Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Firebird’s Last Flight – Katya de Becerra

Jun 25, 2021 | Poetry | 1 comment

I will take you to the ruins of Oldtown
Atop that forest-capped mountain
Where stone set roots to earth
Where women once sang magic into air
And turned leaves into birds and shed tears into wine.
I will take you there on my own two feathered wings
Carry you like the precious cargo that you are.

I will sing you alive midflight, awaken you, clothe you, feed you
Recite you an ancient ballad about two lovers
Who searched for a way into Oldtown
Where they could be together free of judgement, of expectations
Where they could be free
Among women who sang sadness into stars and laughter into snow.
Your weight won’t bring me down
Your renewed heart won’t put me off my task
For I was born to carry you.

I will fly you there across the darkened sky
Your measured breath my compass
And from this incredible height I will show you
How the ruins of Oldtown draw together to spell a message
A spiraling code meant just for you.
Your cry of excitement after you read the words
Won’t scare me as I begin my descent
Won’t divert me from my path, from my struggle against the wind.
For I was made for this task of flight, my last fit of love and bravery
With you holding on for dear life to my fiery feathers.
For I was born to carry you home.


Artwork by Sohini Ghose

Katya de Becerra is the author of two novels, What The Woods Keep, which The Bulletin described as “a thoughtful and compelling horror fantasy”, and Oasis, which earned a starred review from Booklist. A Russian-Australian Melbournian, Katya holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Melbourne and lectures at the Swinburne University of Technology. Katya’s poetry was short-listed for the 2011 Blemish Books Triptych Series and appeared in Dot Dot Dash, and Ygdrasil Journal of the Poetic Arts, while her short stories were published in Dark Edifice Literary Magazine, and most recently in The Only One in the World: a Sherlock Holmes anthology.

Sohini Ghose is an editor and proofreader of over 300 books, including the 2012 Nobel-winner Mo Yan’s book Pow! She has also authored children’s textbooks, which are currently being studied in schools across India. Her current passion is creating digital collages, which she uses as a tool to observe and comment on the world around her.

1 Comment

  1. Brian Potts



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