Tradition (Volume 12, Summer Issue)

Page 1

Like distant music these words that he had written years before wereborne towards him from the past.

Journal of Literary Translation
The Trinity
(JOLT) Volume 12, Summer Issue
Mar cheol i bhfad igcéin, seoladh na focail a scríobh sé na blianta ó shin, ina threo, ón saol atá thart.


This issue is kindly supported by:

The publication is funded partly by the DU Trinity Publications Commiittee.

The publication claims no special rights or privileges.

All serious complaints may be directed towards or Chair, Trinity Publications, House 6, Trinity College, Dublin 2. Appeals may be directed to the Press Council of Ireland.

Get involved with Trinity Publications through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or email


Trinity Journal of Literary Translation

Editorial Staff 2023/24


Eoghan Conway

Deputy Editor

General Assistant Editor

Caroline Loughlin

Oonagh Delargy

Alex Payne

Art Editor

Maya Baum

Language Editors

Ilaria Lico

Ioana Răducu

Ailis Halligan

Nicole Battù

Eduardo Pinheiro

Michelle Chan Schmidt

Sinéad Ní Cheallaigh

Layout & Design Editor Faculty Advisor

Ayushmaan Kumar Yadav

Dr. Peter Arnds


I sunk my hands into tradition sifting the centuries for words. This quiet excitement was not new: emotion challenged me to make it sayable… What was I doing with these foreign words? I, the polisher of the complex clause, wizard of grasses and warlock of birds, midnight-oiled in the metric laws?

from A Farewell to English, Michael Hartnett

The prolific Irish author and translator Frank O’Connor stated that translation from a specific language tradition is to “to look back (in order) to look forward”.  Upon reflection and consideration tradition acts as an omnipresent force that imposes itself on communication, writing, language, doctrines and translation. From the folktales of the Tuatha Dé Danann and their appearance in contemporary Irish writings to the romancero tradition and its influence on Spanish poetry, tradition can regulate, inspire and constrict.

As we ponder on tradition, JoLT is also looking forward as we break with tradition by launching our inaugural summer issue. I am delighted to share the following pages which are varying in the examination of tradition and what its presence or even lack thereof means to our superb contributors and artists.

I wish to give a few words of thanks to all those who have made this publication possible. To Bridget and the team at Bullaun Press, many thanks for coming on board and helping with the funding of this issue. The ability to go to print and to have the tangible copies you currently hold is invaluable.

To all the editorial team, I’m extremely grateful to each and every one of you. I am truly indebted to you all. Your attention to detail, responsiveness and professionalism has been second to none. To Caroline, my Deputy Editor, many thanks for your patience and assistance amid the flurry of emails and WhatsApp messages. To Ayushmaan, Layout & Design Editor, your skill and creative flair has greatly helped to produce such a beautiful publication.

Finally to all contributors, both past and present, published and unpublished, without you this journal would not exist nor could it be sustained. I once again thank you.

Le meas, Eoghan Conway

Volume 12, Summer Issue “Tradition”

Penny Stuart- In her house they had to go to Mass every week. It was non negotiable



‘In her house they had to go to Mass every week. It was non negotiable’ art by Penny Stuart

‘Le Dormeur du Val’ trans. by Ciara Gallagher

French to English

‘Vozes-Mulheres’ trans. by Nayara Güércio

Portuguese to English

‘Kõigest on kirjutatud’ trans. by Eduardo Torres

Estonian to English

‘Futuro’ trans. by Eduardo Torres

Spanish to English

‘Riddle 40/1 [ASPR #42 & 43]’ trans. by Aaron Hostetter

Old English to English

‘Dance in the Demesne, in To Star the Dark’ trans. by Andrea Bergantino and Gaia


English to Italian

‘Sheela-na-gig’ art by Ella Sloane

‘It was the month’s mind that she dreaded’ art by Penny Stuart

‘Forty Years’ trans. by Ana Olivares Muñoz Ledo

English to Spanish

‘Scheherazade’ trans. by Tyan Priss

English to French

‘Literatur’ trans. by Sarah G Robinson

German to English

‘Valaisian Quatrains’ trans. by James Owens

French to English

‘Gravitacije’ trans. by Katarina Gadže

Bosnian to English

‘VILNIUS’ trans. by Agne Kniuraite

Lithuanian to English

– Les Mots’ trans. by Aimilia Varla

Greek to English

‘eucariotes’ trans. by Alison Entrekin

Portuguese to English

‘sinéad’ art by Ava Cashell

Contents 6 7 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 23 24 26 28 30 36 40 48 50 52

‘It was time for the family holiday…2 weeks in the sun…they went to the ’ art by Penny Stuart

‘Metamorphoses 10.11-63’ trans. by Honor Faughnan

Latin to English

‘Pescador di l’onda’ trans. by Aoife Dalton

Corsican to English

‘看一青年舞劍’ trans. by Michelle Chan Schmidt ( 孫樂澄)

Chinese to English

‘Някъде свещ’ trans. by Yana Ellis

Bulgarian to English

‘Balún Canán’ trans. by R. Esau Sanchez

Spanish to English

‘The Names of the Dead are Lighning’ trans. by Tara O’Sullivan

English to Irish

‘Miss Grief’ trans. by Francesca Corsetti

English to Italian

‘Buddenbrooks’ trans. by Aoibh Ní Chroimín

German to Irish

‘p. 50-52 from Eva Luna’ trans. by Helena Gelman

Spanish to English

‘Hard back book 2’ art by Penny Stuart

всегда твердил, что судьба — игра’ trans. by Cian Dunne Russian to Irish

‘Songes d’un Hermite’ trans. by Katarina Gadže

French to English

‘Las jaulas, short story in La Vida Sumergida’ trans. by Cristina Barroso Spanish to English

art by Naemi Dehde
53 54 58 60 64 68 72 74 80 84 88 89 90 94 100 102
of The Translations of Seamus Heaney’ written by Anastasia Fedosova

French Le Dormeur du Val

This poem was written by the French poet Arthur Rimbaud in 1870 at the age of 16. Tradition is at the core of this poem. The tradition of war, the custom of sending young men to their deaths, the practice of letting them die alone, the nameless soldiers constrained by convention to fight and the enduring tragedy of the outcome. Tradition in this context is something that conscripts and constrains.

C’est un trou de verdure où chante une rivière Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons D’argent ; où le soleil, de la montagne fière, Luit : c’est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.

Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue, Et la nuque baignant dans les frais cresson bleu, Dort ; il est étendu dans l’herbe, sous la nue, Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut.

Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme : Nature, berce-le chaudement : il a froid.

Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine ; Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine Tranquille . Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.


It is a hole in the foliage where a river sings Clinging madly to the ragweed Of silver; where the sun on the proud mountain Shines: the foaming rays of a small valley.

A young soldier, mouth agape, head bare, The nape of his neck bathed in the cool blue cress, Sleeping; he is stretched out on the grass, under the clouds, Pale in his green bed where the light rains down.

Feet in the gladioli, he sleeps. Smiling Like a sick child would smile, he rests: Nature, rock him warmly, he is cold.

The fragrances do not make his nostril twitch; He sleeps in the sun, a hand on his tranquil chest. He has two red holes in his right side.

11 English
The Sleeper of the Valley Translated by

Portuguese Vozes-Mulheres

Conceição Evaristo

The poem engages with the theme of tradition (and its inherent rupture) by narrating how it shapes the lives of Afro-Brazilian women across generations; and how the resonating echoes of the past continue to reverberate in the present influenced by the memories and strife of those who came before. Evaristo occupies a central and vital role within the realm of Afro-Brazilian literature. Her literary works stand as a profound tribute to her ancestors.

A voz de minha bisavó ecoou criança nos porões do navio. ecoou lamentos de uma infância perdida. A voz de minha avó ecoou obediência aos brancos-donos de tudo. A voz de minha mãe ecoou baixinho revolta no fundo das cozinhas alheias debaixo das trouxas roupagens sujas dos brancos pelo caminho empoeirado rumo à favela.

A minha voz ainda ecoa versos perplexos com rimas de sangue e fome.

A voz de minha filha recolhe todas as nossas vozes recolhe em si as vozes mudas caladas engasgadas nas gargantas. A voz de minha filha recolhe em si a fala e o ato.

O ontem – o hoje – o agora. Na voz de minha filha se fará ouvir a ressonância o eco da vida-liberdade.


My great-grandmother’s voice echoed innocently in the bowels of the ship. It echoed the sorrows of a lost childhood.

My grandmother’s voice echoed obedience to them white masters of everything.

My mother’s voice echoed rebellion, quietly in the back of other people’s kitchens underneath the bundles of dirty garments worn by the whites along the dusty path towards the favela.

My voice still echoes perplexed verses with blood-tinged rhymes and hunger.

My daughter’s voice gathers all our voices gathers within herself the silent silenced voices strangled in our throats. My daughter’s voice gathers within herself the speech and the deed. Yesterday – today – and now. In my daughter’s voice resonance will be heard the echo of a free life.

13 English Voices-Women

Estonian Kõigest on kirjutatud

Kaplinski’s text speaks of the decay of tradition, of words wearing into meaninglessness. ‘Meaningless’, neither sinnlos nor unsinnig, but something darker, more existentially threatening: the inability to say something meaningful, something that matters. Yet the world still has meaning. We might just need to find new words to express it.

Kõigest on kirjutatud, kõigest on lauldud. Ja see, mis veel kirjutatakse-lauldakse, loeb ikka vähem, kostab ikka nõrgemalt läbi meretuule õunapuudes ja kuldnokapoegade näljase sädina pesakastides luuletajate peade kohal. Mida kauem elad, räägid ja kirjutad, seda selgemaks saab, et elad saarel, mis on vana ja kulunud ja selle saare all on teine saar, lähemal tulele, lähemal ehk tõelegi, kuid kaugemal sõnadest, mida meie siin ütleme üksteisele ja Läänemere tuulde.


Everything has been written about, everything has been sung about. And what is written and sung matters even less, sounds even weaker through the sea breeze in the apple trees and the hungry chatter of the starling hatchlings in the nesting boxes upon the poets’ heads.

The longer you live, speak, and write, the clearer it becomes that you live on an island that is old and worn and below this island there is another island, closer to the fire, that is, closer to the truth, yet beyond the words that we here say to each other and to the wind of the Baltic Sea.

15 English Everything has been written about

Spanish Futuro Rosario Castellanos

A comforting promise and a faithful act of reliance, trust and conviction. You, young poet, just like the hundreds before you—those who have achieved immortality—you too, shall live forever; you’ll die, but your words won’t. You will be one with the tradition. And tradition never dies.

El viento no se rompe aunque se parta en ráfagas. Sal hay una y no más, blanca y desmenuzada.

Ya verás cómo viene como en el sorbo el agua, como el mar en la ola, como el fuego en la llama.

Ya verás cómo sube de ser semilla a rama. Ya verás cómo pasa de instante a hora sagrada.

Ya está y aún no lo adviertes, ya mueres y aún te alarmas. Porque es tuya, eres tú y lo que es más tú: el tuétano, la sangre, la palabra.


The wind does not break even if it splits in gusts. Salt is one and no more, white and ground.

You shall see how it comes like water in a sip, as the sea in the wave, like fire in the flame.

You shall see how it grows From seed to bough. You shall see how it turns From instant into sacred hour.

It is here and you still don’t notice you die and you are not alarmed yet. Because it is yours, it is you, and what is even more you: the marrow, the blood, the word.

17 English Future


Few poetic archives are so hemmed in by “Tradition” as Old English, so much that most of its translations sound the alike. These two riddles, though united in the manuscript, are held to be two items because their subjects must necessarily be different. My approach recognizes their continuities & explores their unity.

Ic seah wyhte wrǣtlīce twā undearnunga ūte plegan hǣmed-lāces. Hwīt-loc anfeng wlanc under wǣdum, gif þæs weorces spēow, fǣmne fyllo. Ic on flette mæg þurh rūn-stafas rincum secgan, þām þe bēc wītan, bega ætsomne naman þāra wihta. Þær sceal Nȳd wēsan twēga oþer ond se torhta æsc

ān ān līnan, Ācas twēgen, Hægelas swā sōme. Hwylc þæs hord-gates cǣgan cræfte þā clamme onlēac þe þā rǣdellan wið rȳne-menn hyge-fæste heold heortan bewrigene orþonc-bendum? Nū is undyrne werum æt wīne hū þā wihte mid ūs, hēan-mōde twā, hātne sindon.

Ic wāt indryhtne æþelum dēorne giest in geardum, þām se grimma ne mæg hungor sceððan ne se hāta þurst, yldo ne adle. Gif him ārlīce esne þēnað, se þe āgan sceal on þām sið-fate, hȳ gesunde æt hām findað witode him wiste ond blisse, cnōsles unrīm. Care, gif se esne his hlaforde hȳreð yfle, frēan on fōre. Ne wile forht wēsan broþor oþrum — him þæt bām sceðeð, þonne hȳ from bearme begen hwēorfað ānre māgan ellor-fūse, mōddor ond sweostor. Mon, se þe wille, cȳþe cȳne-wordum hū se cuma hātte, eðþa se esne, þe ic hēr ymb sprice.

Old English Riddle 40/1 [ASPR #42 & 43]

I spotted two lovely things outside at play, that game of fucking — who cares who saw?

Shining locks, proud under plume, she might get it, if the task triumphs — a whole bellyful of it.

Here on the floor, their scratch of secrets — I could tell others, those what know books, the names of both those players together.

Where do you Need it, one time, two times?

An Ash that bright — one time, one time, rowed up single line. Gimme a two: Oak, Hailstone — lined up just the same.

Take your pick — any of them really unclutches the curbs about a hoard’s close with sly keys that keeps these riddles secure against scryer, pith wrangled in cunning chains. Now it’s put plain to the companionable what to call those two things among us, proudly lurid…

I know a ghost hangs in these haunts, huffling off too soon, haughty within, a ferocity favorable to society’s favorites.

Not dreadful dearth nor burning thirst, can impair her, maim her — neither age nor illness.

So if her servant proves serviceable, the one whose sole task is holding her along their wending way, they would certainly claim, once hale in harbor, feast & festival, kindred infinite —

but a harrowing should that hire hie to her poorly, his master on the march.

OK, so one brother should never deem to dismay the other — no, such trauma to them both — when they, itching to be gone, embark from embraces of that one, someone familiar, like mother & sister both…

You there — you who wants it, put it simple & put it plain, what to call that visitor or their helper, those I speak about here.

19 English
Riddle 40/41

Dance in the Demesne, in To Star the Dark

“Dance in the Demesne” challenges the traditional view of poetry at the very level of layout. Being arranged in a circle rather than fragmented into lines, this poem creates an effect of continuity that makes the reading experience ongoing. Our translation recreates the ‘twirls’ of Ní Ghríofa’s poem in Italian.

autumn dawn

: beech trees, six sisters in frocks

20 English
ofgossamerand chiffon moss , whil e we s t a n d , s h evi r gni ni t eh gof ot ,hctaw nedlogrieht ,snirg rieht, telgnir ,slruc rieht gnihsulb striks lriwtdnalriwtlla , ldnakoo , won –l koo , t h e y a r e d a nc ing s t i ll, t hroughthe ballroomofan
Italian Danza silvestre
organzae orditodi musch i o , ment re n oi c e n e s t omai itnamert allen aibben enravressoa i isirros ,oro’d i ,iloccob el ennog ehc is onarigeonodnecca e igonar , e draug a aro –g u a r d a, s tanno ancora danzando, nellasaladi un’alba d’autunno:
faggio, sei sorelle in
Ella Sloane - Sheela-na-gig

Penny Stuart- It was the month’s mind that she dreaded


English Forty Years

Every day, like a drop of water eroding the stone, language is used, we live in it, around it but, what does it actually mean to speak a language? Language, in a broad sense, allows us to build our traditions: those activities we do everyday, who we are. However, as Mary Oliver says in Forty Years, language is nothing really, it eludes us, even if we chase it around for more than forty years.

For forty years

The sheets of white paper have Passed under my hands and I have tried To improve their peaceful Emptiness putting down Little curls like shafts of letters words

Little flames leaping

Not one page

Was less to me than fascinating Discursive full of cadence

Its pale nerves hiding

In the curves of the Qs

Behind the soldierly Hs

In the webbed feet of the Ws

Forty years

And again this morning as always I am stopped as the world comes back Wet and beautiful I am thinking That language

Is not even a river

Is not a tree is not a green field

Is not even a black ant travelling

Briskly modestly

From day to day from one Golden page to another


Durante cuarenta años las hojas de papel blanco han pasado por mis manos y yo he intentado mejorar su sosegada vacuidad colocando pequeñas curvas como andamios de letras palabras pequeñas flamas brincando ni una sola página me era menos fascinante que la anterior discursos llenos de cadencias sus nervios pálidos escondiéndose en las curvas de las cus detrás de las haches marciales en las patas palmeadas de las dobleús cuarenta años

y otra vez esta mañana como siempre me detengo conforme el mundo regresa húmedo y hermoso estoy pensando que el lenguaje no es ni siquiera un río ni un árbol ni un prado verde ni una hormiga negra viajando a paso modesto y vigoroso

día con día de una página dorada a otra

25 Spanish Cuarenta

English Scheherazade

Retelling and reimagining stories to fit your own is a millennia-long tradition followed by both Siken and, before him, his poem’s inspiration, legendary storyteller Scheherazade. Here, Siken uses her myth to describe a love that, like Scheherazade’s tales, never quite ends and always offers more.

