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.

Where Spaces Glow— Francis Catalano

May 14, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY CHRISTINE TIPPER

where-spaces-glow-francis-catalano-christina-tipper-french-poems

Image Used for Representation

WHERE SPACES GLOW

 

America archaic earth
sandless sandglass
North America Named America
Pangea fragment that advances where slowly
its stones spread
sealed to a lithic secret the Laurentia unrolls
its own granite conveyor
that disembowels oceans’ backs
through the openwork of a puzzle eye squinting I scrutinise
the continent dismantling itself
drifting incisively it’s a chariot
flat on its face excessive
grating basalt since its scraped to the core
it’s an infra-America and its North plunges
cape first into the equator
flush fitting as modelled by mineral sheaves
slabs pledged to its hesitant
nuptial martial march like bones
from a fractured skull whose calluses
adjust adjoin push
– at the speed of hairs
on the damaged head of a convalescent

Laurentia crouched under America
I return by the ochre countenance of your beaches
the abundant curves of an oscilloscope
to notice oh gothic forest
how Laurentians remember you again and again
the duration of a thunderous season
has smoothed out the traces of your lakes
reverting to tireless fleeting ectoplasm
the water reflects the glacier’s obstinacy
to shake the mountains on the ends of their chains
– look in the bottom of the crater
the meteorite recalls the moon’s tremors
look what the lakes raise to the surface in clumps
drawing with the dry points of pliant stilts
your deficient platforms Laurentia
as soon as they reach dry land they magnetise you
as they relinquish ice so too
your memory drips away


Crouched by the side of the abyss I imagine
a reversible world for me where time
would reach its end like a film shown backwards
we’d see Columbus Cabot Cortes Cartier Champlain
copyright in hand rewound
the Incas perhaps discover Europe
Homo Laurentientis tracked by immaculate beasts
moves backwards on Beringia in flower
we’d see trees drop next to their fruits
the rain reintegrating the dehydrated cumulus
in torrents from the bottom up
from the cross-hairs of prehistoric times man surges forth
but it’s history that hits him
straight through the heart where the reversible pours out
I watch him flee the past
flee from it by a gaping hole in his chest
he distances himself from his own ills
that pass to healing seeking perishing
these his only remission
– for before becoming remedy America
was a “ready-made”


The shadow of a deer lures me in
up to the crackling constriction of ice
what else should I slave away at
carrying some more bundles of sticks on my back
what else should I try my luck at
the North-West is so well housed under the pituitary gland
walking a long time a very long time
exhausted over seas and worlds
stepping over straits atolls capes cordillera
I am chilled I am a sieve for the cold
I blow down the neck of man
– the moon is an incrusted eye in the void
it just manages to follow my odyssey through its cataract
inlandsis dazzles me then dulls me
as absent as Siberian I disappear in artic
zigzags reappear on the Aleutians
among prognathic profiles
flint slivers I advance with silent steps
a billion others to come taunt the femur arc
mouth full of caverns I come
my spurting seed a fixed jet
for kissing the scaly laugh
posted on the horizon


It was gently snowing
on the continental plate
like it had snowed during the entire stone age
a simple blip on the DNA
drew me towards the tourniquet of nomadism
this fall to timid Animal
it’s the Bear and Star poles ablaze
– it’s another black hole
opening onto a white hole
several skies impaled in the neck
reach the Ungava triangle while the climate
removes its shawls one by one
the ice lacking fervour returns to water
there only there to discover by a tap
of a palm on the lips
that from the depths of a throat may rise
a cry purer than a hook


Also, read Two Hindi Poems by Kavita Bhatt translated from the Hindi by Moulinath Goswami and published in The Antonym:

Two Hindi Poems— Kavita Bhatt


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Francis Catalano

Francis Catalano

Francis Catalano, a poet, translator, novelist, short story writer and essayist, holds an MA in Literary Studies from the University of Quebec in Montreal, with a thesis on The 1634 relationship of the Jesuit Paul Lejeune and on the Writings of New France. As a scholarship holder, he studied at the Università La Sapienza in Rome. He has published the following poetry books: Climax (2022), Douze avrils (2018), Au coeur des esquisses (2014), Qu’une lueur des lieux (2010, winner of the Quebecor Prize of the Trois-Rivières International Poetry Festival and finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards of Canada), Panoptikon (2005), M’atterres (2002), Index (2001) and Romamor (1999). His poetic texts have been translated into English, Italian, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Ukrainian, Catalan, Occitan. In translation have appeared Where spaces glow (Toronto), Lo global y lo invisibile (Guadalajara), La fatiga de las estrellas (Lima) and Schizzi di Milano (Messina). He has also published a poetic autofiction essay, L’origine du futur (2021), a collection of short stories, Qu’il fasse ce temps (2020) and a novel, On achève parfois ses romans en Italie (2012). As translator of poetry, he has published Le vase brisé by Valerio Magrelli and Instructions pour la lecture d’un journal by the same author (John Glassco Translation Prize, 2006), as well as Yellow by Antonio Porta and Bouche secrète by Fabio Scotto. He is editor of the poetry magazine Exit. 

 

 

Christine Tipper

Christine Tipper

Dr Christine Tipper is a poet, writer, translator, interpreter and artist. She is a member of the Society of Authors, UK. She holds a PhD on the works of Alain Bosquet, an MA in Literary Translation French-English and a PGCE from the University of Exeter, UK. She has taught at the University of Bath as course director for the MA in Translation and interpreting. She has presented at international conferences and has worked in the professional world as a translator and interpreter. She speaks English, French, Spanish and Nepali. Her literary publications of poetry, novels and plays include: Changing Shores, Nadine Ltaif, (Guernica Editions); Where Spaces Glow, Francis Catalano (Guernica Editions); Smile, you’re getting old, Evelyne Wilwerth (Guernica Editions); I write these words, Lélia Young (Inanna); Images, Louise Bouchard (Guernica Editions); Journeys by Nadine Ltaif (Guernica Editions); 12 French-Canadian poets in translation – Martine Audet, Paul Belanger, Francis Catalano, Denise Desautels, Patrice Desbiens, Louise Dupré, Carole Forget, Dominique Gaucher, Gerald Gaudet, Nadine Ltaif, Nelly Roffe, Lélia Young (The High Window, 2020). She wrote subtitles for two films by the Canadian film maker, Hejer Charf: Autour de Maïr (2015) and Béatrice, un siècle (2018)

 

 

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