Francisca Aguirre Nana del desperdicio de la tristeza Lullaby for Sadness Amparo Arrospide Robin Ouzman Hislop Translated Poem

Francisca Agirre

 

Nana del desperdicio de la tristeza

 

 Al abrigo de la arboleda de Soto del Real

   y cerca de María Fernanda y Emilio Barrachina

 

Tengo delante de los ojos

el asombro de la arboleda

que me abraza.

Miro los fresnos susurrantes,

 los callados abetos,

los sauces melancólicos

 y no sé bien qué hacer

con el desperdicio intangible

 que llamamos tristeza.

 La tristeza es quizás

 el mejor animal de compañía,

 

la fiera más doméstica,

 pero también la más hambrienta.

 

La tristeza es un hueco que nos sigue

y que al menor descuido nos alcanza,

se sitúa delante de nosotros

y nos canta su nana de desdichas,

su lamento de fiera abandonada,

su machacona relación de oprobios,

su quejido de bicho que se empeña

en pegarse a nosotros

 y decirnos

que no la abandonemos

 a su suerte,

que nuestra obligación es adoptarla.

El viejo desperdicio de la pena,

tan opaco y radiante a un mismo tiempo,

nos va reconociendo con su hocico

y nos lame las manos con su lengua

y se acurruca manso a nuestro lado:

conoce palmo a palmo

 el territorio.

Sus lágrimas nos lavan con modestia,

mientras el animal nos sigue terco,

 con la amable seguridad

que da el abismo.

 

***

 

LULLABY FOR SADNESS

 

 Sheltered by the Soto del Real grove

 and close to María Fernanda y Emilio Barrachina

 

Before my eyes stands

the sheltering grove´s amazement

 which embraces me.

I look at the whispering ash trees,

 the still firs,

the melancholic willows

 and am at a loss

with the intangible remains

 we call sadness.

Sadness is perhaps

 the best pet to keep you company,

 

the most domestic beast,

 but also the most ravenous.

Sadness is a vacuum that pursues us

that leaps out on us unawares

to confront us

to lull us with its lullaby of wretchedness,

its lament of a forsaken beast,

and its monotonous list of injuries,

its plaintive creature´s groan insisting

in attaching itself to us

 and imploring us

not to abandon it

 to its fate,

that it is our duty to adopt it.

The old remnant of sorrow,

so opaque and bright at the same time

that starts by recognition through nose

then the licking of hands with tongue

tamely curling up at our side:

bit by bit it takes hold

 of the land.

Meekly its tears wash us

whilst the beast pursues us stubbornly,

 with that gentle assurance

offered to us by the abyss.

***

Translated by Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arrospide

***

 

Francisca Aguirre was born in 1930 in Alicante, Spain, and fled with her family to France at the end of the Spanish Civil War, where they lived in political exile.  When the Germans invaded Paris in 1942, her family was forced to return to Spain, where her father, painter Lorenzo Aguirre, was subsequently murdered by Francisco Franco’s regime.  Aguirre published Ítaca (1972), currently available in English (Ithaca [2004]), when she was 42 years old. Her work has garnered much critical success, winning the Leopoldo Panero, Premio Ciudad de Irún, and Premio Galliana, among other literary prizes.  Aguirre is married to the poet Félix Grande and is the mother of poet Guadalupe Grande.

 

 
Robin Ouzman Hislop (UK) Co-editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. (See its Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_Life_and_Times). He has made many appearances over the last years in the quarterly journals Canadian Zen Haiku, including In the Spotlight Winter 2010 & Sonnetto Poesia. Previously published in international magazines, recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, Post Hoc installed at Bank Street Arts Centre, Sheffield (UK), Uroborus Journal, 2011-2012 (Sheffield, UK), The Poetic Bond II & 111, available at http://www.thepoeticbond.com and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes a recently published Anthology of Sonnets: http://bit.ly/1lIL0jF. He has recently completed a volume of poetry, The World at Large, for future publication. He is currently resident in Spain engaged in poetry translation projects.robin@artvilla.com and you can also visit Face Book site at www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes

 
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Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published four poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and Presencia en el Misterio as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and both national and foreign magazines. She has received numerous awards. Together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, she worked as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times, an E-zine.