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake and dress them in warm clothes again. How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running until they forget that they are horses.

It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere, it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio, how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple to slice into pieces.

Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means we’re inconsolable.

Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.

These, our bodies, possessed by light. Tell me we’ll never get used to it.


Raconte-moi ce rêve où l’on tire les corps hors du lac pour leur remettre leurs vêtements chauds.

Qu’il était tard, et personne ne pouvait dormir, les chevaux galopant jusqu’à ce qu’ils oublient d’être chevaux.

Ce n’est pas comme un arbre dont les racines doivent prendre fin, c’est plus comme une chanson à la radio d’un policier, que l’on a roulé le tapis pour danser, et les jours étaient rouge vif, et chaque fois que l’on s’embrassait il y avait une autre pomme à couper en morceaux. Regarde la lumière à travers la fenêtre. Cela veut dire qu’il est midi, cela veut dire que nous sommes inconsolables.

Raconte-moi comment tout ceci, et l’amour aussi, causeront notre perte.

Ceci, nos corps, possédés de lumière.

Dis-moi que l’on ne s’y habituera jamais.

French Shéhérazade Translated by Tyan Priss

German Literatur

‘Literatur’ is a playful, introspective reflection on personal tradition and practise as it relates to writing and creativity. Its wry, buoyant take on conventional versification forms part of a magical poetry collection decoding the routines and traditions of everyday life.

Alte Pferde rannten gleichzeitig los Ich trank Champagner und setzte auf alle Ich trank Champagner und setzte auf keines An meinem Schreibtisch kroch eine Schnecke Über meine gefrorenen Hände auf der Tastatur Die Lebensspanne einer Schildkröte Habe ich hier über zwei Zeilen gegrübelt Alle Pferde rannten gleichzeitig los Und ich setzte mich auf keines Ich fing ein Pferd und versuchte, es zu zähmen Also ich aufgab, benannte ich es Und es war ein Gedicht


All the horses set off at once I drank champagne and bet on each I drank champagne and bet on none At my desk a snail was creeping over my frozen hands on the keyboard I’m about to spent two lines pondering the lifespan of a turtle

All the horses set off at once and I sat myself on none of them I caught a horse and tried to tame it When I gave up, I named it and it was a poem

29 English Literature

French Valaisian Quatrains

Living in the Valais region of Switzerland during the final years of his life, Rilke was interested in, and carefully observed, the culture of the local people. In these selections from the Quatrains, he notices the survival of traditional, pre-Christian practices in the vineyards of the surrounding farmers.


Pays silencieux dont les prophètes se taisent, pays qui prépare son vin; où les collines sentent encore la Genèse et ne craignent pas la fin!

Pays, trop fier pour désirer ce qui transforme, qui, obéissant à l’été, semble, autant que le noyer et que l’orme, heureux de se répéter.

Pays dont les eaux sont presque les seules nouvelles, toutes ces eaux qui se donnent, mettant partout la clarté de leurs voyelles entre tes dures consonnes!


Vois-tu, là-haut, ces alpages des anges entre les sombres sapins?

Presque célestes, à la lumière étrange, ils semblent plus que loin.

Mais dans la claire vallée et jusques aux crétes, quel trésor aérien!

Tout ce qui flotte dans l’air et qui s’y reflète entrera dans ton vin.


Land beyond the prophets’ words, in silence you ripen your wine where the hills retain an air of Genesis and do not fear the end.

Land too proud to desire what transforms, obedient to the season, you appear, like the walnut and the elms, content with repetition.

Land where water is nearly the only news, your freshets’ rippling tone, and everywhere the clarity of their vowels quickens your consonant stone.

Do you see, up there, angelic pastures among sombre stands of fir? Almost celestial, in this strange light, they seem farther than far.

But in the limpid valley and up to the crests, what a rich, aerial shine!

All this that glides and glows upon the air will filter into your wine.

31 English
Valaisian Quatrains

Ô ces autels où l’on mettait des fruits avec un beau rameau de térébinthe ou de ce pâle olivier—et puis la fleur qui meurt, écrasée par l’étreinte.

Entrant dans cette vigne, trouverait-on l’autel naïf, caché par la verdure? La Vierge même bénirait la mûre offrande, égrainant son carillon.

Portons quand même à ce sanctuaire tout ce qui nous nourrit: le pain, le sel, ce beau raisin ... Et confondons la mère avec l’immense règne maternel.

Cette chapelle, à travers les âges, relie d’anciens dieux aux dieux futurs, et l’ancien noyer, cet arbre-mage, offre son ombre comme un temple pur.

32 French 10

Oh, those altars where they left fruit with a lovely terebinth branch or pale olive—and then the dying flower, crushed by an embrace.

Entering this vineyard, will we find the naïve altar, hidden by lush green? Even the Virgin would bless the ripe offering, telling the beads of her carillon.

Nevertheless, let us carry into this sanctuary all that nourishes us: bread, salt, the grape …. And invite Mother Mary under Mother Nature’s tall vault.

This chapel, through the ages, unites old god with future god, and the ancient walnut, tree of sages, offers the pure temple of its shade.

33 English

L’année tourne autour du pivot de la constance paysanne; la Vierge et Sainte Anne disent chacune leur mot.

D’autres paroles s’ajoutent plus anciennes encor— elles bénissent toutes, et de la terre sort

cette verdure soumise qui, par un long effort, donne la grappe prise entre nous et les morts.

Tout ici chante la vie de naguère, non pas dans un sens qui détruit le demain; on devine, vaillants, dans leur force première le ciel et le vent, et la main et le pain.

Ce n’est point un hier qui partout se propage arrêtant à jamais ces anciens contours: c’est la terre contente de son image et qui consent à son premier jour.

34 French 13

The year turns on the pivot of peasant constancy; the Virgin and Saint Anne have each her part to say.

Other, more ancient, words add their own worth— they bless all things, and from the earth

comes this cultivated verdure that, by its long labor, supplies the grapes where we and the dead have our share.

Here all sings the olden life, but not because the future is dead; we sense, valiant, in their prime strength, sky and wind, and hand and bread.

It is no yesterday that hovers over these ancient contours and makes them stay: it is the earth satisfied with its shape and still consenting to its primal day.

35 English



Senka Marić

A dialogue with ancient traditions and “compositions” of one’s identity from the fragments inherited, Gravities grounds us in an incredibly beautiful reckoning with what it means to grow up as a woman in the presence of internally fractured opposites, marked by a passage of time where a woman’s place appears changed only in name.

Uvukle smo se u štalu, sakrile se iza sijena i gledale Fazliju kako se oko Medave zabavio. Babo je držao za rogove, a ona, garibica, mukala ko da je kolju. Razija mi govorila na uho: Eno vidiš, Đulse, Fazlija hoće da joj ruku u guzicu zabije da izvuče tele, a ona mu ne da.

On gura ruku u nju, razvlači. Ona uzmiče i muče. Žao mi Medave, ne znam gdje je tele. Vruće mi. Najradije bih pobjegla majki. Ne smijem od Razije. Nikad me više nigdje ne bi povela. Medava se puše ko balon, uzdiše. Fazlijine ruke uhvatile mala kopita što su izvirila iz nje i vuku, vuku. Medava muče glasno, bolno. Tele isklizne iz nje. Ljepljivo, mokro, povijenih nogu, opuštene glave. Babo i Fazlija ga hvataju, polijevaju vodom i dižu na noge. Medava stoji i gleda negdje pred sebe, u trule daske štale. Nešto bjelkasto, ljigavo i krvavo visi iz nje. Razija kaže: Isto vako si ti iz majke ispala.

Ne przni kad jedeš. To je govorila. Rukom skupljala mrvice po stolu, dlanom. Pa prstima, jednu po jednu, s poda.

Ne przni, ružan će ti biti muž. Imam osam godina i ne treba mi muž. Đulsa to kaže kao da se mora imati muž. Onda mislim da ga i ja moram imati. Boli me stomak. Ne mogu ni da jedem više. Nisam ni bila gladna. Stavila je kuhinjsku krpu na stol. Na nju tanjir s grahom i šnitu kupovnog hljeba. Gledaj kako si mršava, jedi, niko te neće htjet takvu. Hljeb se sam od sebe truni čim ga dirneš. Mrve se rasipaju na sve strane. Ne przni, ne przni!

Počinjem misliti da je to najgore što mi se može desiti. Da pored toga što imam muža, on još bude i ružan. Jesi li i ti prznila, neno? Đulsa šuti.


We sneak into the barn, hide behind the hay, and watch Fazlija, who has his hands full with Medava. Papa is holding Medava by the horns, and she, poor thing, is mooing as if she’s about to be slaughtered.

Razija speaks in my ear: “You see, Julsa, Fazlija wants to put his hand up her ass to pull out the calf, but she won’t let him.”

He thrusts his hand into her andstretches her out. She jumps back and moos. I feel sorry for Medava, I don’t know where her calf is. I’m too hot. I want to run to my mother. I can’t because of Razija. She’d never take me anywhere again. Medava puffs up like a balloon and sighs. Fazlija’s hands grab the little hooves that come out of her and he pulls and pulls. Medava moos loudly and painfully. The calf slips out of her sticky and wet, with legs bent and head relaxed. Papa and Fazlija catch it, pour water over it, and lift it to its feet. Medava stands and looks somewhere in front of her at the rotten barn boards. Something white, slimy, and bloody hangs from her.

Razija says: “The same way you fell out of mother.”

“Don’t throw food on the floor.” She used to say. She would sweep the crumbs from the table with the palm of her hand. Then with her fingers, one by one, from the floor.

“Don’t throw your food on the floor. You’ll have an ugly husband.”

I am eight years old and I don’t need a husband. Julsa says it like you have to have a husband. Then I think I have to have one too. My stomach hurts. I can’t eat anymore. I wasn’t even hungry. She puts a tea towel on the table. On it, a plate of grah[1] stew and a slice of store-bought bread.

“Look how thin you are. Eat. No one will want you like this.”

The bread crumbles on its own as soon as I touch it. Crumbs fall about everywhere.

“Don’t throw your food on the floor. Don’t you throw it!”

I begin to think that this is the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Not only will I have a husbafnd, but he’ll be ugly too.

“Nana, did you also throw your food on the floor?”

Julsa doesn’t say a word.

37 English Gravities
1. Grah is a stew that originated in various Balkan countries, in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It consists of white beans seasoned with garlic and onions and is


Kad me je rodila, umrla je. Tata i ja smo ostali u Hibinoj kući. Hibina kuća je moja kuća. Tu ću naučiti da je žena pokret. Tijelo koje se neprekidno kreće. Niz sitnih radnji, od ranog jutra do duboke, mrkle noći. Neumorna igla u rupičastom tijelu goblena, heklanog stolnjaka, ruka koja trijebi bižu i mohune, gnječi tijesto za hljeb, razvlači jufku, raznolikim modlama oblikuje trideset i šest vrsta sitnih kolača za Novu godinu, uzgaja velike mirisne ruže i fikuse u nemoguće malim saksijama, šije svečane haljine od tamnoljubičastog pliša, na njima tankim koncem veze srebrene ružice, pere sve te džempere na ruke jer će ih mašina uništiti, vuče cekere iz kojih vire stabljike prase, mladog luka i glave tikvi, dotjeruje nokte, premazuje ih crvenom bojom, slaže se s cvjetovima na haljini, istu boju ima i na nogama ako je ljeto i nose se sandale, i frizura će biti besprijekorna, u toj nekoj tankoj rupi u vremenu otrčat će se kod frizera, zatim će je se sedam dana održavati svakodnevnim nanošenjem laka za kosu koji ostavlja praškast okus u ustima, dok se ribaju šerpe i tepisi, i podovi, četveronoške, tijelo ide naprijed-nazad, usvaja neki njemu znan ritam, već počinje da liči na uspavanku, skida store pa trči svako malo u kupatilo da ne propusti trenutak kada treba usuti omekšivač, ne može to odjednom, treba ih odmah izvaditi i paziti kako se razgrću, da se bespotrebno ne gužvaju još više, prije nego se presuše moraju se ispeglati, jednako kao i košulje, dedine i tatine za posla, prašina je jedna od najneumornijih stvari na ovom svijetu, po porculanskim figurama, kristalnim čašama, tamnom namještaju, te ruke sve to trebaju prebrisati, a ručak ne smije izgorjeti, tačno u tri mora biti vruć na stolu, supu pogotovo ne vrijedi jesti ako se ohladi, vruća liječi, a mene, dijete, treba i obući, i nahraniti, i okupati, i držati na oku, a zimnica se neće sama napraviti, ničija nije takva marmelada od kajsija, ni ajvar, kuća miriše na pečene paprike, valja to i izračiti da se ne uvuče u one tek oprane store, neko može ući, ne daj bože, reći poslije nekom drugom da se tu osjeti, ili da je sloj prašine prst debeo, kao da se ništa nije radilo i cijeli dan trčalo kao bez duše da se navečer dobije i vremena za sebe, pa se sjedne pred televizor i plete, plete, plete dok oči ne zabole, a te džempere, šalove i rukavice s pet igala treba isplesti.

Nekad me pogleda i kaže: Đulso, đulsava, kako možeš ležat povazdan.

3. Ficus, a fig producing plant. 4. Ajvar is a condiment made mainly from roasted peppers and eggplants. Ajvar can be eaten

She died after giving birth to me. My dad and I stayed in Hiba’s house. Hiba’s house is my house. There, I will learn that a woman is a movement. A body in perpetual motion. One small move after another, from early morning into deep, dark night. A tireless needle piercing holes in tapestry or a crocheted tablecloth, a hand threshing beans and peas, kneading bread dough, rolling out the yufka[2] sheets, molding thirty-six kinds of small New Year’s cookies of different shapes, growing large fragrant roses and fici[3] in impossibly small pots, sewing festive dresses of dark purple velvet and silver roses she ties with a thin thread, washing all sweaters by hand because the machine will ruin them, carrying the bags with the stems of leeks, spring onions, and squashes sticking out of them, doing her nails and painting them red, they match the flowers on her dress, the same color is on her toenails in the summer when she wears sandals, and her hairstyle is equally flawless, in a rare free moment, she’ll dash off to the hairdresser, then keep the hairstyle for seven days, applying hairspray daily, which leaves a powdery taste in the mouth, while she’s on all fours scrubbing the pots, carpets, and floors, her body moves back and forth, taking on a rhythm that resembles a lullaby, she takes down the curtains and runs to the bathroom every now and then so as not to miss the moment when the fabric softener needs to be added, it can’t all be done at once, they need to be taken out straight away and watched as they unfold, so they don’t wrinkle, they have to be ironed before they dry, just like grandfather’s and father’s work shirts, dust is one of the most tireless things in this world, on the porcelain figurines, the crystal glasses, the dark wood furniture, these hands must wipe everything, and lunch mustn’t burn, it must be served hot at three o’clock sharp, the soup especially isn’t worth eating when it’s cold, cures all ills when it’s hot, and I, a child, must be dressed and fed and bathed and kept an eye on, and the jam isn’t going to make itself, no one makes apricot jam like her, or ajvar[4], the house smells of roasted peppers, that needs to be minded, so it doesn’t get into those freshly washed curtains, someone might come in, god forbid, and tell someone else afterwards, that the house smells or that it has a dust layer as thick as a finger, as if she did nothing all day and ran around without a care in the worldlike a headless chicken, only to have some time for herself in the evening, to sit in front of the TV and knit, knit, knit until her eyes hurt, and with five needles the sweaters, scarves, and the gloves must be knitted. Sometimes, she looks at me and says, “A carbon copy of Julsa. How can you sit around doing nothing all day?”

2. Yufka are very thin sheets of dough made from flour, water, salt and olive oil. The unleavened dough is usually rolled out with a rolling pin until it has a paper-thin consistency. It can be used to make various baked goods, in Bosnia and Herzegovina mainly burek, with different fillings, shapes and sizes.

