poetryrepairs #204 14.09:105
HEIDI B MORRELL : Kingdom of Sea
Mieczyslaw Jastrun's, Memorials: A Selection | advertisement
D.B. COX : Passing for Blue
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Kingdom of Sea
Shore swells compelled by the moon, driven by massive currents crest, curl and thunder down, a process of eons, carving rock into sand, making shelves in the rugged continent. Light strewn coral beds form, a divine circus of lively function, where colors have fins, where eels sway their grotesque heads, jellies drift in, mollusks sieve the waves, and big lipped groupers idly fan the water, while ocean turtles stop in for rest their flat fin pausing over orange stars, purple urchins, frenetic crabs. Further out in that cobalt blue, bullet nosed swift hunters abound, slicing through the water, screaming towards prey. They shatter schools in frenzy, eat and gorge, the bloodied column now littered with flesh. Debris sifts down, settles in the abyss, where meters long ribbon fish, anglers and bizarre bioluminescent fish reside in blackness, where molten vents host strange worms in the starless midnight of the fathomless deep. Way above, world traveling cetaceans fly though in brighter light glide as whales, whacking the surface gulping krill, family types, dolphins too, sonar squeaks and chatter, they breech and plunge, pirouette and dance in the volumes, the ancient sea, spawner of life our salt tears a vestige of then, a link to the water planet.

poetryrepairs #204 14.09:105

All the fine arts are species of poetry--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

poetry repairs your heart
even as it splits it open.
The Art of Reading

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With analysis of a poem, the reader can always discover new truths. Without careful analysis, MORELL's scenic point of view, moving through the seascape nearly becomes the "fish that got away." The poem opens on a life-teeming coral bed then moves into the cobalt blue sea (unfortunately "bullet" that describes the "hunters" also suggests man, the hunter). At this point, HEIDI suggests all is not as it seems. This second stanza leaving an impression of war shifts to the calm depths…the second and third stanza tell of war, a kind of war Stephen CRANE creates in his War is Kind. Readers then move toward surface where the small is devoured by the great. If we remove the first stanza the poem is clearly about war and its innocent victims. The poet thinks highly of her audience and I hope readers will take the time to analyze this poem, without doing so, the poet's risk-taking scenic narrative may be lost. -ed.

a new translation
DZVINIA ORLOWSKY [whose poetry has appeared on POETRYREPAIRS] and Jeff Friedman are pleased to announce publication of their co-translation of Polish poet MIECZYSLAW JASTRUN's, Memorials: A Selection. Jastrun is one of the most respected Polish poets of the 20th century, and it is our great privilege to introduce in English a selection of the strongest and most haunting lyric poems. If you have a moment, please check out http://www.lavenderink.org/content/diag/294-memorials. Our gratitude to Bill Lavender of the Dialogos Translation Series, "Lavender Ink", for his support of this project! Praise for MIECZYSLAW JASTRUN and Memorials There is great sorrow in these later poems of the remarkable Polish poet and translator MIECZYSLAW JASTRUN, whose great mastery of form and metaphysical thought are apparent throughout. The beauty of these spare lines and images both surprise and deepen the mystery of his complete engagement with experience: "Chrysanthemums, purple/with anger, almost disappeared in shadow,” “the cup extinguishes the drinker,” “Ancient deaths/linger/in vineyard branches./Are these not stony gorges?/ Is nature dead? /Don't eat the bread/and the water isn't for drinking." Experience for JASTRUN was a matter of faith as well as intimate revelation, not to mention survival. These are truly extraordinary poems. Hats off to these translators, who have managed to bring forth both MIECZYSLAW JASTRUN's “cold fire” and “tree of sorrow/ rooted deep in my heart.”
Philip Schultz
Quintilian in Institutio Oratoria writes, “For I do not want translation to be mere paraphrase, but a struggle and rivalry over the same meanings.” In a similar vein, Orlowsky and Friedman render MIECZYSLAW JASTRUN into a new idiom, a third language in order to convey the inexplicable. As in the theological definition of translation as an act of miraculous displacement, these translations transform and enthrall the originals. Through these transformations, Jastrun's poems return as dybbuks to fulfill their mission, to ask crucial questions: “Can we ever fully comprehend mist, arctic lichen, hoary young planets?” “Has the word become flesh?” The mullein and broom, birches and poplars and other “paragraphs of greenery” will lead us through JASTRUN's incantations. Memorials is a prayer of outcasts and exiled kings. A prayer which redeems the omnipresent trees into crosses where “every sound is a form of silence”; “where the shade of poplar mutes us like a finger held to the lips.” In these wild, extravagant lines, I feel humanity, I feel faith.
Ewa Chruscie

poetryrepairs #204 14.09:105

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D.B. COX Passing for Blue
--- For D.N.K.
"The blues is a black man's music, and whites diminish it at best or steal it at worst" | Ralph J. Gleason | Jazz Critic
My best friend died last year, in a 24-hour store -- shot by some shaky kid when he walked in on a 32 dollar holdup to buy a pack of Marlboros. He was a blues-man. He knew more about Robert Johnson and Tampa Red than Amiri Baraka -- or Leroi Jones. He used up most of his time, and all of his options preaching to the blue multitudes, jammed into the cheap neon playgrounds, along the whore-haunted streets of late-night Memphis; where no accusing eyes ever questioned the heartfelt disguise, he wore like an invisible man. And on the day his ashes were tossed toward the rain-polished sky, there were no sad fans weeping, no sanctifying poetry from Langston Hughes, just a southbound breeze to ride on, for the white boy -- passing for blue.

from v04.09
poetryrepairs #204 14.09:105

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HEIDI B MORRELL : Kingdom of Sea
105poet2 : 105poem2
D.B. COX : Passing for Blue

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