 

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EL ANGEL PROMETIDO. THE PROMISED ANGEL (Extract)Poem.Javier Diaz Gil.Translated Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arrospide

 

(i)

Creyó que era un ángel.

Tuvo suerte.

 

Resulté

ser un fantasma.

****

He believed I was an angel.

He was lucky.

 

I happened

to be a ghost.

****

(ii)

Terminarás aprendiendo

 –yo te enseñaré–:

 

Lo más difícil

de todo

 

es desaparecer.

****

You will end up learning

 — I will teach you–:

 

Most difficult

of all

 

is to vanish.

****

(iii)

A plena luz

los fantasmas

son más visibles.

 

Sólo los ángeles

buscan la noche.

****

In broad daylight

ghosts

are most visible.

 

Only angels

seek the night.

****

(iv)

¡Aprovéchate!

 

Los fantasmas

tenemos

 

sexo.

****

Be cool!

 

As yes,

we ghosts

have

 

sex.

****

(v)

Te asustarás

si ves un fantasma.

 

Pero preocúpate

si es

un ángel

lo que ves.

****

You’ll be scared

should you see a ghost.

 

But you should worry

if it´s

an angel

you see.

****

(vi)

En caso de duda

levanta la sábana

del fantasma.

 

A veces debajo

se esconde

 

un ángel.

****

In case of doubt

lift the sheet

from the ghost.

 

At times beneath

hides

 

an angel.

****

(vii)

Los ángeles

siempre

regresan

al

lugar

 

 

del

crimen.

****

Angels

always

return

to

the scene

 

of

the crime.

****

Febrero 2012 Javier Diez Gil

Javier Díaz Gil, Madrid, 1964. A Bachelor in Geography & History, with a diploma in General Education Teaching. Until 2006, co-founder and director of the literary magazine Rascamán. For over ten years he has supervised Creative Literature Workshops. Director and moderator of the cycles Escritores en la Biblioteca (“María Moliner” Library). He has published the poetry books Humo, granted the Humberto Tenedor award, Abarán, 2000; Hallazgo de la visión, granted the Nicolás del Hierro award, Piedrabuena, 2000. In 2006 at Santiago de Chile he took part in the Latin American poetry meeting “Poquita Fe” and in 2007 at São Paulo (Brazil) in the “Festival de Tordesilhas”. His poems have been published in literary anthologies and magazines such as Poeta de ©abra (Madrid), Luces y sombras (Tafalla), sèrieAlfa (Valencia), Cuadernos del Matemático (Madrid) o Celuzlose (São Paulo). He was selected at the “Diputación de Badajoz” 2008 Experimental Poetry Award, nominated for the 2010 Addison de Witt Poetry Award and awarded the 2013 “Manzanares el Real” Poetry Award. His poems have been translated into English, Portuguese and Catalan. A member of the Society of Spanish Writers & Artists, since 2006 he chairs the weekly literary gathering Rascamán held at the Café Ruiz in Madrid. His blog can be found at  http://javierdiazgil.blogspot.com

***
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Robin Ouzman Hislop (UK) Co-editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. (See its Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_Life_and_Times). He has made many appearances over the last years in the quarterly journals Canadian Zen Haiku, including In the Spotlight Winter 2010 & Sonnetto Poesia. Previously published in international magazines, recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, Post Hoc installed at Bank Street Arts Centre, Sheffield (UK), Uroborus Journal, 2011-2012 (Sheffield, UK), The Poetic Bond II & 111, available at http://www.thepoeticbond.com and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes a recently published Anthology of Sonnets: http://bit.ly/1lIL0jF. He has recently completed a volume of poetry, The World at Large, for future publication. He is currently resident in Spain engaged in poetry translation projects.robin@artvilla.com and you can also visit Face Book site at www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes

 
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Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published four poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and Presencia en el Misterio as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and both national and foreign magazines. She has received numerous awards. Together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, she worked as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times, an E-zine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching for Ecstasy.Robin Marchesi.Poem.

 

Round and Round

Just wearing out a broken frown

Being eaten by a hungry world

Us truants from another time

With ribbons from a different rhyme…

  

Where are we?