39 English

Lithuanian VILNIUS

Originally written in Yiddish by Moyshe Kulbak

Translated to Lithuanian by Alfonsas Bukontas

In his 1926 poem ‘Vilné’, Moyshe Kulbak presents a romanticised, nostalgic preWW2 vision of Vilnius, Lithuania, a then predominantly – and classically – Jewish city and centre of Yiddish literary culture. The poem is representative of the traditional understanding of the city’s history, shared by Jews and Gentiles alike.

Su talesu vaikšto kažkas tavo mūrais.

Naktį liūdėdamas vienišas budi mieste. Įsiklauso: seni pereinami kiemai ir šventyklos Aidi lyg apdulkėjus, užkimus širdis.

Tu esi psalmynas iš geležies ir iš molio;

Kiekviena siena – melodija, kiekvienas akmuo – malda, Kai liejasi mėnesiena į kabališkas gatves Ir iškyla tavo stingdantis nuogas grožis.

Liūdesys – tavo džiaugsmas, bosų gilių džiugesys Choro dermėj, tavo šventės – budynės, Ir tavo paguoda – spinduliuojantis skurdas Lyg priemiesty vasaros tylūs ūkai.

Tu esi Lietuvon įstatytas tamsus talismanas, Apipintas kerpėm ir samanom pilkom; Kiekviena siena – pergamentas, kiekvienas akmuo – šventas raštas, Išdėlioti mįslingai ir praskleisti nakčia, Kai ant senos sinagogos sustiręs vandens nešėjas Stovi ir barzdą užvertęs skaičiuoja žvaigždes.


ISomeone walks your stone walls with a tallit. Lonely, grievingly watches over the city at night. Listens carefully: old transitional yards and sanctuaries Reverberate like a dusty, hoarse heart. You are a psalm-book from iron and clay;

Every wall -- a melody, every stone — a prayer, When moonlight flows into your kabbalistic streets And rises your chilling naked beauty. Sadness — your joy, deep basses rejoicing A choir harmony, your feasts — a vigil, And your solace — a shimmering squalor Like the countryside’s silent summer mist. You are Lithuania’s embedded dark talisman, Covered in lichen and grey moss; Every wall — a parchment, Every stone — holy scripture, Enigmatically placed and spread open at night, When on the old synagogue the rigid water porter Stands, turns up his beard and counts stars.

41 English VILNE[1]
1. Original poem title in Yiddish.

Naktį liūdėdamas vienas budžiu aš mieste: Nė garso aplink. Riogso namai – skudurų krūvos, Vien kaži kur aukštai lajinė žvakelė laša ir mirksi, –Tai kabalistas įsitaisęs palėpėje sėdi

Ir verpia kaip voras dulsvą gyvenimo siūlą: – Ar yra kas nors tolimoj, gūdžioj tuštumoj, Iš kur mes, apkurtę, atklystantį balsą išgirstam?

Ir stovi prieš jį švininis Razielis tamsoj

Senais, aptrintais pergamento sparnais, Jo akiduobės pilnos voratinklių ir smėlio: – Ne, nėra. Tiktai liūdesys, daugiau nieko nėra!.. Žvakė laša. Žalias žydas klausosi suakmenėjęs

Ir tamsį iš angelo akiduobių čiulpia.

Pastogė virš pastogės – kuproto padaro plaučiai, Kuriais tas atsikvepia, snausdamas tarp kalvų.

O gal tu, mieste, esi kabalisto sapnas, Skrendantis per žemę kaip vortinklis rudens pradžioj?

Tu esi psalmynas iš molio ir geležies, Ir pasklidę klajoja tavo blunkančios raidės: Moterys – lyg bandelės, vyrai – stangrūs kaip rąstai; Žvarbios, slaptingos barzdos, pečiai lyg iškalti, Ir akys, judrios, pailgos, kaip luotai upėj – – –

Tavo žydai prie sidabrinės silkės vėlumoj

Mušasi į krūtinę: o Dieve, nusidedam, nusidedam…

Spokso mėnulis pro langus tarytum balta akis –

Ten skarmalai boluoja sukabinėti ant virvės, Lovose kūdikiai guli – geltoni, glitūs vikšrai, Ir mergšių, jau pusiau nuogų, kūnai kaip lentos – – –

Rūstūs tavo žydai tarp gatvių, siaurų ir rūsčių:

Stingsta nebylios jų kaktos nei sinagogos sienos, Ir antakiai samanoja – lyg virš tavo griuvėsių stogai.

Tu esi psalmynas, ant laukų parašytas, Ir kaip varnas giedu tave mėnulio šviesoj, Nes Lietuvoje saulė netekėjo niekada.

42 Lithuanian 2

In sadness at night I watch over the city alone: Not a sound. Houses are standing — a load of rags, Somewhere up there a tallow candle drips and flickers, — The Kabbalist sits in the attic

And weaves the dusty thread of life like a spider’s web: “Is there someone in the distance, in the dreary emptiness, From where we, deafened, hear a wandering voice?” And stands in front of him a lead Raziel in the dark With old, weathered parchment wings, His eye sockets full of spiders and sand: “No, there is not. Only despair, nothing else!…” The candle drips. The green Jew listens petrified And sucks the darkness out of the angel’s sockets. Shed upon shed — the lungs of a hunched creature, With which it breathes, slumbering between hills. Maybe you, city, are the dream of the Kabbalist, Flying across the earth like a spiderweb in early autumn?


You are a psalmbook from iron and clay, And your fading letters dispersedly wander: Women — like pastries, men — strong like logs; Piercing, secretive beards, carved shoulders, And eyes, agile, oblong boats in the river - -Your Jews by the silver herring out late Beat their own chests: oh God, we sin, we sin… The moon watches through the window like a white eye — There rags brightly shine hung on a rope, Babies lay in beds — yellow, sticky caterpillars, And the bodies of jades, already half naked, like planks - -Grave are your Jews between streets narrow and rigid: Their foreheads freeze as your synagogue’s walls, And their eyebrows turn mossy like the rooftops of your ruins. You are a psalm-book, written on fields, And like a crow I sing you in the moonlight, Because in Lithuania the sun never rose.

43 English

Liūdesys – tavo džiaugsmas, bosų gilių džiugesys Choro dermėj, tavo tylusis pavasaris juodas.

Kalas iš mūrų medelis, iš sienų – žolė; Iš senmedžio šliaužia apsnūdę peleniniai žiedai, Ir kyla iš lėto nuo žemės purvinos dilgės, Vien apmirusių sienų šaltis ir nešvara.

Bet pasitaiko nakčia, kai akmenį džiovina vėjelis:

Artėja gatve sidabruodama užsisvajojus būtybė, Užgimus iš skaidriausios vilnies ir mėnulio spindulių –

Tai Vilija atskėlė, miglota ir vėsi.

Ir daili, ir nuoga, su ilgom gaivinančiom rankom –Įžengė į miestą. Išsikreipę žiūri langeliai akli, Ir tiltukai permesti tarp bekalbių mūrų.

O niekas durų neatidarys, neiškiš galvos Pasiteiraut, ko reikėtų persišviečiančiai grakštuolei.

Stebisi kalvos aplink ir bokštai barzdoti, Ir tylu, ir tylu – – –

44 Lithuanian 4

Sadness — your joy, deep basses rejoicing A choir’s harmony, your silent black spring. A sapling sprouts from masonry, grass from walls; From old wood crawl the sleepy, ashy blossoms, And rise slowly from the dirty nettles of the earth, Nothing but the cold and grime of torpid walls. But at night it occurs when the wind breeze dries stone: On the street a shiny, dreamy creature approaches, Born from clearest billow and the light of the moon –Vilija[2] has risen, misty and cool. And lovely, and naked, with long refreshing arms –Stepped into the city. Blind distorted windows watch, And bridges thrown between mute walls. No one will open the door, peek inside And ask, what the translucent grace might need. Hills and beardy towers marvel around, Quiet, quiet - - -

45 English
2. Allusion to the feminine spirit of the river that flows through Vilnius and names the city.

Tu esi Lietuvon įstatytas tamsus talismanas, Ir žmonių pavidalai vos matos tavo gelmėj:

Tolimoj properšoj – balti, spindintys gaonai, Pastangų nugludinti kaulai – smailūs, tvirti; Plieninio bundisto raudoni karšti marškinėliai, Pas žilą Bergelsoną skubantis mėlynas mokinys, Ir jidiš kalba – ąžuolo lapų vainikas

Ant šventiškai kasdienių vartų miestan.

Pilkšva jidiš – tai spindesys primerktuose languose, –Tai aš kaip keleivis prie šulinio pakelėje

Sėdžiu ir jos šiurkščių garsų klausausi.

O gal tai kraujas taip garsiai kunkuliuoja manyje?

Aš miestas esu! Tūkstančiai durų į pasaulį,

Į apskretusią šaltą mėlynę – stogai virš stogų.

Aš – pajuodus liepsna, godžiai laižanti sienas

Ir svetur žėruojanti aštrioje litvako akyje.

Aš – pilkuma! Aš – pajuodus liepsna! Aš – miestas!

Ir ant senos sinagogos sustiręs vandens nešėjas

Stovi ir barzdą užvertęs skaičiuoja žvaigždes.

46 Lithuanian 5

You are Lithuania’s embedded dark talisman, Human form barely seen in your depths: In a distant slit – white, shining Gaonim, The weary bones of effort – sharp and strong; The hot red shirt of the steel Bundist, A blue pupil rushing to the greying Bergelson, And the Yiddish language – an oak leaf wreath On the daily festive city gates.

Greyish Yiddish – a spark in narrow windows, –Like a passenger by a roadside well I sit and listen to her harsh sound. Perhaps it is the blood that simmers within me so loudly?

I am the city! A thousand doors to the world, To the frowsy cold blue – roofs above roofs. I – the blackened flame, greedily licking walls And twinkling in the sharp eye of a Litvak somewhere. I – the grey! I – the blackened flame! I – the city!

And on the old synagogue the rigid water porter Stands, turns up his beard and counts stars.

47 English

Greek Λόγος – Les Mots

Xanthie Tavoularea

The chosen poem focuses on speech. Speech in any form, whether it is written or spoken, has always been a part of tradition, helping it travel in time and passing it on from one generation to another. The poem is yet to be published as a collection of poems in November 2023.

Δεν κατάλαβα ποτέ, αν τα λόγια που γράφω είναι δικά μου, ή κάποιος τα υπαγορεύει.

Σαν να ακολουθώ τον Νου κάποιου και απλώς τον καταγράφω.

Υπάρχουν ποιήματα, μεγάλων ποιητών, που τα έχουν πει όλα. Κι όμως, ίσως οι Άνθρωποι έχουμε ανάγκη ξανά και ξανά, να λέμε, να ακούμε, τα ειπωμένα. Ίσως μέσα από αυτούς του Λόγους, να διαφαίνεται το Άρρητο. Ίσως αυτός να είναι ο προορισμός μας – η ένωση με ό,τι υπάρχει. Και με ό,τι δεν υπάρχει.

Στην επανάληψη αυτή – μέχρι να καταφέρουμε να βγούμε από τον κύκλο, συνεχίζουν να με βρίσκουν κείμενα (ποιητικά, σκληρά ή ευαίσθητα, κάποτε απόκοσμα) και απαιτούν να ειπωθούν.

Να καταγραφούν στα Άρχεία.


I never understood if the words that I’m writing belong to me, or to someone writing them through me. As if I’m following someone’s Thoughts, just writing them down.

There are poems, great poems, that say it all. However, maybe us Humans feel the need to repeat them, again and again, to hear one more time what has already been said.

Maybe after all those Speeches we get to see a glimpse of the unspoken. Maybe this is our destiny - the connection with whatever exists. And whatever doesn’t. Lost in this repetition – in my attempts to escape the vicious circle, Speech keeps finding me (poetic, austere or sensitive, sometimes unsettling) that demands to be heard.

To be written down.

49 English
Speech – Les Mots

Portuguese eucariotes

Adriana Lisboa

While this poem isn’t explicitly about ‘tradition’, Lisboa explores the unspoken violence that underpins a traditional dinner scene.

a pouca luz do abajur camufla os pratos e os talheres à mesa (a preferência seria por holofotes sobre o pedaço de pão?)

parece que mais cedo as crianças foram ao esporte da pesca – esse exercício da morte anunciada oxalá fossem de vidro ou espuma os peixes para que não precisasse haver negociação tão bruta

será que a vida é mesmo um grande arco de violência um holofote rasgando o escuro e morrer seria então o supremo gesto de compaixão?

a pouca luz mal ilumina os pratos os olhos vidrados dos homens sobre a mesa e o sempre subestimado sempre secundário pedaço de pão

a esfarrapada lógica lembra aquela do rapaz que enunciou: plantas e animais não podem ter surgido ao mesmo tempo na escala evolutiva já que um respira o que o outro exala de modo que – diz ele –a própria ideia da evolução é uma falácia (isso de eucariotes há um bilhão e meio de anos) plantas e animais foram criados com um gesto da mão de Deus plantas num dia animais no dia seguinte a vida é um estranho esporte o peixe se debate e se afoga no ar


the dim lamplight camouflages the plates and the cutlery on the table (would the choice be for spotlight on the piece of bread?)

it seems that earlier the children went fishing that sport of death foretold if only the fish scales were made of glass so such brutal negotiation wasn’t necessary

is life really a great arc of violence a spotlight cleaving the darkness and to die then the supreme gesture of compassion?

the threadbare logic is reminiscent of that of the young man who said: plants and animals can’t have appeared at the same time on the evolutionary scale given that one breathes in what the other exhales such that – according to him –the very idea of evolution is a fallacy (the whole thing about eukaryotes one and a half billion years ago) plants and animals were created with a wave of God’s hand plants one day animals the next

life is a strange sport the fish thrashes and drowns in the air the lamp barely lighting the plates the people’s glassy eyes on the table and the always underestimated always secondary piece of bread

51 English eukaryotes
Ava Cashell - sinéad

Penny Stuart- It was time for the family holiday…2 weeks in the sun…they went to the


Latin Metamorphoses 10.11-63


The story of how Orpheus loses his wife for a second time after breaking the hearts of the dead is a tradition to conjure with. This translation highlights how Ovid, much like the Anaïs Mitchells of our time, peels back the layers of tradition to reveal Orpheus’ humanity.

quam satis ad superas postquam Rhodopeius auras defleuit uates, ne non temptaret et umbras, ad Styga Taenaria est ausus descendere porta; perque leues populos simulacraque functa sepulcro Persephonen adiit inamoenaque regna tenentem umbrarum dominum, pulsisque ad carmina neruis sic ait: ‘o positi sub terra numina mundi, in quem reccidimus quidquid mortale creamur, si licet et falsi positis ambagibus oris uera loqui sinitis, non huc ut opaca uiderem Tartara descendi, nec uti uillosa colubris

terna Medusaei uincirem guttura monstri; causa uiae est coniunx, in quam calcata uenenum uipera diffudit crescentesque abstulit annos. posse pati uolui nec me temptasse negabo; uicit Amor. supera deus hic bene notus in ora est; an sit et hic dubito. [...]

[line 28 omitted in this translation]

[...] per ego haec loca plena timoris, per Chaos hoc ingens uastique silentia regni, Eurydices, oro, properata retexite fata. omnia debemur uobis, paulumque morati serius aut citius sedem properamus ad unam; tendimus huc omnes, haec est domus ultima, uosque humani generis longissima regna tenetis. haec quoque, cum iustos matura peregerit annos, iuris erit uestri; pro munere poscimus usum. quod si fata negant ueniam pro coniuge, certum est nolle redire mihi; leto gaudete duorum.’

Talia dicentem neruosque ad uerba mouentem exsangues flebant animae; nec Tantalus undam captauit refugam, stupuitque Ixionis orbis, nec carpsere iecur uolucres, urnisque uacarunt


The Death of Eurydice

When Orpheus, the poet of Rhodope, had cried as much as he could In the air above, he dared to go down to the Styx, So that it would not be that he had failed To move even the ghosts for her. Through the gate At Taenarus and the flimsy masses and the phantoms Who had been blessed with a burial place, he came to Persephone And the one who guards the gloomy kingdoms, the lord of ghosts, And as soon as Orpheus had roused the strings of his instrument to song, He spoke out: “Gods of the underground world to which we All return, each of us who is created mortal, if it is lawful and you allow me To shelve the circumlocutions of delusive speech and speak truths, I have not come down here to see shadowy Tartarus, nor to tie up Medusa’s Monster’s three necks, hirsute with serpents. My journey is for the sake of my bride: a trampled snake Poured its poison into her and carried off her growing years. I wanted to be able to endure it, and will not say I didn’t try to make myself, But Love won. This god, in the world above, is widely-known; But just what he may be down here, I amn’t sure, yet I beseech you, By these fear-filled provinces, by this cosmic supervoid, And the stillness of your desert kingdom, Unweave the untimely fate of Eurydice. All we have is owed to you, And having lingered a little while, sooner or later We hasten to one place. We direct our course here, This is our last home, and you have the longest rule over the human race. Eurydice, too, full-grown, Having used up the years that are her due, Will be under your control: We beg the loan of her as a gift. But if the fates say no To this stay-of-execution on my bride’s behalf, I am resolved Never to wish to turn back: Take pleasure in the deaths of two.” At his uttering such words as these And stirring his strings, the bloodless phantoms broke down in tears. Tantalus did not try to catch the receding water. Ixion’s wheel came to a stop. Nor did the birds peck Tityus’ liver.

