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Articles tagged "Time"

Correspondences in the Air: On The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry

Octavio Paz once wrote that the modern poet “extracts his visions from within himself.”  It is my hope that our comprehensive, aesthetically varied anthology of poetry from around the globe will allow American poets and readers a chance to extract such visions not just from “within themselves” but in conversation with a global poetic tradition. Reading an anthology of world poetry gives one a chance to overhear similarities, or what Anna Akhmatova once called...

Poetics of Wonder: Things They Say about Mogador

  III. Concerning Time in Mogador Nineteen They say that according to the calculations of the most ancient African astronomers, the sun slows down when it passes over Mogador, lingering there more than any other place on the planet. That is why time is measured here at a leisurely pace and things in the world are perceived differently, with a certain throbbing intensity.   Twenty Because time in Mogador passes differently under the sun than in the shade, and with...

Counterpoint

Aria The woman with the pencil leaned over the table to read a pocket score of the Goldberg Variations. The pencil was made of special black wood. It had a heavy silver cap that concealed a pencil sharpener. The pencil was poised above an empty notebook. Next to the score lay cigarettes and a lighter. A small metal ashtray, a shiny and compact present from a friend, stood on the table. The woman was simply called "woman," perhaps "mother." There were naming problems. There were many...

Calendar

Twelve knots are losing patience around the eyebrows of the year to come. No one knows if he will live until December 31. It's barely August. But the brown light of March feels like intensely running late. October better get a grip. Wednesday was drowned in the scrapings of December, but it's rumba Saturday with Brazilian music. When will it begin to happen, the long-awaited, incessant loosening of knots? Somebody or other is asking himself while time goes by,...

Hai Phong

Yellow lamps, prostitutes' eyes Lines of sad provincial poems On a farewell afternoon, yellow leaves are falling Ocean winds have no ports or borders Ocean clouds go their own way Like dates, the harbors have no names In the Lap River the tide rises Fishing boats go and come Someone waits at the Binh ferry for someone A smile is blurred by cement-plant smoke The people of Hai Phong are like sea-wind and sun Off they go, with the dawn Their footprints cover the...

At 30

The first ten years of my life, as the moon exposed its silent craters to my small city far below, the streets filled with shouts, gongs and drums drove out devils, my lame uncle cursed in the yard, and careless, I got kissed by the white rooster's beak. A little girl pulled her pants down before me, and once I ran into the ghost of a suicide on the stairs, but my father raised me high overhead and told me not to fear. Hailstones bounced their lives out on the walk to the...

What Time Is It?

Now, no doubt, the hour must be late . . . Despair has settled for the night in my heart, Tortured once more by bitter regret— What time is it? What time is it? Beyond the window where I stand, implacable night. Only autumn has dawned for me. Maybe it's three o'clock, could it really be three? What time is it? What time is it? Maybe somehow one-third of this . . . But a glance outside shows black. From the station the bell screams thirteen-- What time is it? What...

Black and White

March twenty-second. Friday night. Everything is in place. The soft metallic chimes of the living room clock strike ten with mathematical precision as you begin the second course; the exact same scene is replayed every night, down to a T. Him. You. The same pauses. The same silences. The same calculated movements of his fingers as he lifts one corner of his napkin. Three refined pats of his lips—pat, pat, pat—and then a sip of wine. Silverware clinking intermittently against...

(“Parousía”)

Our time, why shouldn't I go backward into the moment with my trembling preferences, my restless desire, my thought's uttermost solitude? When I blink I usually see my mother, sitting on the sofa with a book, the gaze from her eyes full of shimmering darkness. Am I filling you up? Maybe you could slap me or kiss me or stick a finger in one of my orifices or in some other way connect yourself to my body. I feel rather like the hand of John of Damascus, cut off...

The Conversation of the Hours

The first hour says to the second,   I am a hermit. The second hour says to the third,   I am an abyss. The third hour says to the fourth,   put on the morning. The fourth hour says to the fifth,   stars rush down. The fifth hour says to the sixth,   we are late. The sixth hour says to the seventh,   and animals too are clocks. The seventh hour says to the eighth,   you are friends...