Surrounded by Eternity

Or is it just a dream,

A vision that we’ve seen,

When you’re searching for ecstasy…

  

You and me

Just walking over broken glass,

A mirage that will let you down,

Us players in a game of chance,

Random travellers in a magic dance…

 

Here we are,

Children lost in destiny,

A throw of foolish dice,

The joker comes up twice,

When you’re searching for ecstasy…

  

So here we go,

For shadows in a picture show,

Unwinding action, real to real,

Stargazers from a lonely place,

To captivate a raptured face…

  

It may be,

Solutions lost in fantasy,

There’s a rainbow in your heart,

Love’s woven from the start

When you’re searching for ecstasy.

 
Me
 
Robin Marchesi, born in 1951, began writing in his teens, much to the consternation of his mother, the sister of Eric Hobsbawm, the historian.

In 1992 Cosmic Books published his first book entitled  “A B C Quest”.

In 1996 March Hare Press published “Kyoto Garden” and in 1999 “My Heart is As…”

ClockTowerBooks published his Poetic Novella, “A Small Journal of Heroin Addiction”, digitally, in 2000.

Charta Books published his latest work entitled “Poet of the Building Site”, about his time working with Barry Flanagan the Sculptor of Hares, in association with the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

He is presently working on an upcoming novel entitled “A Story Made of Stone.”
 

 http://www.amazon.com/A-Small-Journal-Heroin-Addiction/product-reviews/0743300521
 
http://www.illywords.com/2011/09/down-the-rabbit-hole-a-glimpse-into-the-wonderland-of-barry-flanagan/
 

robin@artvilla.com
editor@artvilla.com

 

Prose Sonnet Essay.A Ton of Feathers: Behind Enemy Lines with the Sonnet.Norman Ball

 

A Ton of Feathers: Behind Enemy Lines with the Sonnet

(originally appeared at Pop Matters)

One of her feather’d creatures broke away.’—from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 143

An appreciator of great poetry, I don’t strenuously identify with being a poet myself, though I enjoy tooling about in the genre, purple pen in hand. An essayist at heart, I’m better at converging on dense and prickly concepts with dense and prickly prose. How am I doing so far?

I suppose I prefer ground-control precision to imagistic flight. Such tendencies are often driven by individual temperament, the vagaries of native talent and whether or not one was breast- fed beyond age two <burp>. I honestly can’t say my tactics vary greatly from sonnet to essay. Therein may lie an inherent limitation in my poetry. Then too, it may not be so far off the mark either as the sonnet structure observes a distinct logical progression. There is within the form an argument, a volta(a turn or ‘twist’), a counter-argument and then a resolution, the latter often occurring in the final couplet.

Without doubt, the sonnet offers rich terrain for rhetorical hijinks and abbreviated exposition. You might rightly ask then, why entrust such a tightly-wound machine to muddle-headed poets? I won’t get into all the structural variations and sonnet rhyme schemes here —the Petrarchan, Shakespearian, Spenserian, Protozoan, Heidi Montagian, etc.—as that would require a fearsome erudition exceeding my rude powers. Perhaps if we start with lines today, we can build to whole college syllabi tomorrow. For the moment, I’m fresh out of paper-mill certificates.

Alas, poetry’s ruby red lips are not starved for company as tired thinking and expression is a sprawling hammock stretched wide across our culture. Cliché can afflict poetic intent as surely as it haunts language and image. In my recent spate of sonnet-writing I’m aware of having grown terribly fond of the enjambment technique. For all you auto mechanics out there perusing this essay at lunch, enjambment is a fancy French word for straddling. Yes that’s right, sort of a broken Citroën, but with words and a marginally superior maintenance record.

Wikipedia gets fancier still, calling enjambment the “breaking of a syntactic unit” in a line of poetry. The alternative to enjambment is the traditional end-stop of which I have grown supremely tired. End-stopping is essentially matching syntax to lineation. Immediately, I picture fourteen bumper-stickers carefully lined, one beneath the other, as though taped to a kiosk at a sloganeers’ convention. Yes, VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS alright, but I want spillage. I want integrative flow. Otherwise I’m in a box with a limited supply of oxygen. Why not either fly through the friggin’ sonnet impervious to its rigid dimensions or make a game of tagging its dog-eared perimeters with inventiveness and sly purpose? Harrumph. My admonition to sonneteers would thus be, ‘by all means, conduct me through your squared-off little world but, by the coolest paradox, make that world simultaneously vanish beneath my feet’.