55 English

Belides, inque tuo sedisti, Sisyphe, saxo. [lines 45-7 omitted in this translation]

Eurydicenque uocant. umbras erat illa recentes inter et incessit passu de uulnere tardo. hanc simul et legem Rhodopeius accipit heros, ne flectat retro sua lumina, donec Auernas exierit ualles; aut inrita dona futura.

Carpitur accliuis per muta silentia trames, arduus, obscurus, caligine densus opaca. nec procul afuerunt telluris margine summae; hic ne deficeret metuens auidusque uidendi flexit amans oculos, et protinus illa relapsa est, bracchiaque intendens prendique et prendere certans nil nisi cedentes infelix adripit auras. iamque iterum moriens non est de coniuge quidquam questa suo (quid enim nisi se quereretur amatam?) supremumque ‘uale’, quod iam uix auribus ille acciperet, dixit reuolutaque rursus eodem est.

56 Latin

The Danaids took a break from their water jugs, And Sisyphus, you sat on your stone. They summoned Eurydice: She was among the new ghosts, and owing to her injury, stalked With laboured strides. The Thracian hero welcomed her, and, At the same instant, a condition: that he not curl his eyes back Until he had escaped the crater of Avernus; Otherwise, the gift would be void.

The sloping path was singled out amid silent stillness, Steep and faint and choked with darkening fog, And when they weren’t far from the threshold of the topmost earth, Orpheus the lover, terrified, and longing to look at her, So as to make sure Eurydice would not be left behind, Curled his eyes, And she slid back instantly. And as his arms were reaching out

To be held by Eurydice, and fighting

To hold on to her,

Ill-starred Orpheus caught hold of nothing but evanescing air. Dying now for a second time, Eurydice didn’t rail against her bridegroom, For what could she rail against him for,

Other than his love? She said her final goodbye, which Orpheus’ ears Could scarcely make sense of, And rolled back down towards the very same hell.

57 English

Corsican Pescador di l’onda


Composed in 1959, this Corsican song highlights the importance of fishing on Capicorsu’s peninsula in Northern Corsica. Resonating with Corsican musical culture and traditional fishing, it embodies essential aspects of local lifestyle and heritage. Translating this song can enhance awareness of language’s role in preserving cultural identity.

O Pescador di l’onda, o Frederì

O Pescador di l’onda, o Frederì

Ven’à piscà più in quà

Sulla tua bella barca la più bella si nè và

Frederì lala

Ven’à piscà u miò anellu, o Frederì

Ven’à piscà u miò anellu, o Frederì

Chi m’hè cadutu in mar’

Sulla tua bella barca la tua bella si nè và

Frederì lala

L’anellu hè già piscatu, o Frederì

L’anellu hè già piscatu, o Frederì

Cosa mi vole donnare

Con la tua bella barca la tua bella si nè và

Frederì lala

Vogliu un basgiu d’amore, o Frederì

Vogliu un basgiu d’amore, o Frederì

Chi quellu pagherò

Con la tua bella barca la tua bella si nè và

Frederì lala


O fisherman of the wave, o Frederì

O fisherman of the wave, o Frederì

Come fish some more over here

Your lovely boat beholds the loveliest of all Frederì lala

Come fish out my ring, o Frederì

Come fish out my ring, o Frederì

Which has fallen into the sea That fell in the sea

Your lovely boat beholds the loveliest of all Frederì lala

The ring I’ve already fished, o Frederì

The ring I’ve already fished, o Frederì

What might you give me in return?

Your lovely boat beholds the loveliest of all Frederì lala.

I want a kiss of love, o Frederì

I want a kiss of love, o Frederì

Only this way can you pay

Your lovely boat beholds the loveliest of all Frederì lala.

59 English
Fisherman of the Wave



Xi Xi 西西

Xi Xi’s modernist depiction of the Chinese tradition of sword-dancing breaks the classical form of Chinese poetry, typically fixed in structure and character count. Her unorthodox use of punctuation and line formatting, in particular, strike me as powerful modes of representing the mythical flow and gestures of the sworddance itself.

看一青年舞劍 他從鞘中亮出寒光點點的劍 撒手抖散數十朶杏花 劍柄懸垂尺八長的紅絲雙縷 游走如水銀。那麼,他 不是到公園來磨練,而是 表演了


忽然佇立,雙足微分 左手提劍,緊附肩背,立定 吐式。從攬雀尾起


扭身斜立的一招犀牛望月 重心穩穩聚在左足上,掌握 得很好,倒掛金鈴時,劍尖 指尖和腳尖在空中連成 直線,不歪也不斜。鳳凰 展翅的姿態優雅,接下來是 流星趕月,雙足交替疾走 劍身穿風而過,震盪 破空的聲塵


Watching a young man perform a sword-

From the sheath, he draws a blade of cold moonlit glitter scattering fistfuls of almond blossoms in a flash of the hand the sword’s hilt swinging on three-metre wisps of twining red silk streaming like mercury. So, he hasn’t come to the park to whet his steel, but to put on a show

Without even a warm-up a sudden standstill, feet slightly apart sword in left hand, shoulders tensed, prepared to spit style. A tug on the sparrow’s tail and he begins raining out stroke after stroke his whole body

twisting and contorting like a rhino looking up at the moon gravity grounded in the ball of his left foot, not bad at all. When the golden bells peal for the downward slash a line straightens in the air from swordtip to fingertip to toetip uncrooked, without a slant. His phoenix stance unfurls its wings with grace, soaring after the moon like a meteor on frantically alternating feet The whetted blade cuts through wind, vibrating with the dust and tear of splitting air

61 English

Chinese 落葉,飄到他的頭頂 來得好,他們使出橫掃千軍 李廣射虎,向樹葉進攻 對手柔若雲朶,飄飄 浮浮,隱隱約約,只在他 前後左右,看要墜落 又隨風飛起

敵意,卻一波接一波 如影隨形,黏他 連他,棉他,虛虛實實 無有凹凸處,無有斷續處

停了,樹葉落在地上 他施展七星步,把葉片 踩在腳底。從鷂子穿林起 他再度揮舞,綿密森嚴

不露任何破綻 從容收式後,向遠方 由頭欣賞到尾的唯一觀衆

斜眄一眼,自滿地 微笑

他把出鞘的劍收回 表演的道具,並沒有令他

淌血。這雙刃的 利器,在他的身上 起碼留下了



A canopy of leaves flit over the top of his head

How well they fall, like a thousand foreign soldiers destined for his attack, just as Li Guang’s arrow took down the tiger

This enemy is tender as cloudflowers, flying floating, faint fading, all around on every side of him, flowing down and up again on the wind

Not a drop of malice in them, just a wave and another wave of shapeshifting shadows, clinging to him licking him, quilting him, imagined and yet real and not a single ragged edge, or an ending Wind stops, the leaves sink to the ground

As he glides over the path of the seven stars, he squashes them beneath his soles. A sparrow hawk pierces the branches and he redives into the dance with exacting precision not a single fault nor a splitting seam

After the show comes to a leisurely end, the single admirer from afar, from opening to close receives a wayward glance and a smug self-satisfied smile

He restores the unsheathed sword to stage prop without calling forth a pouring of blood. This double-edged weapon must have left on his body at least thirty-three wounds

63 English

Bulgarian Някъде свещ

This story gives a very personal meaning to the Eastern Orthodox tradition of lighting candles and offering prayers upon entering a church. Where do we find solace and how do we preserve the traditions we grew up with in an ever-changing world?

В памет на татко

Баба ми Зоица беше клисар в селската църква. Много обичаше да повтаря, че слугува на Бога. Понякога свещеникът й заплащаше труда, но тя си знаеше нейното

– аз съм на заплата при Господ, затова вземаше тези пари и ги пазеше за нещо изключително. Веднъж дори ми даде да си купя джинси, думата беше нова за нея и навярно си представяше джинсите като нещо свято. През годините покрай толкова палене на свещи и почистване на свещници, баба си беше изградила собствена теория за светлината.

Често ми говореше, че изтънява светлината с всяко наше влизане в храма. От всичките свещи, коиго палим, от изречените молитви. От сдобряването със себе си, но най много от прошката. От достигнатата милост към другите. Така тъмното се разрежда и постепенно се превръща в светлина.

Един дeн й възразих, че именно те, клисарите работят

за тъмнината. Аз съм от онези възмутените по големите

празници, когато току-що запалена свещ бива изгасена

и изхвърлена, за да има място за следващата. Тогава

тя ми разкри теорията си за светлината. За поделената

светлина. Изговорена с нейни думи, теорията звучи така

– чиляк у восъка.


In memory of Dad

Granny Zoitza was a sexton in the village church. She loved saying that she was God’s servant. Sometimes the priest paid her for the work, but she held to her own tune, ‘God pays my wages.’ That’s why, when she took the money, she saved it for something special. Once she even gave me money to buy a pair of jeans; the word was new to her and perhaps she was imagining ‘jeans’ to be something holy. Over the years, with so many candles lit, and candlesticks cleaned, granny had developed her own theory of light.

She often told me that each time we enter a church, darkness wears thinner. With all of the candles we light, with the prayers we utter. With reconciling with ourselves, but most of all by finding forgiveness. By achieving compassion for others. In this way darkness wears thin and gradually turns into light.

One day I retorted that they, the sextons themselves, were servants of darkness. I am one of those people who become outraged when, on big holy days, a newly lit candle is extinguished and thrown away to make way for the next one. Then she revealed to me her theory of light. Of the shared light. In her own words the theory sounds like this — living soul in beeswax.

65 English Candle somewhere


Всички използвани свещи отиват в свещоливницата, да ги претопят и да направят нови. Новите свещи са добре смесени стари. По този начин се поддържа една постоянна, неугасваща, обобщена светлина, предавана

от църква на църква. Поделена светлина между хората. Поиска, когато следващия път държа в ръката си

свещичка да си представя следното: как тя е направена от чуждите очаквания, от молитвите за някого, как е парченца вяра, събрани нарочно, за да дойдат при мен. Да внимавам, какво от себе си ще оставя в свещтачиляк у восъка. И да гледам светлината, а не клисарската ръка.

От тогава, дори само да зърна и купол на църква, и ми става по-леко.

Защото знам: в този момент някой някъде пали свещ от моята болка.


All used candles end up in the chandlery to be melted and remade into new ones. New candles are remade old candles. In this way a constant, inextinguishable, universal light is maintained and spread from church to church. Light shared between peoples. She asked me when I next hold a candle in my hand, to imagine how it is made from the expectations of others, from prayers for someone; how it is small pieces of faith put together on purpose, so that it could come to me. To be careful what I leave in the candle — living soul in beeswax. And to look at the light, not the sexton’s hand.

Since then, even catching a glimpse of a church dome lightens my heart. Because I know, in that moment someone somewhere is lighting a candle made of my pain.

67 English

Spanish Balún Canán

Rosario Castellanos

“Balún Canán” portrays the conflict between Mayan indigenous people and landowners in 1930. Through the eyes of a young girl, prejudices, customs, and social fractures intertwine. Tradition is expressed through oral storytelling, with the Mayan nanny telling the girl about the guardians of her town.

Esta tarde salimos de paseo. Desde temprano las criadas se lavaron los pies restregándolos contra una piedra. Luego sacaron del cofre sus espejos con marcos de celuloide y sus peines de madera. Se untaron el pelo con pomadas olorosas; se trenzaron con listones rojos y se dispusieron a ir. Mis padres alquilaron un automóvil que está esperándonos a la puerta. Nos instalamos todos, menos la nana que no quiso acompañarnos porque tiene miedo. Dice que el automóvil es invención del demonio. Y se escondió en el traspatio para no verlo.

Quién sabe si la nana tenga razón. El automóvil es un monstruo que bufa y echa humo. Y en cuanto nos traga se pone a reparar ferozmente sobre el empedrado. Un olfato especial lo guía contra los postes y las bardas para embestirlos. Pero ellos lo esquivan graciosamente y podemos llegar, sin demasiadas contusiones, hasta el llano de Nicalococ.

Es la temporada en que las familias traen a los niños para que vuelen sus papalotes. Hay muchos en el cielo. Allí está el de Mario. Es de papel de china azul, verde y rojo. Tiene una larguísima cauda. Allí está, arriba, sonando como a punto de rasgarse, más gallardo y aventurero que ninguno. Con mucho cordel para que suba y se balancee y ningún otro lo alcance.

Los mayores cruzan apuestas. Los niños corren, arrastrados por sus papalotes que buscan la corriente más propicia. Mario tropieza y cae, sangran sus rodillas ásperas. Pero no suelta el cordel y se levanta sin fijarse en lo que le ha sucedido y sigue corriendo. Nosotras miramos, apartadas de los varones, desde nuestro lugar.


We went on a trip this afternoon. Since early morning handmaids washed their feet scrubbing them against a rock. Then they retrieved their celluloid hand mirrors and their wooden combs from a chest. They spread fragrant ointments on their hair, braided it with red ribbons and got ready to leave.

My parents rented a car that is now waiting for us at the door. We all sat down, except for the nanny, who didn’t come because she is afraid. She claims automobiles are inventions of the devil, so she hides in the backyard to avoid seeing it.

Who knows if the nanny is right. The car is a monster that grunts and spits smoke. And when it swallows us up, it fiercely moves over the paved roads. A peculiar sense of smell guides it against lampposts and walls to tackle them down. But they manage to dodge it in a graceful way, allowing us to arrive at the plains of Nicalococ without too many bruises.

It’s that time of year when parents bring their children to fly kites. The sky is filled with them. There it is, Mario’s kite. It’s made of blue, green, and red rice paper, and it boasts a long, extended tail. It’s there. Up there. Bolder and more adventurous than any other; fluttering as if it’s about to break. It is connected by a long line of thread, enabling it to soar and fly and dance so no other kite can reach it.

The adults begin placing bets, while the kids run, dragged by their kites that search for the better winds. Mario stumbles and falls; his coarse knees are now bleeding. However, he doesn’t let go of the thread. He gets up as if nothing happened and keeps running. We observe him from our position separate from the men.

69 English
Balún Canán

iQué alrededor tan inmenso! Una llanura sin rebaños donde el único animal que trisca es el viento. Y cómo se encabrita a veces y derriba los pájaros que han venido a posarse tímidamente en su grupa. Y cómo relincha. ¡Con qué libertad! ¡Con qué brío!

Ahora me doy cuenta de que la voz que he estado escuchando desde que nací es ésta. Y esta la compañía de todas mis horas. Lo había visto ya, en invierno, venir armado de largos y agudos cuchillos y traspasar nuestra carne acongojada de frío. Lo he sentido en verano, perezoso, amarillo de polen, acercarse con un gusto de miel silvestre entre los labios. Y anochece dando alaridos de furia. Y se remansa al mediodía, cuando el reloj del Cabildo da las doce. Y toca las puertas y derriba los floreros y revuelve los papeles del escritorio y hace travesuras con los vestidos de las muchachas. Pero nunca, hasta hoy, había yo venido a la casa de su albedrío. Y me quedo aquí, con los ojos bajos porque (la nana me lo ha dicho) es así como el respeto mira a lo que es grande.

—Pero qué tonta eres. Te distraes en el momento en que gana el papalote de tu hermano.

Él está orgulloso de su triunfo y viene a abrazar a mis padres con las mejillas encendidas y la respiración entrecortada.

Empieza a oscurecer. Es hora de regresar a Comitán. Apenas llegamos a la casa busco a mi nana para comunicarle la noticia.

—¿Sabes? Hoy he conocido al viento.

Ella no interrumpe su labor. Continúa desgranan do el maíz, pensativa y sin sonrisa. Pero yo sé que está contenta.

—Eso es bueno, niña. Porque el viento es uno de los nueve guardianes de tu pueblo.


What an immense landscape! A plain with no herds, where the only creature that growls is the wind. And oh, how it rages and sweeps away the birds that have nervously perched on its back. And oh, how it neighs. With such freedom! With such spirit!

I’ve come to realize that this is the voice I’ve heard since my birth. This is the companion of my days. I’ve seen it during winter: when it arrives armed with long, sharp knives and delves into our cold, anxious skin. I’ve felt it during summer: languid and yellow pollen colored, passing by with the taste of wild honey on its lips. It grows wild at dusk and gentles down at noon when the town hall clock strikes twelve. It knocks on doors, topples flower pots, messes up papers on the desk, and teases the girls’ frocks. But never before have I encountered its domain. So, I remain here, with my eyes low because the nanny told me that’s how we show reverence for anything great.

