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.

Chairs Photo Series & Other Poems— Fabián O. Iriarte

Nov 18, 2022 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Spanish by Donny Smith 
Chairs Photo Series 

like snares that inexorable keep us
tied to the passage of time

seated on the sphinx
like worthless riddles

we wonder what our next
conundrum will be and if we’ll be capable
of expressing it at least.

Translation Workshop 

we were finding that everything was connected
but one does not know how to describe the world

(and less even those moments of grace
in which is imminent something)

(and though it may not descend as tongues of fire
suffices to feel
its presence).

Description Of His Obsession 

…the power of some animal is predominant in every language

Christopher Smart , Jubilate Agno (1759-63)

though i once knew how to write and though sometimes i shouted and other times roared kneeling in the streets and in the park’s fire of pleasure so pleasurable its extermination a praeternatural excitement to prayer which he held… as a duty not to control or repress, yes to praise everything, yes to insult everything to offend everything when the ages matter not nor the sands nor the quadrants of the sun nor the compasses nor the waterclocks, nor the rudders it took possession of the world, it was my language, i was my beast. 

 On a visit to the Guggenheim Museum

for Margaret Carson and Bárbara Gasalla

In July 2013 for the first time in my life, I went to New York. When I entered the Guggenheim Museum (at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 89th Street) I looked up and saw that the oculus had been “blinded.” It was a show by James Turrell. All the building’s interior walls, which unroll like an endless spiral, were “naked,” but covered with pitiless light. A changing light, that produced hypnotic effects on the visitors: after a few seconds, they lay down on the museum floor and began to murmur, as if taken by the gift of tongues. To make up for the blinding, the artist had opened other holes. Conceptual, optical, fake holes. You went into them and did not come back. Several people were lost; they have never been seen again. People talk about virtuality with contempt, but virtue is real. When I left, desperate, it was night, or so it seemed. Maybe night was a fake hole. Now my eyes, covered with light, are always blinded by the night’s fullness, perversely.

Also, read a Hindi short story by Kamal Kumar, translated into English by Sharmista De:

Mother Mary— Kamal Kumar

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Fabián O. Iriarte (born in 1963, in Laprida, Argentina) has published several collections of poetry, and his work has been included in the anthologies Poesía erótica argentina and Poesía gay de Buenos Aires. He teaches at the Universidad de Mar del Plata.

Donny Smith was born in Nebraska but teaches at a high school in Istanbul. Books he has translated include Pigeonwoman by Cemal Süreya (with A. Karakaya), I Too Went to the Hunt of a Deer by Lâle Müldür, and If Cutting Off the Head of the Gorgon by Wenceslao Maldonado.


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