes “translation can be more effective than the original if we set aside the question of primacy.”
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There are misconceptions about who or how to translate. I’ve been thinking about the prevalent notion that poetry ought to be translated into idioms/forms/aesthetic paradigms already available or au courant in the target language. It’s not wrong necessarily but that method is simply one possibility — and then there are other possibilities.
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Read the complete article

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Roses

by Joyce Kilmer (For Katherine Bregy)

RoseI went to gather roses and twine them in a ring,

For I would make a posy, a posy for the King.

I got an hundred roses, the loveliest there be,

From the white rose vine and the pink rose bush and from the red rose tree.

But when I took my posy and laid it at His feet

I found He had His roses a million times more sweet.

There was a scarlet blossom upon each foot and hand,

And a great pink rose bloomed from His side for the healing of the land.

Now of this fair and awful King there is this marvel told,

That He wears a crown of linked thorns instead of one of gold.

Where there are thorns are roses, and I saw a line of red,

A little wreath of roses around His radiant head.

A red rose is His Sacred Heart, a white rose is His face,

And His breath has turned the barren world to a rich and flowery place.

He is the Rose of Sharon, His gardener am I,

And I shall drink His fragrance in Heaven when I die.
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

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Bill Evans: “Here’s That Rainy Day”

By Jan Zwicky
Bill Evans Rainy Day
Bill Evans-Rainy Day-textWe will be reading and discussing the poetry of Jan Zwicky and Lorna Crozier on February 22 and reading and discussing poetry inspired by music on June 28.
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Listen to Bill Evans play “Here’s That Rainy Day” (Verve Records 1968)

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The Dipper

Kathleen Jamie

The DipperIt was winter, near freezing,

I’d walked through a forest of firs

when I saw issue out of the waterfall

a solitary bird.
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It lit on a damp rock,

and, as water swept stupidly on,

wrung from its own throat

supple, undammable song.

It isn’t mine to give.
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I can’t coax this bird to my hand

that knows the depth of the river

yet sings of it on land.

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To A Friend Who Sent Me Some Roses

by John Keats

To A Friend Who Sent Me Some RosesAs late I rambled in the happy fields,

What time the skylark shakes the tremulous dew

From his lush clover covert;—when anew

Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields;

I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,

A fresh-blown musk-rose; ’twas the first that threw

Its sweets upon the summer: graceful it grew

As is the wand that Queen Titania wields.

And, as I feasted on its fragrancy,

I thought the garden-rose it far excelled;

But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me,

My sense with their deliciousness was spelled:

Soft voices had they, that with tender plea

Whispered of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquelled.
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On January 25 we will celebrate the use of the rose as a poetic symbol or metaphor. Please bring your own illustration of this for reading and discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections to-date.

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