“Oh, you’re quite silly. You’re not even paying attention to your brother’s winning kite.”

He is beaming with pride over his victory, rushing to hug our parents with a heavy breathing and his cheeks aglow.

The sun is setting now. It’s time to return to Comitán. As we arrive, I search for my nanny to share the news.

“Do you know what? I met the wind today.”

She doesn’t stop her work. She continues to thresh the corn, pensive and with no smile. But I can tell she’s happy.

“That’s good, my girl. Because the wind is one of the nine guardians of your town.”

71 English

The Names of the Dead are Lighning

In this poem Kennelly, a north Kerry native and past Trinity professor, laments the pain of loss and contrasts its intrusive nature with extreme weather.

‘All my old friends are dying’ You say in your letter. Last night the wind cried

Through the house and the rain Flailed at the streets and trees, I thought of your loss

Knowing too well, If I tried for weeks, Not a syllable

Would salve your wound. Tice. Joe. Jackie. Gone. Father, why does the sound

Of thunder make me seek The darkest room in the house, Sit and wait for the blue flick

Of lightning over the walls? You know how I hate loud voices But this voice called

As though it would not be denied From Heaven to Earth from Earth to Heaven. All last night I tried

To decipher it’s tone of cosmic command But all I found was your letter Flickering in my mind

The darkest place I know. The names of the Dead are lightning. Tice. Jackie. Joe.

72 English

Is Tintreach iad Ainmneacha na Mairbh

‘Tá mo sheanchairde ar fhad ag fáil bás’

Deir tú i do litir.

Aréir ghlao an ghaoth

Tríd an tí agus léasadh

An bháisteach ar na bóithre ‘is na crainn. Smaoinigh mé faoi do chailliúint

An iomarca fios a bhí agam, Dá bhainfainn iarracht as ar feadh seachtaine, Níl siolla,

A shuaimnigh do chréacht.

Tice. Jackie. Joe. Imithe.

A hAthair, cén fáth a dhéanann fuaim

Na toirneach an seomra is dorcha

Sa teach á lorg agam, Suí ‘is fán do splanc gorma

An tintreach thar na mballaí?

Tá a fhios agat gur fuath liom guthanna arda

Ach ghlao an guth seo

Mar nach féidir é a shéanadh

Ó neamh go talamh, ó thalamh

Go neamh. An oíche ar fad rinne mé iarracht

A thon ordú cosmach a thuiscint

Ach an t-aon rud a d’aimsigh mé ná

Do litir á heilteach i m’intinn

An áit is dorcha a aithním.

Is tintreach iad ainmneacha na Mairbh.

Tice. Jackie. Joe.

73 Irish

Miss Grief

The opening part of “Miss Grief” displays the traditional plot framework, with a slight autobiographical touch. The story depicts a woman seeking recognition in a male-dominated literary realm, while criticizing the portrayal of women in the literary tradition.

“A conceited fool” is a not uncommon expression. Now, I know that I am not a fool, but I also know that I am conceited. But, candidly, can it be helped if one happens to be young, well and strong, passably good-looking, with some money that one has inherited and more that one has earned— in all, enough to make life comfortable—and if upon this foundation rests also the pleasant superstructure of a literary success? The success is deserved, I think: certainly it was not lightly gained. Yet even with this I fully appreciate its rarity. Thus, I find myself very well entertained in life: I have all I wish in the way of society, and a deep, though of course carefully concealed, satisfaction in my own little fame; which fame I foster by a gentle system of non-interference. I know that I am spoken of as “that quiet young fellow who writes those delightful little studies of society, you know”; and I live up to that definition.

A year ago I was in Rome, and enjoying life particularly. I had a large number of my acquaintances there, both American and English, and no day passed without its invitation. Of course I understood it: it is seldom that you find a literary man who is good-tempered, well-dressed, sufficiently provided with money, and amiably obedient to all the rules and requirements of “society.” “When found, make a note of it”; and the note was generally an invitation.

One evening, upon returning to my lodgings, my man Simpson informed me that a person had called in the afternoon, and upon learning that I was absent had left not a card, but her name—“Miss Grief.” The title lingered— Miss Grief! “Grief has not so far visited me here,” I said to myself, dismissing Simpson and seeking my little balcony for a final smoke, “and she shall not now. I shall take care to be ‘not at home’ to her if she continues to call.” And then I fell to thinking of Isabel Abercrombie, in whose society I had spent that and many evenings: they were golden thoughts.


“Uno stupido presuntuoso” non è un’espressione insolita. Ora, io so che non sono uno stupido, ma so anche di essere un presuntuoso. Ma, onestamente, come può essere altrimenti se uno è giovane, in buona salute, ragionevolmente attraente, con un po’ di denaro che ha ereditato e altro guadagnato (tutto sommato, abbastanza da rendergli la vita agiata) e se su queste fondamenta giace anche la piacevole sovrastruttura di un successo letterario? Il successo è meritato, io credo: certamente non è stato guadagnato facilmente. Tuttavia, anche per questo, ne apprezzo appieno la rarità. Pertanto, mi ritrovo a essere ben occupato nella vita: ho tutto ciò che desidero sul piano sociale, e una profonda – sebbene certamente nascosta con attenzione – soddisfazione per la mia piccola fama; fama che promuovo attraverso un delicato sistema di non interferenza. So che si parla di me come “quel giovane riservato che scrive quegli incantevoli piccoli studi sulla società”; e io sono fedele a quella definizione.

Un anno fa ero a Roma, godendomi appieno la vita. Avevo un gran numero di mie conoscenze lì, sia americane che inglesi, e non passava giorno senza un loro invito. Certamente lo capivo: è raro trovare un uomo di lettere che sia di buon carattere, ben vestito, sufficientemente provvisto di denaro e amabilmente obbediente alle regole e ai requisiti della “società.” “Quando ne trovi uno, prendine nota”; e la nota era generalmente un invito.

Una sera, al rientro nel mio alloggio, il mio domestico Simpson mi informò che una persona era passata nel pomeriggio, e nell’apprendere che ero assente ha lasciato non un biglietto, ma il suo nome, ‘Miss Grief.’ Il titolo risuonò: Miss Grief! “Il dolore[1] non mi ha fatto mai visita finora,” dissi a me stesso, congedando Simpson e cercando il mio piccolo terrazzo per un’ultima sigaretta, “e non lo farà adesso. Avrò cura di essere ‘non in casa’ se continua a passare.” E poi mi venne in mente Isabel Abercrombie, nella cui compagnia ho trascorso quella e molte altre serate sere: quelli erano pensieri d’oro.

75 Italian Miss Grief
1. The pun is partly lost with the Italian translation, where the lady’s title would literally translate as ‘signorina Dolore’.

The next day there was an excursion; it was late when I reached my rooms, and again Simpson informed me that Miss Grief had called.

“Is she coming continuously?” I said, half to myself.

“Yes, sir: she mentioned that she should call again.”

“How does she look?”

“Well, sir, a lady, but not so prosperous as she was, I should say,” answered Simpson, discreetly.


“No, sir.”


“A maid with her, sir.”

But once outside in my little high-up balcony with my cigar, I again forgot Miss Grief and whatever she might represent. Who would not forget in that moonlight, with Isabel Abercrombie’s face to remember?

The stranger came a third time, and I was absent; then she let two days pass, and began again. It grew to be a regular dialogue between Simpson and myself when I came in at night: “Grief to-day?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What time?”

“Four, sir.”

“Happy the man,” I thought, “who can keep her confined to a particular hour!

But I should not have treated my visitor so cavalierly if I had not felt sure that she was eccentric and unconventional—qualities extremely tiresome in a woman no longer young or attractive. If she were not eccentric she would not have persisted in coming to my door day after day in this silent way, without stating her errand, leaving a note, or presenting her credentials in any shape. I made up my mind that she had something to sell—a bit of carving or some intaglio supposed to be antique. It was known that I had a fancy for oddities. I said to myself, “She has read or heard of my ‘Old Gold’ story, or else ‘The Buried God,’ and she thinks me an idealizing ignoramus upon whom she can impose. Her sepulchral name is at least not Italian; probably she is a sharp country-woman of mine, turning, by means of the present æsthetic craze, an honest penny when she can.”


Il giorno dopo ci fu un’escursione; era tardi quando raggiunsi le mie stanze, e di nuovo Simpson mi informò che la signorina Grief era passata.

“Viene di continuo?” dissi, in parte a me stesso.

“Si, signore: ha accennato che passerà di nuovo.”

“Che aspetto ha?”

“Beh, signore, una signora, ma non così benestante come un tempo, direi,” rispose Simpson, con discrezione.


“No, signore.”


“Una domestica con lei, signore.”

Ma una volta fuori nel mio balconcino sopraelevato con il mio sigaro, mi dimenticai nuovamente della signorina Grief e di qualsiasi cosa potesse rappresentare. Chi non lo avrebbe dimenticato, al chiaro di luna, con il viso di Isabel Abercrombie a cui ripensare?

La sconosciuta si presentò una terza volta, e io ero assente; poi lasciò passare due giorni, e riprese nuovamente. Il dialogo tra me e Simpson, quando rientravo la sera, era diventato regolare: “Niente Grief oggi?”

“Si, signore.”

“A che ora?”

“Alle quattro, signore.”

“Beato colui,” pensai, “che riesce a confinarla in un’ora precisa!”

Ma non avrei trattato la mia visitatrice con tanta leggerezza se non avessi avuto la certezza che fosse eccentrica e anticonformista, caratteristiche estremamente fastidiose in una donna che non è più giovane né attraente. Se non fosse stata eccentrica, non si sarebbe ostinata a presentarsi alla mia porta giorno dopo giorno in questo modo misterioso, senza indicare la sua motivazione, senza lasciare un biglietto o in qualche modo presentare le sue credenziali. Mi convinsi che avesse qualcosa da vendere: qualche incisione o qualche intaglio che si supponeva fosse antico. Si sapeva che avevo una passione per le stranezze. Mi dissi: “Ha letto o sentito parlare del mio racconto ‘Oro Antico’, oppure de ‘Il Dio Sepolto’, e mi considera un ignorante idealizzatore facilmente impressionabile. Il suo nome funereo quantomeno non è italiano; probabilmente è una mia scaltra compaesana che, grazie all’attuale smania dell’estetica, si guadagna un onesto centesimo quando può.”

77 Italian

She had called seven times during a period of two weeks without seeing me, when one day I happened to be at home in the afternoon, owing to a pouring rain and a fit of doubt concerning Miss Abercrombie. For I had constructed a careful theory of that young lady’s characteristics in my own mind, and she had lived up to it delightfully until the previous evening, when with one word she had blown it to atoms and taken flight, leaving me standing, as it were, on a desolate shore, with nothing but a handful of mistaken inductions wherewith to console myself. I do not know a more exasperating frame of mind, at least for a constructor of theories. I could not write, and so I took up a French novel (I model myself a little on Balzac). I had been turning over its pages but a few moments when Simpson knocked, and, entering softly, said, with just a shadow of a smile on his well-trained face, “Miss Grief.” I briefly consigned Miss Grief to all the Furies, and then, as he still lingered—perhaps not knowing where they resided—I asked where the visitor was.

“Outside, sir—in the hall. I told her I would see if you were at home.”

“She must be unpleasantly wet if she had no carriage.”

“No carriage, sir: they always come on foot. I think she is a little damp, sir.”

“Well, let her in; but I don’t want the maid. I may as well see her now, I suppose, and end the affair.”

“Yes, sir.”

I did not put down my book. My visitor should have a hearing, but not much more: she had sacrificed her womanly claims by her persistent attacks upon my door. Presently Simpson ushered her in. “Miss Grief,” he said, and then went out, closing the curtain behind him. A woman—yes, a lady—but shabby, unattractive, and more than middle-aged.

I rose, bowed slightly, and then dropped into my chair again, still keeping the book in my hand. “Miss Grief?” I said interrogatively as I indicated a seat with my eyebrows.

“Not Grief,” she answered—“Crief: my name is Crief.”

She sat down, and I saw that she held a small flat box.

78 English

Passò sette volte in due settimane senza incontrarmi, quando un giorno per caso mi trovai a casa nel pomeriggio a causa di una pioggia incessante e di un acceso dubbio a proposito della signorina Abercrombie. Avevo infatti costruito nella mia mente un’accurata teoria sulle caratteristiche di quella giovane, e lei ne era stata deliziosamente all’altezza fino alla sera precedente, quando con una sola parola l’aveva mandata in frantumi e se ne era andata, lasciandomi, per così dire, su una riva desolata, con nient’altro che una manciata di deduzioni sbagliate con cui consolarmi. Non conosco uno stato d’animo più esasperante, almeno per un costruttore di teorie. Non riuscivo a scrivere, e così presi in mano un romanzo francese (mi rifaccio un po’ a Balzac). Stavo sfogliando le pagine da pochi istanti quando Simpson bussò e, entrando con discrezione, disse, con solo l’ombra di un sorriso sul suo volto ben educato: “Miss Grief.” Affidai brevemente la signorina Grief a tutte le Furie e poi, visto che egli indugiava ancora – forse non sapendo dove risiedessero – gli domandai dove fosse la visitatrice.

“Fuori, signore, nell’atrio. Le ho detto che avrei controllato se foste in casa.”

“Deve essere terribilmente zuppa se non ha la carrozza.”

“Nessuna carrozza, signore: vengono sempre a piedi. Credo si sia un po’ bagnata, signore.”

“Ebbene, fatela entrare; ma non voglio la governante. Suppongo che potrei vederla adesso e chiudere la faccenda.”

“Sì, signore.”

Non riposi il mio libro. La mia visitatrice doveva essere ascoltata, ma poco più: aveva sacrificato le sue rivendicazioni femminili con i suoi persistenti attacchi alla mia porta. In quel momento Simpson la fece entrare. “Miss Grief”, disse, e poi uscì, chiudendo la tenda dietro di sé.

Una donna, sì, una signora, ma trasandata, poco attraente e più che di mezza età.

Mi alzai, feci un leggero inchino, e mi riaccomodai sulla sedia, tenendo ancora il libro in mano. “Miss Grief?” dissi in tono interrogativo, segnalandole un posto a sedere con le sopracciglia.

“Non Grief,” rispose – “Crief: il mio nome è Crief.”

Si sedette e vidi che teneva in mano una piccola scatola piatta.

79 Italian

German Buddenbrooks

In Buddenbrooks, little Johann (“Hanno”) is expected to continue the family tradition of being commercially successful and publicly respected: while impressed by his father’s ability to follow this tradition, Hanno sees how superficial and draining it is. By the end of the novel, however, Hanno’s own path forces the reader to ask whether it would not have been better for him to just submit to family tradition after all.

An gewissen Tagen des Jahres, am Palmsonntag, wenn die Konfirmationen stattfanden, oder am Neujahrstage, unternahm Senator Buddenbrook zu Wagen eine Tournee von Visiten in einer Reihe von Häusern, denen er gesellschaftlich verpflichtet war, und da seine Gattin es vorzog, sich bei solchen Gelegenheiten mit Nervosität und Migräne zu entschuldigen, so forderte er Hanno auf, ihn zu begleiten. Und Hanno hatte hierzu Lust. Er stieg zu seinem Vater in die Droschke und saß stumm an seiner Seite in den Empfangszimmern, indem er mit stillen Augen sein leichtes, taktsicheres und so verschiedenartiges, so sorgfältig abgetöntes Benehmen gegen die Leute beobachtete. Er sah zu, wie er dem Oberstleutnant und Bezirkskommandanten Herr von Rinnlingen, welcher beim Abschied betonte, er wisse die Ehre dieses Besuches sehr wohl zu schätzen, mit liebenswürdiger Erschrockenheit einen Augenblick den Arm um die Schulter legte; wie er an anderer Stelle eine ähnliche Bemerkung ruhig und erst entgegennahm und sie an einer dritten mit einem ironisch übertriebenen Gegenkompliment abwehrte… Alles mit einer formalen Versiertheit des Wortes und der Gebärde, die er ersichtlich gern der Bewunderung seines Sohnes produzierte und von der er sich unterrichtende Wirkung versprach.