The Man Who Couldn’t Die

It had been Marina's idea. Keep Alexei Afanasievich from finding out about the changes in the outside world. Keep him in the same sunlit but frozen time when the unexpected stroke had cut him down. "Mama, his heart!" Marina had pleaded, having grasped instantly that, no matter how burdensome this recumbent body might be, it consumed much less than it yielded. At the very first, clear-eyed Marina may have been moved by more than this primitive practicality. There had been a period...

The Coat

She was on her way up the stairs. Where the steps got wider in the corner of the stairwell, on the side toward the wall, she halted for a moment and waited till she caught her breath. Her knees were trembling a bit, and she thought: That's the shock. It's found its way to my limbs. Still there. She climbed further and held on to the railing with her left hand. Most of the brass borders along the edges of the steps had been torn off, and the linoleum was tattered and covered in gray...

Pallida Turba

Translator's Note: Three great waves of political cataclysm surged over a city already accustomed to periodic inundation by the black waters of the river Neva: the October Revolution, the purges of the 1930s, and the Nazi blockade decimated the population of St. Petersburg. Vera Nikolaevna was born in their wake, a few years after the Second World War, in its Soviet incarnation: Leningrad. Although her family lived in a communal apartment, the building on Vasilyevsky Island had in...

The Calendar

For the Cornish original, please click here. In Egypt men of science reckoned a year precisely1 and worked out the days, a thing good for everyone. There came Julius Caesar and saw Cleopatra and learned about the science of calculating it so accurately. His calendar was splendid.2 There were no mistakes, three hundred and sixty five days, although they were increased by just a quarter of one day, was the true length of one year from Asia to Spain, Africa, Greece...

Jameel Bouthaina, and I

We grew older, Jameel Bouthaina and I, each alone, in two separate eras . . . It is time that does what sun and wind do: it polishes us then kills us whenever the mind bears the heart's passion, or whenever the heart reaches its wisdom Jameel! does she grow old, like you, like me, Bouthaina? She grows old, my friend, outside the heart in others' eyes. But inside me the gazelle bathes in the spring that pours out of her being Is that her, or is that her...

Nothing Remains Empty

Note: This poem was originally written in Mazateco. Although the subject matter of the following poem is contemporary, the style is traditional. As Juan Gregorio Regino has maintained the rhythms of Mazateco chanting in his Spanish translation, we have attempted to carry the rhythms through here. Nothing will remain empty. Nothing will remain forgotten. There is a place in the Universe where the memory of time is recorded. My words will be recorded there. In clean books....

Another Sky

An asphalt sky: your memory Your earth is only a body Time is a poem approaching Time is a poem withering Time is a poem dying & time is a wailing wall for poems and dreams Such is exile Your bottlenecked bottleneck The wounded Fatherland's open sores moaning within you An asphalt sky: your memory Your earth is only a body

The First Breaths of Freedom

Haven't you missed the sun and rain and streets? During those long nights, didn't you dream of these paths as you were eating ful and smoking? And how often did you torture yourself with thoughts of entering an old tavern? And dream of a man with vague features, your hand in his, your mouth open toward the sky welcoming the first showers of rain as the smell of clusters of jasmine and bitter orange blossoms linger everywhere. Dreams to which you bid farewell and welcomed back...

You’ve Never Seen Red Like This Before

I At ten o'clock on a fine sunny morning I went out for a stroll and, as luck would have it, ran into Marina in front of the big department stores in the city center. My friend was wearing a magnificent gray dress I'd bought for her from a band of gypsy women during a trip to Tashkent. It was probably the finest item in her wardrobe and suited her marvelously. I would never have dreamed that it actually was made in Tashkent. But I was the one to discover the real label beneath a...

Coming Home

My little boy pulls my coat as if he's asking "Why did you take so long to get back home? who were you fighting with all those months and years just to win that prize of snow-white hair?"

Groans

1 Here I am you alone In this mad, gaping Hell Here I am you alone and death altogether With its predators and its seers and the informers Perhaps I am arriving at The limit of my possibilities For you to arrive at the last Dream Flare up until you see me and Become complete until I see you My rose between two fires Inflaming me Hopefully I am inciting wisdom In this ruin I have tried To the end of the flower and the fire, Then, how have they isolated my...

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