Enjambment abets this sleight-of-hand. Think of sentences being snapped like twigs at odd points in the hopes something more interesting gurgles out—much as sap might ooze from a damaged branch. I liken this to the backtracking of a Hegelian dialectic (essentially the yielding of a third thing from the collision of two prior things) where the synthesized result, the unitary sentence, is retraced perhaps to some pre-reflective state of fetal irresolution. Verily, I am the crux of a million weird imaginings. Fearsome long sentences often house goopy entrails, friendly ghosts, coy feints and ill-considered half-measures. All I’m saying is why not have a look and give peace a chance? Syntax can also play at subterfuge. By rifling a sentence’s constituent parts, we reveal previously withheld compartments of meaning. Or, as the Kabbalists used to say (before Madonna dragged the Divine Chariot through one too many renditions of “Hanky Panky”) what’s poetry anyway but a broken vessel? Here then is to breaking some dishes and may the better shards win.

At the system level, this dialectical notion is well-observed. In that vast sonnet clearinghouse in the cloud, Sonnet Central, Nelson Miller refers to these precious little songs in their totality as being:

“…fundamentally dialectical constructs which allow the poet to examine the nature and ramifications of two usually contrastive ideas, emotions, states of mind, beliefs, actions, events, images, etc., by juxtaposing the two against each other, and possibly resolving or just revealing the tensions created and operative between the two.” –from ‘Basic Sonnet Forms’, by Nelson Miller, Cayuse Press Writers Exchange Board

Enjambment might also be akin to a mini-cut-up method—that randomized technique of word assembly popularized in literature by Brion Gysin and Williams Burroughs; call these fractured clauses then my tiny naked lunches. We risk trivializing the technique therefore by characterizing it primarily as the manhandling of independent clauses in a bid merely to service page width. I’m not saying enjambment foes discount the technique altogether. I merely wish to raise consciousness for the curiously broken branch.

That said, I find the denser or more complex the sonnet, the harsher the enjambment effect can be to the reader’s ear. Moreover density seems to breed enjambment as expansive and serpentine speculations, certainly mine, have been known to suck the oxygen out of entire rooms, never mind the diminutive parameters of the poor little old sonnet. Some essayists, it has been alleged, do go on a bit.

I am guilty of sitting on my sonnets like overstuffed suitcases. (Sometimes that’s the only way to snap them shut.) The fact my sonnets are rather dense more often than not may suggest I am a terminal essayist and not a poet after all. I stand ready to accept this verdict. Under practically all circumstances, concision is a challenge in the sonnet form. One could argue density offers sufficient sense and meaning challenges without adding insult to migraine via ‘nonlinear’ syntactical presentations. Perhaps the musicality and horizontal flow suffers for these jagged, atonal edges. Enjambment introduces hiccups where one might prefer uninterrupted melody. That’s certainly a valid aesthetic judgment on par with, say, an individual’s tastes in musical styles.

Part 2

A tasteless palette relishes sour verdicts. In his excoriating 2010 Huffington Post essay ‘The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers’, Anis Shivani, already no great fan of Sharon Olds’ “pseudo-confession[alism]” and “gory imaginings”, takes her poetry further to task for “disruptive enjambments–ending on prepositions” which in Shivani’s opinion only, “add to the exhibitionist content of the poems.” Rarely enamored with Shivani’s gratuitously confrontational tone, I am nonetheless sympathetic here to his charge.

In Olds’ 27-line poem (though not a sonnet) “After Making Love in Winter” for example, five lines end with the articles ‘a’ or ‘the’, three end with prepositions (of, like, before) and two end with the conjunction ‘and’. I feel myself being jarred with no jellybean reward at the bottom of the jar. In fact the intended effect recalls old Ms. Harshford’s prohibition in 8th grade English Composition never to end a sentence with a preposition. Sonnet experimentation notwithstanding, it is a rule I have carried to poetic lineation as well and have, without exception, managed to live with. Methinks enjambment that succeeds in pointing mostly to itself has ventured one trapdoor too far. That said I would never kick a stanza out of bed for making a mess of convention. But I want meaningful intent and purpose behind all the willful infractions—or else I’m calling Ms. Harshford.