Muintir Buddenbrook

Ar laethanta áirithe na bliana, ar Domhnach na Pailme, nuair a tharla na cóineartuithe, nó ar Lá Cáille, chuaigh an Seanadóir Buddenbrook ina charráiste i mbun cuairteanna i sraith tithe ina raibh ceangal sóisialta fágtha air féin. Agus toisc gur scaoil a chéile í féin ó na hócáidí seo le leithscéalta neibhíseachta agus freangaí cinn, d’ordaigh sé do Hanno teacht in éineacht leis. Agus bhí fonn ar Hanno é seo a dhéanamh. Dhreap sé lena athair isteach sa charr fostaithe agus shuigh sé go tostach ar a thaobh sna parlúis inar bhreathnaigh sé ar iompar a athair- é ar a chompord, ceannasach, agus céimroinnte go cúramach- leis na ndaoine. Chonaic sé an chaoi a luí a athair a lámh le cáineadh geanúil timpeall ar ghualainn an Leifteanantchoirnéal agus Ceannasaí Ceantair Herr von Rinnlingen nuair a dúirt an fear seo agus iad ag fágáil slán leis gur thuig sé onóir na cuairte seo; an chaoi gur ghlac sé le ráiteas cosúil go ciúin, dairíre i gcás eile agus a choisc sé é le frith-ionracas áibhéileach, íorónta sa tríú cás... Gach rud le lánoilteacht fhoirmiúil na bhfocal agus na ngeáitsí, lenar thaitin sé leis meas a mhic a ghiniúint, agus óna raibh sé ag súil go mbainfí toradh oiliúna.

81 Irish

Aber der kleine Johann sah mehr, als er sehen sollte, und seine Augen, diese schüchternen, goldbraunen, bläulich umschatteten Augen beobachteten zu gut. Er sah nicht nur die sichere Liebenswürdigkeit, die sein Vater auf alle wirken ließ, er sah auch - sah es mit einem seltsamen, quälenden Scharfblick - , wie furchtbar schwer sie zu machen war, wie sein Vater nach jeder Visite wortkarger und bleicher, mit geschlossenen Augen, deren Lider sich gerötet hatten, in der Wagenecke lehnte, und Entsetzen im Herzen erlebte er es, daß auf der Schwelle des nächsten Hauses eine Maske über ebendieses Gesicht glitt, immer aufs neue eine plötzliche Elastizität in die Bewegungen, ebendieses ermüdeten Körpers kam… Das Auftreten, Reden, Sichbenehmen, Wirken und Handeln unter Menschen stellte sich dem kleinen Johann nicht als ein naives, natürliches und halb unbewußtes Vertreten praktischer Interessen dar, die man mit anderen gemein hat und gegen andere durchsetzen will, sondern als eine Art von Selbstzweck, eine bewußte und künstliche Anstrengung, bei welcher, anstatt der aufrichtigen und einfachen inneren Beteiligung, eine furchtbar schwierige und aufreibende Virtuosität für Haltung und Rückgrat aufkommen mußte. Und bei dem Gedanken, man erwarte, daß auch er dereinst in öffentlichen Versammlungen auftreten und unter dem Druck aller Blicke mit Wort und Gebärde tätig sein sollte, schloß Hanno mit einem Schauder angstvollen Widerstrebens seine Augen…

82 German

Ach chonaic Johann beag níos mó ná ba chóir go bhfeicfeadh sé, agus bhreathnaigh a shúile cúthaile, ór-dhonna, gorm-scáthaithe go ró-mhaith. Ní hamháin go bhfaca sé an ghrámhaireacht teann lena chuaigh a athair i bhfeidhm ar gach éinne, ach chonaic sé – chonaic sé le géire aisteach, cráite - cé chomh uafásach deacair a bhí sé le déanamh freisin, an chaoi ar fhill a athair ó gach cuairt níos dúnárasaí, níos báití, le súile dúnta le caipíní ruamanta, agus shuigh sé siar i gcúinne an charráiste; agus thug sé faoi deara, le huafás ina chroí, go shleamhnódh masc thar a aghaidh ag tairiseach an chéad tí eile, agus go dtiocfadh leaisteachas tobann nua isteach i ngeáitsí an choirp traochta seo... Dealraíodh do Johann beag nach cúram soineanta, nádúrtha, beagnach neamh-chomhfhiosach ar son spriocanna praiticiúla- a roinntear le daoine eile agus a cuirtear i bhfeidhm ar dhaoine eile- a bhí i gceist leis an Teacht i Láthair, leis an gComhrá, leis an Dea-Mhúinteacht, leis an Dul i bhFeidhm, leis an nGníomhú i measc na ndaoine, ach cineál féin-éigean, monar comhfhiosach agus saorga ina raibh gá, ní le rannpháirtíocht fhíréanta agus simplí, ach rímháistreacht uafásach deacair agus dian san iompar agus sa smior. Agus leis an smaoineamh go raibh súil ag daoine go rachadh sé féin amach i gcruinnithe poiblí agus go mbeadh sé féin gníomhach le focail agus le geáitsí faoi bhrú radhairc an tslua, dhún Hanno a shúile le cradhscal ceannairce eaglach...


Spanish p. 50-52 from Eva Luna

This excerpt, from a book which itself plays with the traditions of the picaresque and magico-realistic novel, charmingly depicts through a child’s eyes of how opaque and unreasonable “tradition” can be. Eva respects piety, but when questioning what she does not understand is met with shaming reproach rather than sympathy.

La fe de mi pobre Madrina era inconmovible y ninguna desgracia posterior pudo abatirla. Hace poco, cuando vino aquí el Papa, conseguí autorización para sacarla del sanatorio, porque habría sido una lástima que se perdiera al Pontífice con su hábito blanco y su cruz de oro, predicando sus convicciones indemostrables, en perfecto español o dialecto de indios, según fuera la ocasión. Al verlo avanzar en su actuario de vidrio blindado por las calles recién pintadas, entre flores, vítores, banderines y guardaespaldas, mi Madrina, ya muy anciana, cayó de rodillas, persuadida de que el Profeta Elías andaba en viaje de turismo. Temí que la muchedumbre la aplastara y quise llevármela de allí, pero ella no se movió hasta que le compré un pelo del Papa como reliquia. En esos días mucha gente se volvió buena, algunos prometieron perdonar las deudas y no mencionar la lucha de clases o anticonceptivos para no dar motivos de tristeza al Santo Padre, pero la verdad es que yo no me entusiasmé con el insigne visitante, porque no guardaba buenos recuerdos de la religión. Un domingo de mi niñez la Madrina me llevó a la parroquia y arrodilló en una cabina de madera con cortinas, yo tenía los dedos torpes y no podía cruzarlos como me había enseñado. A través de una rejilla me llegó un aliento fuerte, dime tus pecados, me ordenó y al punto se me olvidaron todos los que había inventado, no supe qué responder, apurada traté de pensar en alguno, aunque fuera venial, pero ni el más insignificante acudió a mi mente.


p. 50-52 from Eva Luna

My poor Godmother’s faith had always been unshakeable and no subsequent misfortune could knock it. A little while ago, when the Pope came here, I sought permission to take her on an outing from the sanatorium, because it would have been a shame for her to miss the pontiff in his white habit and gold cross, preaching his indemonstrable convictions, in perfect Spanish or Indian dialect according to the occasion. On seeing him, shielded in his glass box, advancing through the recently painted streets among flowers, applause, banners, and bodyguards, my Godmother, then very old, fell to her knees, persuaded that he was the Prophet Elijah making a tourist’s visit. I feared that the crowds would crush her and wanted to take her away, but she would not move until I bought her one of the pope’s hairs as a relic. In those days, many people became good, some promised to overcome their doubts and not to mention class struggle or contraception, so as not to give the Holy Father reason to be sad, but the truth is that I could not get excited about the celebrated visitor because I did not have good memories of religion. One childhood Sunday when my Godmother brought me to the parish church and placed me on my knees in a curtained wooden booth, I had clumsy fingers and could not cross them as she had taught me. From behind a screen, a strong breath greeted me, tell me your sins, it ordered, and immediately I had forgotten all those I had invented, I didn’t know what to respond, anxiously I tried to think of anything, even if it was venial, but not even the most insignificant one came to my mind.

85 English

– ¿Te tocas el cuerpo con las manos?

– Sí…

– ¿A menudo, hija?

– Todos los días.

¡Todos los días! ¿Cuántas veces?

– No llevo la cuenta… muchas veces…

– !Ésa es una ofensa gravísima a los ojos de Dios!

– No sabía, padre. ¿Y si me pongo guantes, también es pecado?

¡Guantes! !Pero qué dices, insensata! ¿Te burlas de mí?

– No no…– murmuré aterrada, calculando que de todos modos sería bien difícil lavarme la cara, cepillarme los dientes o rascarme con guantes. – Promete que no volverás a hacer eso. La pureza y la inocencia son las mejores virtudes de una niña. Rezarás quinientas Ave Marías de penitencia para que Dios te perdone.

– No puedo, padre – contesté porque sabía contar sólo hasta veinte.

–¡Cómo que no puedes! – rugió el sacerdote y una lluvia de saliva atravesó el confesionario y me cayó encima.

Salí corriendo, pero la Madrina me cogió el vuelo y me retuvo por una oreja mientras hablaba con el cura sobre la conveniencia de ponerme a trabajar, antes que me torciera aún más el carácter y se me acabara de ofuscar la alma.


“You touch yourself with your hands?”


“Often, my child?”

“Every day.”

“Every day! How many times?”

“I don’t keep count… many times…”

“That is a very serious offence in the eyes of God!”

“I didn’t know, father. And if I wear gloves, is it still a sin?”

“Gloves! But what are you saying, foolish girl! Are you making fun of me?”

“No, of course not…” I murmured terrified, figuring that anyways it would be fairly difficult to wash my face, brush my teeth, or scratch myself with gloves on.

“Promise you will not do this again. Purity and innocence are the greatest virtues in a girl. You will pray five hundred Ave Marias as penance so God may forgive you.”

“I can’t, father,” I replied, because then I only knew how to count to twenty.

“How is it that you can’t!” roared the priest and a rain of saliva crossed the confessional and fell over me.

I ran out, but my Godmother caught me in flight and held me by the ear while she discussed with the priest the advisability of putting me to work before I twisted my character even more and succeeded in completely obscuring my soul from salvation.

87 English
Penny Stuart- Hard back book 2
Naemi Dehde - Untitled


Я всегда твердил, что судьба — игра

This wistful poem highlights how Brodsky’s ‘idiom embraced classical poise, biblical gravitas, philosophical disenchantment, and street slang.’ (Ann Kjellberg) Before and throughout his exile from the USSR, Brodsky ‘did things with Russian verse that no one had thought possible.’ He ‘took a medium, formal poetry [...] and lashed it to a modern sensibility.’

Я всегда твердил, что судьба — игра. Что зачем нам рыба, раз есть икра. Что готический стиль победит, как школа, как способность торчать, избежав укола.

Я сижу у окна. За окном осина.

Я любил немногих. Однако — сильно.

Я считал, что лес — только часть полена. Что зачем вся дева, раз есть колено. Что, устав от поднятой веком пыли, русский глаз отдохнет на эстонском шпиле.

Я сижу у окна. Я помыл посуду.

Я был счастлив здесь, и уже не буду.

Я писал, что в лампочке — ужас пола. Что любовь, как акт, лишена глагола.

Что не знал Эвклид, что, сходя на конус, вещь обретает не ноль, но Хронос.

Я сижу у окна. Вспоминаю юность.

Улыбнусь порою, порой отплюнусь.

Л.В. Лифшицу

Dúirt mé cheana, an chinniúint — sin cluiche

Dúirt mé cheana, an chinniúint — sin cluiche. Cén gá d’iasc, má tá fuisce. Go mbuafaidh, mar scoil, an stíl Ghotach, mar cumas gobadh amach, a sheachaint instealladh.

Suím ag an bhfuinneog. Taobh amuigh crann creathach. Ní minic a bhí grá agam. É sin ráite— díbhirceach.

Shíl mé, gur foraois — ní ach páirt lomáin.

Má tá a ghlúin agat, cén gá do cháilín iomlán?

Spíonta ón deannach airdithe ag an aois, Ar spuaiceanna Eastónacha luíonn súile ón Rúis.

Suím ag an bhfuinneog. Nigh mé na gréithe. Bhíos sásta anseo, ach ní bheidh mé a thuilleadh.

Scríobh mé, i mbolgán solais — úafás úrláir. Go bhfuil grá, mar ghníomh, ag iarraidh briathair. Níor raibh a fhios ag Euclid, i dtreo neamnní ag dul síos, tagann an rud ní nialasach, ach chuig Chronos.

Suím ag an bhfuinneog. M’óige i gcuimhne.

Uaireanta miongháire, uaireanta seile.

91 Irish


Я сказал, что лист разрушает почку.

И что семя, упавши в дурную почву, не дает побега; что луг с поляной

есть пример рукоблудья, в Природе данный.

Я сижу у окна, обхватив колени,

в обществе собственной грузной тени.

Моя песня была лишена мотива,

но зато ее хором не спеть. Не диво, что в награду мне за такие речи

своих ног никто не кладет на плечи.

Я сижу у окна в темноте; как скорый, море гремит за волнистой шторой.

Гражданин второсортной эпохи, гордо признаю я товаром второго сорта

свои лучшие мысли и дням грядущим я дарю их как опыт борьбы с удушьем.

Я сижу в темноте. И она не хуже в комнате, чем темнота снаружи.

1971 г.


Dúirt mé, go scriosann duilleog bachlóg. Agus nach dtugann síol, tite i drochithir, éalú; i móinéar le réiteach

tugtha ag Nadúr, tá sampla d’obair snáthaide. Suím ag an bhfuinneog, dhá lámha fáiscthe timpeall dhá ghlúin, i gcomhluadar le mo scáil trom féin.

Bhí aidhm m’amhrán ar iarraidh, ach d’aon ghuth ní féidir é a chanadh. Ní nach ionadh, mar dhuais dá leithéid d’oráidí ní chuireann duine ar bith a chosa ar mo ghuaillí. Suím ag an bhfuinneog sa dorchadas; chomh tapa, an fharraige ag tuairteáil taobh thiar den chuirtín tonnta.

Saoránach aois den dara grád, go huaibhreach géillim é mar fothoradh gan dealramh mo smaointe is fearr agus na laethanta romhainn tugaim iad mar taithí troda i gcoinne dheasca plúchta. Suím sa dorchadas. Agus níl ceachtar níos measa, an dorchadas laistigh, nó an dorchadas lasmuigh.



French Songes d’un Hermite


A Dreaming Hermit (1770) is a tangle of dreams dealing with the narrator’s retreat from society to some wilderness far from Court, each bubbling with Enlightenment ideas: Jesuitical, Jansenist, and Masonic cunning; hatred of government corruption; love of virtuous nobles. It offers a brilliant survey of the endless facets of pre-Revolutionary French life.


Dans les premiers moments d’un sommeil léger , je crus entendre près de ma tête un bruit sourd , qui, n’étant pas assez fort pour m’empêcher de dormir , me fit songer que j’assistois à une dispute. La scene étoit dans une grande salle remplie d’auditeurs de toute sorte. Deux hommes en longs rabats étoient aux prises. Il s’agissoit de ce qu’on nomme dans les écoles le future contingent. L’un disoit que c’étoit une chose qui devoit arriver ; & l’autre soutenoit que c’étoit une chose qui arriveroit. Chacun s’appuyoit de l’autorité de tous les anciens Docteurs scholastiques. Tout l’auditoire étoit ému & prenoit part à la chaleur de la dispute. Un des combattants ayant fait un effort pour pousser un cri de victoire à la fin d’un argument, se disloqua la mâchoire, & resta la bouche béante, faisant une fort laide grimace. Alors deux auditeurs se leverent en même-temps, prétendant avoir l’un & l’autre le droit de remplacer le champion estropié. Ils alléguoient tous les deux en leur faveur le temps qu’ils avoient passé sur les bancs, & les lettres de Docteur qu’on leur avait données. L’un disoit qu’il avoit été reçu Docteur au mois d’avril, & son adversaire au moi de mai , que par conséquent il devoit avoir le pas sur lui. L’autre, au contraire, soutenoit que le mois de mai étoit le meilleur pour les savants que celui d’avril , & il le prouvoit par quantité d’observations faites sur diverses productions de la terre & sur les animaux. En se parlant vivement, ces deux hommes s’approchoient peuà-peu l’un de l’autre, haussant la voix, quoiqu’ils eussent dû naturellement la baisser. Quand ils furent assez près, ils se frapperent sans le vouloir, en faisant des gestes fort animés. Le premier qui sentit la main de son rival, se croyant outragé, voulut éléver son bonnet pour prendre les assistants à témoins de l’injure qu’il avait reçue. Mais comme il avait la main tremblante , il le laissa tomber ; & s’étant courbé pour le ramasser, l’adversaire lui mit le pied sur la main , & à l’instant s’éleverent des cris confus: toute la salle fut remplie de tumulte: on se battit de tout côté ; & m’étant éveillé , il se trouva que tous ces Docteurs qui avoient fait & causé tant de bruit , n’étoient qu’une mouche qui bourdonnait à mes oreilles.



