Poetry by Gwil James Thomas, Holly Day, Foy Timms, John D. Robinson and Doug Holder
And then we come to America wants it soft, which is again the current political moment, when “To be female on coronation night was a difficulty. / Her skin under his thumb was a sickhouse was too much.” This sounds so familiar in the Donald Trump era, doesn’t it? Even before the Alabama and Georgia abortion laws. And again, keep your wits about you! Note the escape routes, be familiar with the exit strategy:
Keep your passport handy, keep cash
keep water and batteries, collect your meds
and loved ones, just in case,
and silence your phone.
The end of America, no one knew how to manage it
but we tried the typical ways of numbing pain –
my daughter painted tiny flowers on her toenails,
I mixed honey and vodka, squeezing in a lime,
and we carried on with our breathing –
my father was still alive, my body kept aging,
By Mark Eisner
This book is a forest of love, the richness grown from the shared familiar roots in the fertile Spanish soil of poetry, then spread around the world.
This remarkable forest is a trove of love, grown from shared roots, originating in the fertile Spanish tierra de poesia. The love of a daughter translating her father’s words for all eternity, published just at his death. A renaissance man, and his daughter, a renaissance woman, all of their wonders, all of their life, all of their art now fused together even more through the act of translation. Both have placed their lives in the service of poetry, and it shows. José Manuel’s poetry is informed by the generation in Spain just before him –– Lorca, Machado, it’s evident in the flavors he evokes –– but he takes the baton to create his own voice, inspiring and insightful voice, propelling yet grounding, salted by his experience in political exile.
Above all, “Ode to a Young Mariner” moved me the most, its qualities emblematic of what makes this book work so well. The poem dedicated to the poet’s brother, who at the same time is the translator’s uncle –– movingly and convincingly so that it rowed my heart with warm, resonating, lingering strokes: the endearment and respect for a sibling, the duty as a mariner like the duty as a poet, the reverence that roots this family, the love that lights the words, the woods of this book.
And what a treat for those who don’t read Spanish to be able to have this collection of this truly special poet’s work finally available, accessible for their easy enrichment.
You can find the book here: https://amzn.to/2w8e5kV
Mark Eisner has spent most of the past two decades working on creative works related to Pablo Neruda. They include Neruda: The Biography of a Poet (Ecco, 2018), a finalist for the PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography. He also edited and was one of the principal translators for The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004) and is currently producing a documentary film on the poet. A bilingual anthology of Latin American Poetry in Resistance Eisner co-edited is forthcoming in 2020. More info at www.markeisner.net.
New poems by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri and an interview at Sequestrum. Here is the link: https://www.sequestrum.org/poetry-by-diane-sahms-guarnieri
Mark B. Hamilton’s chapbook, 100 Miles of Heat, is available from Finishing Line Press (2017). Recent poems have appeared in Albatross, Frogpond, saltfront The Listening Eye, About Place Journal, Slipstream, Plainsongs, The Wayfarer, and abroad in Salzburg Poetry Review, Austria, and Oxford Poetry, UK. Others are forthcoming in Third Wednesday: a literary & arts journal, Comstock Review, and Weber: The Contemporary West.