We have yet to consider situational dynamics. So if you’re situated comfortably, let’s do it right now. Some topics simply lend themselves better to enjambment than do others. For example, our frenetic, post-modern postal world seems better served by razor-sharp edges and capricious trapdoors. A garden ode to tiger lilies? Not so much. We inhabit an era of collapsed attention spans, vapid emoticons, wafer-screens, dashed-off emails and brusque tweets. Authentic communication suffers in the digitized-ADHD cacophony. As our mediating syntaxes break down, one might argue ‘why spare the sonnet a break too?’ I suspect the world, for all its official protest, grudgingly admires something with the moxie to stand, on the one hand, against willful inarticulateness and on the other, against Rod McKuen. Let the stress fractures of enjambment be concession enough to the current ethos of dislocation. I wish to note that, should the sonnet get relegated to Wordsworthian appendix in the post-911 age, at least it showed the stomach to weather on as an appendix. I call that guts.

In the final days, order will indulge the creeping advance of chaos. Perhaps the fractured line is an accommodation, or a memorial, to sustained reflection. Do I belabor the enjambment technique? Nah, I wouldn’t belabor anything. My overall consternation with the sonnet form is longstanding and broadly based to which this ten-year-old essay attests. Exasperation is built into the fabric of the enterprise. I find writing them is not unlike a golf game, that is, a never-ending series of adjustments and corrections. Enjambment may be my version of a bad slice. I enjoy the little surprises the travelling eye encounters falling from line to line. Perhaps I’ve fallen into an enjambment trap. Where’s my sand wedge?

Finally, I’d like to shade the page briefly with what I liken to the long game of enjambment, the white space. Perhaps a longer pause, breath-mark or interruption helps acquit the sonnet’s meaning or sonic effect. Perhaps too, irregular spaces between (or even within) lines (beyond the line-space often but not always accorded between sestets (six-line clumps) quatrains (4-line clumps) and ending couplets are desired. As I say, ‘blank page’ is yet another spatial device that can augment the sonnet’s overall impact.

On one poetry workshop I sometimes frequent, a workshop member helpfully ‘disentangled’ a sentence-laden sonnet of mine, yielding a more naturalized sequence of sprawling prose. Immediately I appreciated his rather astute insight. There, in amongst the tangled reeds of my sonnet, appeared a disheveled, mud-caked paragraph. This relaxed prose form, he suggested, allowed my poetry to breathe, where before I had been rather cruelly breaking its butterfly wings against a medieval wheel of fits and starts. My loyalties were misplaced. The worship of form had crippled the primacy of unfettered impartation. He had a point. Interrogating my motivations, I realized I had indeed been sitting down to ‘write sonnets’ more than poetry per se. Committing this inversion may be the equivalent of Kafka’s aphorism, a cage gone in search of a bird. Form and content must spring forth with the simultaneity of spontaneous combustion. One cannot be seen to be clumsily seeking the other.

Quite apart from poetic intent, might the sonnet be an implicitly ‘enjambed’ form as it seems to straddle and incorporate features of both prose and poetry? The notion of nonce forms comes to mind. (Nonce is yet another fancy word for ‘I’ll do it once, but don’t ever ask me again’ i.e. an un-received, one-off or purely invented form. Believe it or not there’s even an on-line journal that specializes in this nichiest of niches.) What my colleague was implicitly pointing me towards might best be called a ‘prose-sonnet’. At least that’s what I’m calling it now. Such a sonnet would scan correctly yet be presented in paragraphed ‘disguise’. The tuning fork in my gut tells me the inherent music of a good, strong sonnet should survive the wholesale abandonment of its conventional visual-structure. Lineation may be overrated. After all the prose-poem is already a well-established poetry sub-genre. The prose- sonnet amounts to nothing more than presenting an obdurate and venerable syntactic unit, the sonnet, in an altered visual format—a mere flesh wound, one would think. What is the sonnet after all, a machinery of lines or the ghost behind the grid?