In the first moments of shallow sleep, I thought I heard a muffled noise near my head. It was not strong enough to keep me from sleeping but did give me a vision of an argument. The scene was a great hall full of spectators of every variety. Two men in long collars were in a heated debate over the subject of what in school is called the future contingent. One was saying that it referred to something that was supposed to happen and the other maintained that it was something that would take place. Each drew on the authority of all the ancient scholastic doctors. The entire audience was roused to excitement and was adding fire to the affray. One of the combatants, having made an effort to cry victory at the end of an argument, dislocated his jaw and stood with his mouth agape in a hideous grimace. Then two from the audience got up at the same time, each claiming he had the right to replace the maimed champion. As supporting evidence for their arguments, they invoked the time they had spent on the benches of school auditoriums and the papers they had received from the academy. One said he had been made a doctor one April and the other had been received in May, so naturally he had the advantage. The other insisted that May was better for scholars than April and he proved it with numerous observations of the vegetal products of the earth as well of animals. As they shouted, the two men stepped closer and closer to one another, their voices rising, though they should have naturally lowered them. When they were close enough, they hit one another accidentally as they were flailing their limbs around to convey their points. The first, feeling the hand of his rival, assumed he should feel outraged and decided to lift his cap to collect the supporters who could bear witness to the insult he had borne. But with his shaking hand, he dropped it and bent to pick it up and that was when his opponent put his foot on his hand; then rose up a jumble of cries. Tumult overtook the room: everyone was fighting and when I woke up it turned out that all these doctors who had made all this hubbub were just a fly buzzing in my ears.

95 English
A Dreaming Hermit



Je suis toujours surpris quand je pense combien de fois je me suis vu en songe dans le fracas de villes, moi qui les fuyois par goût quand j’y étois engagé, & qui ne respirois que pour la campagne. Dans ce songe, j’étois au milieu d’une de ces grandes cités où regne un bruit continuel. Il pleuvoit abondamment ; & après avoir été éclaboussé par plusieurs voitures , j’eus le malheur d’être renversé dans la boue par un char attelé de six chevaux fougueux , & je suis bien assuré que ce fut la faute de conducteurs insolents , qui , voyant mon air simple & un peu sauvage , se firent un plaisir de me maltraiter. Je me relevai tout froissé ; & voyant une de ces maisons publiques qu’on nomme Cafés , je m’y glissai , à la faveur de la foule qui y entroit. Je me mis le dos contre un poële pour faire sécher mes habits. Pendant ces temps-là , j’examinois la compagnie : je voyais d’un côté des joueurs passionnés qui se mettaient en fureur quand le sort ne les favorisoit pas ; ils se jettoient à la tête les cartes & flambeaux , faisoient mine de vouloir se couper la gorge ; & après s’être dit mutuellement plusieurs sortes d’injures m reprenaient leur jeu avec un sang froid admirable. Leur table étoit environnée de gens qui prenaient parti pour l’un ou l’autre des joueurs. Près de-là, je remarquai un homme renversé dans un fauteuil , qui ne fixoit aucun objet , & qui exprimoit son ennui par de fréquents bâillement ; je jugeai que c’étoit un des ces hommes qu’on voit quelquefois dans le monde , qui , étant à charge aux autres autant qu’à eux-mêmes , vont errant d’une promenade publique à un café ; & d’un café à un autre , sans autre but que d’arriver à la fin de la journée. D’un autre côté , un homme en habit noir lisoit la gazette d’un air appliqué & fronçant le sourcil. Un jeune Militaire , tenant un Avocat au bouton , lui démontroit avec chaleur qu’il lui seroit facile , avec six cents hommes , de battre & mettre en déroute l’armée ennemie , & de surprendre une telle place. Plusieurs autres par des raisonnements politiques brouilloient & raccommodoient à leur gré les Cours de l’Europe en criant à pleine tête. Mais ce qui fixa le plus mon attention , ce fut une foule de petits Maîtres qui par leurs extravagances s’attiroient l’admiration de tout le Café.


Dream XXIV

I am always shocked when I think how many times I have had a vision of myself in a dream where the city roars around me—after I began to live for the idea of the countryside and taste led me to commit to flight. In this dream, I was in the middle of one of those great cities where noise is endlessly enthroned. Rain poured and after getting splattered by a few carriages, I had the misfortune to be knocked into the mud by a wagon pulled by six feisty horses, and I am quite sure it was the fault of the impudent drivers, who noticed my simple and slightly savage appearance and decided to mistreat me. I pulled my crumpled and upset self up and seeing one of those public houses known as coffee houses, I slipped and slid my way there with assistance from the crowd that made its way in. I stood with my back to the stove to dry my clothing and examined who was there, I saw intense men playing games who flew into a rage when chance failed to help them: threw their cards and candle sticks at each other and after they exchanged a range of insults, they would return to their game with admirable restraint. Their table was surrounded by folks who supported one player or another. Nearby, I noticed a man capsized in an armchair who displayed his boredom with an occasional yawn. I thought he was the type of man whom one sees out and about who, as much a burden to others as themselves, wander into a coffee house after a stroll in public, then head to another, with no other goal than to reach the end of the day. On the other side of the room was a man in a dark outfit reading the paper diligently and knitting his brow. A young military man, with his hand latched onto a lawyer’s buttons, fulminated as he demonstrated how easy it would be for him along with six hundred troops, to beat the opposing army and send them fleeing, catching them off guard. Several others reasoned about political matters and were squabbling and patching up the Courts of Europe to their liking as they yelled their heads off. But what interested me the most was a crowd of little schoolmasters whose flamboyance attracted the admiration of the entire coffee house.

97 English

Ils entroient en sifflant , sautant , pirouettant ; s’embrassoient les uns les autres , se donnaient des coups de canne , des coups de poings , chantaient , faisaient un entre-chat , disorient toutes les sottises que la langue a pu fournir jusqu’à présent se montroient des billets de bonne fortune , les lisoient tout haut ; puis s’alloient battre après avoir payé quelqu’un pour les venir séparer. Sur ceux-là mouloient fort mal-adroitment , plusieurs jeunes gens à peine sortis du College qui par-là se couvroient d’un ridicule inconcevable. Un des principaux acteurs de ce Café étoit un grossier plaisant qui tirait de son auditoire de grands éclats de rire par des obscénités assaisonnées, de pointes fades , & des impiétés révoltantes. Mais lorsque j’étois le plus occupé de ces observations , je vis tous ces désœuvrés métamorphoses en hannetons, qui, sortant par les portes, les fenêtres & les cheminées , s’alloient rendre en bourdonnant sur un marronnier.

98 French

They came in whistling, leaping, pirouetting; they hugged each other, caned each other, sang, performed an entrechat, said all the silly things that the language has passed down to us, showed each other printed fortunes, read them aloud, then went off to fight after paying someone to come and separate them. Shadowing them awkwardly were several young people barely out of grammar school, who allowed ridicule to fall on them. One of the main players in the house was a crude jokester who drew bursts of laughter from his audience with seasoned obscenities, bland remarks, and disgusting impieties. But when I was more occupied by these observations than ever, I saw all these idlers mutate into maybugs; they made their exit through the doors, windows, and chimneys and they buzzed through the air, alighting on a chestnut tree.

99 English


Las jaulas, short story in La Vida Sumergida

Pilar Adón

The protagonists of this short story challenge the traditional goodbye in an effort to hold on to the present and draw the future of their love.

“Darío, algo molesto con ese experimento que duraba ya demasiado, extraviado entre las sombras y los sonidos de la estación, pensaba en regresar a su sala de estudiante y encerrarse con sus libros sobre el arte del pasado. No quería estar en un andén rodeado de viajeros que viajaban, ni besarla para luego encaminarse hacia la salida con ella de la mano. Sin embargo, semana tras semana, cada viernes, los dos se aproximaban al tren de las ocho destino Rennes y simulaban un adiós sin lágrimas ni promesas, sabedores de que se trataba de una prueba más. Un nuevo ensayo para el momento en que llegase la auténtica separación, cuando el beso sería su último beso antes de una aventura que no compartirían. Ella, subida al primer vagón, fingiendo la despedida tradicional, confiaba en llevar una existencia nómada. Trasladarse a los lagos del Gran Valle del Rift. Dormir bajo el techo rojo de una parada de metro en Estocolmo. Acercarse a las nieves rusas, siempre al tanto de que no se debía confundir el concepto de longitud con el de distancia. De momento seguían juntos, pero no era posible mantenerse eternamente en el mismo estado, aunque al principio pareciera que sí.”


Darío, somewhat annoyed with this experiment, which was going on for too long, in a blur among the shadows and sounds of the station, was minded only of returning to the student room and getting lost in his books about a long gone art. He didn’t want to be standing on a platform, surrounded by passengers travelling, nor did he want to kiss her and then head towards the exit holding her hand. But, week after week, every Friday, they both approached the eight o’clock train to Rennes, and pretended to say goodbye with no tears, no promises, knowing that they were trying one more time. A new rehearsal for the moment of real separation, when the kiss would be the last before an adventure that they would not share. She would be in the first carriage, acting out the traditional farewell, confident that her existence was to be nomadic. To leave for the lakes of the Great Rift Valley. To sleep under the red ceiling of a metro stop in Stockholm. To come close to the Russian snow, not to ever confuse the idea of length and that of distance. For now, they were still together, but that would not be possible to sustain forever, even though it seemed so.

101 English The

Anastasia Fedosova

Review of The Translations of Seamus Heaney, edited by Marco Sonzogni (Faber and Faber, 2022)

In 1986, Heaney stated that “subtly, with a kind of hangdog intimation of desertion, poets in English have felt compelled to turn their gaze East and have been encouraged to concede that the locus of greatness is shifting away from their language.”[1] Somewhat an overstatement implying a sort of competition of “greatness” between different authors, unsurprisingly it received much criticism from the readers and scholars in the West, so much so that Heaney excluded the provocative essays from Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971–2001 (2002). In the 1980s, however, anglophone poetry was under the influence of Eastern European verse, which was under a lot more pressure due to contemporary politics and harsh censure. In the words of Justin Quinn, poets in the West were “haunted” by the aperçu of the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam that: “Чего

(“Poetry is respected only in this country — people are killed for it”)[2]. Seamus Heaney’s engagement with the poets of Eastern Europe was profound[3]. He wrote about the Slavic poets, including, amongst others, Polish poets Czesław Miłosz and Zbigniew Herbert, the Czech poet Miroslav Holub, and Russian poets Osip Mandelstam and Joseph Brodsky. He also translated these authors’ work, although he did not speak any Slavic languages. These, and many other translations, are collected in The Translations of Seamus Heaney, edited by Marco Sonzogni and published by Faber and Faber in 2022.

The collection is an incredible achievement. Comprising a hundred and one texts from fourteen different languages, it is an entertaining read that gives the anglophone audience access to a range of cultures around the globe, and shows just how important the role translation played in Heaney’s life and art. The collection opens with an excellent introduction by Marco Sonzogni, an award-winning Italian scholar and literary translator who is currently teaching at Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

1. Seamus Heaney, The Government of the Tongue: Selected Prose, 1978-1987 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1988), 38.

2. Justin Quinn, “Heaney and Eastern Europe” in The Cambridge aCompanion to Seamus Heaney, ed. Bernard O’Donoghue (Cambridge: Cambridge Unaiversity Press, 2009), 92.

3. Nadezhda Mandelstam, Vospominaniya (Moscow: Kniga, 1989), 149.

“Meting grief and reason out”: Seamus Heaney and the Russians.
за поэзию не убивают…”
ты жалуешься, поэзию уважают только у нас — за нее убивают.
больше нигде

Sonzogni outlines Heaney’s engagement with foreign cultures and the art of translation throughout the poet’s life, drawing from a variety of primary and critical sources.

Heaney saw the translator as a “creative stealer,” Sonzogni explains, always working in collaboration with the author of the original, aiming “to move [the text] through a certain imaginative and linguistic distance,” yet producing translations that were always “unmistakably his.” Most famous for his version of Beowulf, Heaney translated texts dating from antiquity to modern times, written in languages he did and did not know. The readers of the collection will encounter translations from Czech, Dutch, Old, Middle and Modern Irish, and more; will meet some well-known names, such as Charles Baudelaire and Dante Alighieri; and definitely discover some new names for themselves. My personal findings were two wonderful Romanian authors, Ana Blandiana and Marin Sorescu. Each poem in the book is followed by an insightful commentary from the editor, providing information on the author and the historical background of the original and the translation. I will now concentrate on Heaney’s translations of two Russian poets, Alexandr Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) and Joseph Aleksandrovich Brodsky (1940-1996). Two poems by each are included in the collection. I will focus on one from each author, looking at both the original and the translation.

Aleksandr Pushkin is famously known as the father of Russian literary language. Today, the language of Pushkin’s poetry seems simple, banal, and familiar. His rhymes are so easy to remember, that if you pick out any person from a street in Moscow or a road in Siberia, and ask them to recite a poem for you, they will recount Pushkin without hesitation. This simplicity of language, however, was revolutionary in nineteenth-century Russia, where the distinction between spoken and written language was stark. The latter derived from Old Church Slavonic, used complex lexicon and grammar, and was concerned with all things high and noble. Pushkin, if not discovered (the ground was laid by M.V. Lomonosov and G.R. Derzhavin), certainly popularised the use of colloquial language in poetry, whilst also respecting the written literary tradition. The notion was not unlike that of the British Romantics, in particular William Wordsworth, who advocated for poetry which described “incidents and situations from common life” in a “selection of language really used by men.”


This creative affinity between the Russian poet and the British Romantics may be explained by the interest in the ideas of The French Revolution.[4] Pushkin was associated with the Decembrists (декабристы), a revolutionary group that was comprised almost exclusively of members of the Russian nobility, many of whom were also military men (дворяне-офицеры). In essence, the Decembrists sought reforms and improvements in Russia, including the abolition of serfdom (крепостное право) and equal legal rights for all social classes. Pushkin was not an active member of the group and did not participate in the infamous Revolt of 1825, but he maintained a close friendship with many Decembrists, whom he had known from his lyceum years, and his poetry assumed an important ideological role in the movement. One example is the poem translated by Heaney in 1999 for The British Pushkin Bicentennial Trust, titled “Arion” (“Арион”, 1827).

The poem’s reliance on the Greek myth about the musician Arion concealed its political connotations and allowed it to pass censure. Still, it was first published anonymously, and became popular only after 1917. Heaney’s translation of the poem was “very much a one-off job,” as noted by Stephanie Schwerter, made from a literal translation by Elaine Feinstein.[5] In the poem, Arion sings to the sailors on a boat. A thunderstorm causes the boat to sink, and the poet is the only one to survive. Schwerter observed that Heaney universalises the poem and explores “the significance of artistic expression in times of social unrest.”[6] Indeed, the issues of “poetic vocation” and “public responsibility” of the poet, as well as the conflict between “public duty” and “artistic freedom” played a significant role in Heaney’s oeuvre.[7] Comparing the two texts, Heaney’s voice is less political, which is most evident in the vocabulary choices. Pushkin’s Arion is “таинственный певец”, a “mysterious singer”, who sings “гимны” (“hymns” or “anthems’’, a word with a political connotation). This adjective derives from the Russian word for “secret” or “mystery” and, according to Schwerter, references the secretive nature of a revolutionary group.

4. William Wordsworth, “Preface” to Lyrical Ballads (London: Longman, 1802), vii. 5. Stephanie Schwerter, Northern Irish Poetry and the Russian Turn (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 65.

Heaney does not specify what Arion is singing, and omits the adjective in the respective line, but instead writes “A mystery to myself”, alluding to, as observed by Schwerter, Arion’s “unexpected survival,” but also a kind of artistic self-commentary.[8] On the other hand, Pushkin’s “mysterious singer” can be understood in an almost religious sense, highlighting the divine and prophetic nature of the artist, and in that sense, Heaney’s translation is accurate.[9]

Heaney also removes the sense of faith and admiration that Arion has for the sailors: “Другие дружно упирали / В глубь мощны веслы.” (“The others collectively thrust / powerful oars into the depths.”); “дружно”, which implies working “together” and “in harmony with one another” and is derived from the Russian for friend, becomes “Some at the heave and haul / Of the oars.” The adjective “умный” characterising the helmsman is also omitted. Pushkin’s Arion’s “беспечной веры полн” (“full of carefree/light-hearted faith”) is rendered as “I, taking all for granted.” Moreover, there are certain words in Pushkin’s poem which would present a challenge to a translator. For example, what Heaney translates as “boat” is “челн” in the original, which literally means “a boat carved from wood” but also has the poetical connotation of a larger ship. Russian “вихорь”, “a whirlpool of air”, becomes “maelstrom”, “a whirlpool of the sea”, and “гроза”, “thunderstorm” turns into a weaker “swell”. Furthermore, what Heaney has translated as the neutral “clothes”, is “риза”, a priest’s liturgical vestment, in the original. Overall, Heaney’s version of “Arion” uses more neutral and common language than the original. It therefore lacks some of the grandeur of Pushkin’s poem and misses the references to Russian politics, which is the main argument of Schwerter’s analysis. Despite this, an Irish translation should not be criticised for overlooking the Russian political or historical connotations, unless a conscious decision was made to do just that. Heaney’s Arion ends up “safe and sound”, which has no equivalent in the original, thus concluding the English version of the poem on a more positive note. Considering the socio-political background of the translation, produced shortly after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (1998), which signalled the beginning of the end of the Troubles, Heaney’s ending may well be in reference to this event. What seems to me to be more important, however, is both Pushkin’s and Heaney’s belief in the responsibility of the poet to the people and the power of the poetic work.

