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Anima

Anima

By José Kozer

Translated by Peter Boyle

Shearsman Books Paperback 268pp £12.95 ISBN-13: 978-1848611467
Series 3 Number 18 - Transitions

Review by Annie McDermott

I write poetry like I breathe; I write poetry like I’m talking to you now; I write poetry without being aware of what I’m doing […]. I wrote a poem, very complex, and twenty-four hours later, if you asked me about it, I wouldn’t tell you anything; I forget the poem completely; it becomes obliterated in my mind one hundred per cent.

(José Kozer in a...

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Visit To A Senile Old Man

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Visit To A Senile Old Man

By Kostas Mavroudis

Translated by Thom Nairn & D. Zervanou

Dionysia Press, 2007 - 8, £6.50, 978-1-903171-22-6

First thoughts? Thematically very appropriate to use as epigraph two lines from "Voice" by Zbigniew Herbert, but disrespectful to misquote them so carelessly: there's a world of difference between "hiss" (sic) and "hum", "huge" (sic) and "immense". Thereafter, a prose monologue in seventeen short sections, a son's meditation on time, mutability and the prospect of his father's death, "the frozen breath of the transcendental" rooted firmly in the everyday of "dentures refracted in a glass of water", the pain of a fractured thigh, the many kindnesses which, as with a sick child, help make each day's slow passage more bearable.

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