Part 3

Vision can countermand sound. Listening to poets read their sonnets, I’m often troubled at how so many invariably stress the end-rhymes in a manner that tends to rob the rhymes of their subtle beauty and understated power. I like a voice to nonchalantly fall through a sonnet, in effect obscuring the lineation from overt aural reception. End-stops should not ‘sound’ like stop-signs or worse, steep ravines. Sonnets should be read like finely-tuned paragraphs and in a natural, conversational tone as opposed to a sing-songy, pat-the-kiddies-on-the-head Mother Goose twang. Look Mommy, no hands rhymes with pro bands! Aren’t lines starting to feel more and more like enemy combatants? Down with barricades! Up with lugubrious incantation!

In the end, this inquiry seems to turn on the significance of sentences or clauses as unitary grammatical constructs of arbitrary length versus formal poetic lines as sound and meter -driven units of relative (i.e. complete or incomplete) meaning, but determinate length. Beautiful sentences notwithstanding, sentences are aligned more with meaning, whereas poetry lines are more sensuous beasts altogether; for the latter, sound and even space contribute to the effect. In a sense, enjambment allows unitary meaning to ‘fall though the machine’, creating additional sound and meaning variants as it clatters against the silo’s walls. To the extent a sentence or clause is fully expressed in a poetic line, no such variants are exploited. This is hardly an argument against ‘non-enjambed lines’ in all cases. No doubt, like any poetic technique, enjambment can be overused.

I should add there are countless poets pushing the sonnet envelope in novel ways. In Mark Jarman’s “Unholy Sonnet 13”, God seems to be ‘stirring’ in more ways than one, thanks in large part to enjambment:

Because I’m older and I think God stirs

In details that keep bringing back that time,

The late e.e. cummings played wild and loose with the sonnet form. In this instance, the title itself is enjambed (please pardon Mr. cummings’ broken cap-locks key) “i like my body when it is with your”.

Here’s yet another modern twist on an Elizabethan codpiece. Oddly enough, Twitter allows a 140-character maximum per tweet. The traditional sonnet permits 140 syllables (14 lines, 10 syllables). Am I onto the Twitter Sonnet? Is this number cosmologically significant? Withoutdelving Ouija boards or consulting Pythagorean mystics, it’s interesting to find the same number bracketing two conventions of human expression. Hah! The sonnet’s been around since the 13th century. Let’s see how long Twitter hangs on. I weary of the tweet already.

Below is the work-shopped sonnet previously described, one that sought to grapple with my conflicted affections for pop music. (In case it isn’t iconic enough, the phrase ‘secret chords’ in line 13 is a hat-tip to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” lyric.) The sonnet is presented in lineated form first and conforms to the English (Shakespearian) sonnet rhyme scheme, that is, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG with five feet (i.e. ten syllables) per line. The iambic pentameter (the five ‘ta-DA’ sounds per line) is a little irregular and instead of three four-line sections (quatrains), I sort of ‘keep a fifth line’ in the second quatrain because I like the effect of hanging ‘here and now’ out there like a good little existential predicament and a sore thumb all at once. In line four, ‘sing’ gazes out across a sea of white space. I fancy this imparting the sense of a lone singer warbling out into the void.

If I’ve gone hard on perfunctory end-stops, I meant no disrespect to the existential necessity of line (and paper’s) end and the inevitable onset of eclipsing whiteness. There’s no doubt the deployment of breaks and the ensuing spaces-between can help carry poetic effect. Below this traditional lineation format, the same sonnet appears again in a form not unlike what you’d find in the classified section of a newspaper. (Note to young people: Though help may be wanted, poetry doesn’t pay.)

Pop Music

Striking at a moment too sharp for stale

repetition, this tart sound is nothing

to turn down. Yet reprisal is a pale

echo–one arrival is allowed. Sing

if you like, arched against time’s faltering

reserve, baby. We hum along to death’s

down beat: where are they now? Better to bring

considered notes to sudden stage. Our breath’s

an expiring allotment. Here and now

is the chance to alter prior arrangement

as habit informs the grand piano

haunting the front parlor. Let sound foment

those secret chords ripe ears suspect are there.

Ephemera makes light of moment’s air.

Pop Music

Striking at a moment too sharp for stale repetition, this tart sound is nothing to turn down. Yet reprisal is a pale echo–one arrival is allowed. Sing if you like, arched against time’s faltering reserve, baby. We hum along to death’s down beat: where are they now? Better to bring considered notes to sudden stage. Our breath’s an expiring allotment. Here and now is the chance to alter prior arrangement as habit informs the grand piano haunting the front parlor. Let sound foment those secret chords ripe ears suspect are there. Ephemera makes light of moment’s air.