6. Ibid, 66.

7. Bernard O’Donoghue, “Introduction” in The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 8, 11.

8. Schwerter, Northern Irish Poetry and the Russian Turn, 68.

9. Maria Nenarokova,”Pushkin’s Arion in English: Concerning the Problem of Translation Adequacy.”

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics 8, no. 4 (2017): 805.


Heaney’s relationship with Joseph Brodsky is different from that with Pushkin. The two Nobel laureates first met in 1972 and remained friends until Brodsky’s unexpected death in 1996. “I first met Brodsky at the time when I had just started out in Wicklow, and I liked his sense of exile and his intensity — someone absolutely a poet, you know,” Heaney said of the fellow poet.[10] Their friendship was commemorated by Heaney in the poem “Audenesque”, an elegy and a nostalgic piece about a private memory, a quotation from which is used in the introduction to this review. Brodsky also dedicated a poem, written in Russian, to his friend, called simply “To Seamus Heaney” (“Шеймусу Хини”). Marco Sonzogni gives a brilliant account of the two poets’ friendship, relying on Heaney’s own words taken from his writings, as well as a number of critical sources and interviews. This can be found in the commentary on the two poems by Brodsky both belonging to his Nativity Poems, featured in The Translations of Seamus Heaney.

Religion — not in a sense of an institution, but in a sense of faith, myth, and tradition— is crucial to Brodsky. This has been noted by a number of critics, and in a way was expressed by the poet himself quite early on. During Brodsky’s trial, the following exchange between the judge and the defendant took place:

Judge: “And what exactly is your specialty?”

Brodsky: “A poet. A poet-translator.”

J: “And who acknowledged you as a poet? Who classified you as a poet?” B: “Nobody. (No defiance). Who classified me as a human being?”

J: “Did you study that?”

B: “What?”

J: “To be a poet. Did you go to university, where they would prepare you… teach you…” B: “I didn’t think that was something you could get through a university education.” J: “How do you get it then?”

B: “I think it’s (confused)… it comes from God…”

10. Seamus Heaney quoted in Neil Corcoran, The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: A Critical Study (London: Faber and Faber, 1998), p. 260.

Brodsky would later complement this definition of a poet by adding that his main profession is language.[11] “The biblical ‘In the beginning was the Word…’ can serve as an epigraph to Brodsky’s oeuvre” said the poet’s biographer. [12] Indeed, these two ideas — myth (predominantly, biblical and New Testament myth) and language (the concern of many modernist and post-modernist poets) — are key to Brodsky’s poetry, especially in Nativity Poems. Reflecting on these ideas, Schwerter has noted that it is precisely the “spiritual dimension of the Nativity Poems” and the importance of an individual human being that “might have had some bearing on Heaney’s interest in this collection of poetry.”[13] To further explore these ideas, I will now focus on Heaney’s translation of “Imagine striking a match that night in the cave” (“Представь, чиркнув спичкой, тот вечер в пещере”, 1989).

When reading a poem, we must always ask ourselves not only “what is the poem about?”, but also, “what is this poem?”. In other words, form is just as important — and sometimes even more important — than content. In “Imagine striking a match that night in the cave”, Brodsky uses enjambment in almost every line, including the last line of the third quatrain. This is excellently translated by Heaney: “but in the cerulean thickening over the Infant / no bell and no echo of the bell: He hasn’t yet earned it.”.

“Imagine striking a match that night in the cave” narrates the Nativity. The first “Imagine”, the first stanza, translated quite accurately by Heaney, lists a number of common material objects as a way of evoking the notion of the Nativity: the fire of the match is meant to inspire in the reader the “night in the cave”, “the cracks in the floor” to help us to “feel the cold” of it, and the “crockery” to remind us of Mary’s and Joseph’s “hunger”. The first quatrain also determines the time and space of the narrative. The second “Imagine” appeals to our sight (“огонь, очертанья животных, вещей ли” / “the fire, the outline of animals and things”) and touch (“и — складкам смешать дав лицо с полотенцем —” / “and — letting the folds mingle your face with the towel”). The poet, thus, forces us to assimilate the liturgical into our everyday sensory experience. Heaney’s translation of the second quatrain is curious. He writes, “the fire, the farm beats in outline, the farm tools and stuff;”, thus “recreat[ing] Mossbawn in his poem” as observed by Schwerter. The critic argues that Heaney refers “to the home of his childhood” and his “family’s life on the farm” in this translation.[14]

11. Igor Sukhikh, Russkaya Literatura dlya Vsekh: from Blok to Brodsky (Moscow: KoLibri, 2022) 726. 12. Vladimir Bondarenko, Brodsky: Russkii poet (Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya, 2015), 12. 13. Schwerter, Northern Irish Poetry and the Russian Turn, 59. 14. Ibid, 61.

The stanza of the third “Imagine” is full of sounds, “the creaking of loads” and “the clink of a cowbell”[15]. The last “Imagine” is the most striking:

Представь, что Господь в

Человеческом Сыне

впервые Себя узнает

на огромном

впотьмах расстояньи: бездомный в


Imagine that the Lord, recognises Himself for the first time in the Son of Man at a great distance in darkness: homeless in the homeless.

Imagine the Lord, for the first time, from darkness, and stranded immensely in distance, recognizing Himself in the Son of Man: homeless, going out to Himself in a homeless one.

Brodsky My translation Heaney

I say the most striking, because it is the one that is impossible to “imagine”: how can we visualise the incarnation of God in Man? The “great distance in darkness” stands in opposition to the exact setting of the earlier quatrains. The adjective “homeless” is a reference to the Gospel of Matthew 8:20, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”, thus reinforcing the infiniteness and omnipresence of God.

Heaney’s translation intensifies these ideas: not only does he elaborate the last sentence and break up “впотьмах расстояньи”, but he also adds the adverb “stranded”, which enhances the notion of “helplessness and disorientation which are less pronounced in the Russian original.”[16]These changes in translation are important when considered with the introduction of an allusion to Heaney’s childhood home mentioned above.

They also encourage us to take a different perspective on the original and read this moment of “recognition” in relation to an idea expressed by Brodsky in his autobiographical essay, “Less Than One”. In it, the poet writes of an “entity”, an “I” inside the “shell around which ‘everything’ was happening”, an “I” that “never changed and never stopped watching what was going on outside,” that stood outside of time.[17] Lev Losev interprets Brodsky’s idea in the following terms: “the fault of each person is that throughout their life “one is less than ‘one’”, and therefore not living to one’s full potential.[18] The spiritual aspiration of each human being should thus be to strive to equal the “I” inside. The ending of the poem in translation, where the “stranded” recognises Himself in the “homeless”, gives us hope to be able to cope with the “loss of oneself” on a human level and recognise that “one” inside.

konferencii fi lologicheskogo f-ta MGU “Russkaja literatura XX–XXI vekov kak edinyj process”. Moscow, 2020, 148–155.

15. Olga Hazanova has argued that these descriptions have been influenced by the theoretical writings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Spanish Catholic priest and theologian. See Olga Hazanova, “Metafora duhovnogo uprazhnenija v rozhdestvenskom stihotvorenii Iosifa Brodskogo”, Materialy VII mezhdunarodnoj nauchnoj

Bibliography -

Bondarenko, Vladimir. Brodsky: Russkii poet. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya, 2015. Brodsky, Joseph. Less Than One: Selected Essays. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1986.

Corcoran,Neil. The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: A Critical Study. London: Faber and Faber, 1998.

Hazanova, Olga. “Metafora duhovnogo uprazhnenija v rozhdestvenskom stihotvorenii Iosifa Brodskogo”, Materialy VII mezhdunarodnoj nauchnoj konferencii fi lologicheskogo f-ta MGU “Russkaja literatura XX–XXI vekov kak edinyj process”. Moscow, 2020, 148–155.

Heaney, Seamus. The Government of the Tongue: Selected Prose, 1978-1987. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1988.

Losev, Lev. Brodsky, Iosif.: Opyt Literaturnoi Biographii. Moscow: Molodaya

Gvardiya, 2011. Mandelstam, Nadezhda. Vospominaniya. Moscow: Kniga, 1989. Published in English as Hope Against Hope: a memoir. Translated by Max Hayward. New York: Modern Library, 1999.

Nenarokova, Maria. “Pushkin’s Arion in English: concerning the problem of translation adequacy.” RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics, 2017, N. 8(4), 794—810. O’Donoghue, Bernard ed. The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Quinn, Justin. “Heaney and Eastern Europe” in The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney, ed. Bernard O’Donoghue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 92.

Schwerter, Stephanie. Northern Irish Poetry and the Russian Turn. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Sukhikh, Igor. Russkaya Literatura dlya Vsekh: from Blok to Brodsky. Moscow: KoLibri, 2022.

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads, London: Longman, 1802.

16. Schwerter, Northern Irish Poetry and the Russian Turn, 61.

17. Joseph Brodsky, Less Than One: Selected Essays (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1986), 16-17.

18. Lev Losev, Iosif Brodsky: Opyt Literaturnoi Biographii (Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya, 2011), 167.

109 109


Ciara Gallagher is a Junior Sophister student of History of Art and Architecture with a minor in French. Starting an Erasmus exchange at the Sorbonne, Paris IV this September, Ciara’s interests lie in 19th century French art: literary and visual. Previous publication credits include: TN2 Magazine, The University Times, Trinity News and The Irish Independent.

Nayara Güércio is a PhD candidate at the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation, Trinity College Dublin. She is generously supported by a scholarship granted by the Haddad Foundation. Nayara has an MPhil in Literary Translation from TCD and a Master’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Brasilia, Brazil.

Eduardo Torres is a 3rd year PhD student in Philosophy, currently writing a thesis on the junction between ordinary language and metaphysics. He is deeply interested in speech act theory, the interface between semantics and pragmatics, contemporary classical music, and the philosophy of literature.

Aaron Hostetter (they/them) is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University-Camden, specialising in Old & Middle English Literature. They host the Old English Narrative Poetry Project (https://oldenglishpoetry.camden.rutgers. edu/). They published Political Appetites: Food in Medieval English Romance in 2017 & have appeared in Ancient Exchanges & New Medieval Literature, among others.

Andrea Bergantino and Gaia Baldassarri are based at the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation. Andrea is a PhD candidate in Translation Studies, and served as Italian editor of JoLT, volume 10. Gaia (MPhil in Literary Translation, TCD) is a literary translator and visual artist currently working part-time at Literature Ireland.


Ana Olivares Muñoz Ledo is from Mexico. She recently completed the MPhil in Literary Translation at Trinity College Dublin (2023). Her interests range from Japanese literature, video game translation and research in translation studies. She received the Mexican Scholarship for the Arts to complete this Master’s degree.

Tyan Priss is a Trinity College Dublin alumni currently working in Dublin. Tyan enjoys reading, writing and translating speculative fiction stories, and has tentatively opened an Instagram account at @tyan_priss to promote all future translations.

Sarah G Robinson is a translator and writer who lives in London. She translates from French and German into English, working primarily on children’s stories, poetry and non-fiction. She holds a First Class degree in Modern Languages from King’s College, London.

James Owens’s newest book is Family Portrait with Scythe (Bottom Dog Press, 2020). His poems and translations appear widely in literary journals, including Channel, Arc, Dalhousie Review, Queen’s Quarterly, and The Honest Ulsterman. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in a small town in northern Ontario, Canada.

Katarina Gadže is a writer and translator from Rijeka, Croatia. She studied English and French linguistics and literature at the University of Zadar and the Sorbonne. She now lives and works in Brussels. Her essays and literary criticism have appeared in the Asymptote Journal.

Agne Kniuraite is a Senior Fresh Religion student at TCD. She was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, but grew up all over Europe and considers herself a citizen of the world. She enjoys reading and making up languages she forgets to write down.


Aimilia Varla is a literary translator from Greece. She studied English Language and Literature and did her masters in Literary Translation in Trinity. She is interested in languages and cultural understanding. She is currently working with Xanthie Tavoularea, translating her work from Greek into English

Alison Entrekin is an Australian literary translator. Her work has won many awards including the New South Wales Premier’s Translation Prize and PEN Medallion and the AAWP Translator’s Prize. Her translations of Lisboa’s poetry have also appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation, The Missing Slate, The Indian Quarterly, and Glossalia, among others.

Honor Faughnan is a Research Master’s student in Ancient Classics at the University of Galway. She is the recipient of a variety of University awards, including the Peel Prize for English Composition and Athenry Prize for Classics, and recently won Best Supporting Actress at the Irish Society Drama Awards in Dublin.

Aoife Dalton is a recent European Studies graduate. She majored in Italian and minored in French, and holds a deep interest in language’s role in cultural identity. After living in Corsica, Aoife gained insight into the importance of minority languages, drawing parallels with Gaeilge from her own home.

Michelle Chan Schmidt is the Chinese editor 2023-24 at JoLT, and an assistant editor of fiction at Asymptote. An undergraduate student of English literature and history at Trinity College Dublin, she is fascinated by the representation of Hong Kong in literature and Hongkongese narratives of history.

Yana Ellis is a Bulgarian-born translator from German and Bulgarian into English. She holds an MA in Translation from the University of Bristol. She was ALTA Virtual Travel Fellows for 2022 and was shortlisted for the 2022 John Dryden Translation Competition. Her work has appeared in No Man’s Land and The Common literary magazines.

R. Esau Sanchez (Guerrero, México, 1997) is a journalist and translator. He writes weekly about politics and culture in Vertigo Político magazine. Additionally, he has translated poems by Iris Murdoch into Spanish and has collaborated with journals and magazines such as Periódico de Poesía and Reflexiones Marginales.


Tara O’Sullivan is in her final year of Sociology and Business in Trinity. She attended a gaelscoil at primary level which began her love for Irish and language as a whole.

Francesca Corsetti holds a BA in Foreign Languages and Literature from the University of Bologna. She attended Trinity College Dublin as an Erasmus student in 2020-21, when she also contributed to Trinity JoLT. Presently, she is pursuing a European Master’s in English and American Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Aoibh Ní Chroimín/ Crimmins has just finished a degree in English Literature and German in Trinity. She is currently working as a tour guide in Dublin, but would like to go to Germany again next year so that she can wander around forests overthinking things.

Helena Gelman is a 2nd year History and Spanish student from New York City. She has been learning Spanish for 7 years at varying speeds and is currently making her way very slowly through “El amor en los tiempos del cólera.”

Cian Dunne graduated from TCD with a BA in English Literature and Russian. He was the Editor-in-Chief of JoLT in his final year, 2021/22, producing Volume 10, Issues I and II, ‘Ellipsis’ and ‘Epiphany’. He is now pursuing the MA Translation at Queen’s University Belfast.

Stephen Crown-Weber is a Central Kentucky author and academic/self-help translator, with fiction forthcoming from Expat Press. His literary criticism is available on a Central Kentucky local news substack, The Goldenrod. Short stories and other work can be found in local Kentucky publications like the Democratic Socialist newsletter, New Kentucky.

Cristina Barroso is a graduate of the MPhil in Literary Translation and a PhD candidate at the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation.

Anastasia Fedosova has graduated from TCD with a degree in English Literature. She was the Editor-in-Chief of JoLT in 2022/23.



Ella Sloane is a Senior Sophister English student.

Ava Cashell, also known as @soulpaiint, is a 22-year-old artist from Dublin, Ireland. After rediscovering her love for art during the pandemic, she created a successful online business selling hand-painted custom shoes. Presently, her artistic style encompasses a diverse array of different techniques and mediums, concentrating on evocative paintings and intricate drawings.

Naemi Dehde is in her twenties and a tad uncreative when it comes to introducing herself. She hopes though that the lack of creativity does not apply to her artworks.

Penny Stuart is a regular art contributor to JoLT. She is currently in the process of creating a book of fine art prints including words from the story ‘Dubliners’ by James Joyce as her inspiration and translating it into French, Italian and Braille for the visually impaired.

Trinity Journal of Literary
Summer Issue

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.