******

I leave you with more questions than answers. Here are but a few. Is aesthetic enjoyment varyingly enhanced or diminished by overt visual cues (e.g. end-rhyme, enjambment, white space, etc.)? Which mode of death-by-avalanche is the more painful: a ton of feathery sound- waves or a ton of collapsed scaffold? Most important for this inquiry, is there a place in great literature for the prose-sonnet nonce form and if so will the U.S. Patent Office honor my claim? Perhaps it’s time we stopped fetishizing the protocols of line and page’s edge. Somewhere beyond and within the apparatus lies the sonnet’s resilient soul, a wellspring less beholden to typeset conventions than many have imagined.

normball

 
NORMAN BALL (BA Political Science/Econ, Washington & Lee University; MBA, George Washington University) is a well-travelled Scots-American businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch, The Western Muslim and elsewhere. His new book “Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments” is available here. Two essay collections, “How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable?” and “The Frantic Force” are spoken of here and here. His recent collection of poetry “Serpentrope” is published from White Violet Press. He can be reached at returntoone@hotmail.com.
 
 

Princeps Tenebrarum.Poem.Amparo Arróspide.Translated Robin Ouzman Hislop.

 

Princeps Tenebrarum*

 

 

Lamerán sus tobillos las sombras de la noche

cuando termine el baile, e hipnótico te mire:

le pides que te rasgue con la carne de un beso

y anhelarás su cuerpo, su cuerpo que no está.…

 

 

como serpiente al tronco ciñéndose, centauro,

mientras tú te despiertas del trance más profundo,

pasajera en su jungla, en su abrazo mortal.

Y desearás morirte, brillantes las pupilas,

 

 

y lucharás a muerte contra la muerte lenta

que quiere emponzoñarte y era sólo el desliz,

el deslizarse lento de su lengua en tu boca,

 

 

que muda la rehúye, aterida y reptil,

el arrastrarse sabio de la marea alta,

desangrándose en semen, tiempo, y poco más.

 

 *Latín= Príncipe de las tinieblas

 

 

 Princeps Tenebrarum *

 

 

The shadows of the night will be caressing his ankles

when the dance ends and he stares at you hypnotically

and you ask him to tear you open with a carnal kiss,

whilst longing for his body, a body no longer there…

 

 

but entangled like a serpent on a trunk, a Centaur,

and there you had been awoken from the profoundest trance

to travel in his jungle caught in his lethal embrace,

and where you will want to die in the brilliance of your eyes.

 

 

And there you will struggle against death, against a slow death

that wants to poison you, and it was only that, that slip

that slidingly slipped slowly its tongue down into your mouth,

 

 

coldly reptilian, which shunning you mutely refused,

as in the wisdom of high tide receding from the shore,

departs, leaving only bleeding, semen and little else.

 

* Latin = Prince of Darkness

 

Translated from Amparo Arróspide’s Princeps Tenebrarum

by Robin Ouzman Hislop Editor of Poetry Life & Times

 
This sonnet together with its translation appeared in The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Exciting new sonnet anthology edited by Richard Vallance now available on Barnes & Noble: Phoenix Rising from the Ashes BN ID: 2940148833628 Publisher: FriesenPress Publication date: 11/20/2013 Sold by: Barnes & Noble
 
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Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published four poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and Presencia en el Misterio as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and both national and foreign magazines. She has received numerous awards. Together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, she worked as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times, an E-zine.

 
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Robin Ouzman Hislop Editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. (See its Wikipedia entry at Poetry Life and Times). He has made many appearances over the last years in the quarterly journals Canadian Zen Haiku, including In the Spotlight Winter 2010 & Sonnetto Poesia. Previously published in international magazines, his recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, Post Hoc installed at Bank Street Arts Centre, Sheffield (UK), Uroborus Journal, 2011-2012 (Sheffield, UK), The Poetic Bond II & 111, available at The Poetic Bond and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes a recently published Anthology of Sonnets: Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. He has recently completed a volume of poetry, The World at Large, for future publication. He is currently resident in Spain engaged in poetry translation projects.
 
 
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