Featured review from MPT

After the Raising of Lazarus

After the Raising of Lazarus

By Ileana Mălăncioiu

Translated by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Southword Books, ISBN 1905002041, £8.99
Series 3 No. 4 - Between the Languages

Review by Sasha Dugdale

Song of Joy

Translating contemporary poetry from countries which have strong lyrical and folk traditions is extremely hard. Whilst the translator wishes to preserve the lyrical nature of the poem, the same structures and traditions are not open to her in English. Somehow a freer verse structure must be found, with the appearance, rather than the pres...

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A History of Clouds: 99 Meditations

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A History of Clouds: 99 Meditations

By Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Translated by Martin Chalmers and Esther Kinsky

Seagull Books, 2010

This more than readable, more than highly enjoyable volume – tall and thin like a city building – is a book of conversations disguised as poems, and poems disguised as philosophy. The ninth part of the eponymous poem includes a moment of intense lightness of being that seems to sum up the philosophy of the whole book: all of a sudden the air is full of electric spirits, and we rush out of our houses, prancing in the reeling brightness of our dealings, while up there the artists of the sky, at last awake after long apathy, deliver their selfless performance. My favourite poem – An Earth-Coloured Ditty – is a comment by the poet on the surprising dearth of poems about potatoes: “could it be that it’s too hot for poets, the potato?” This book makes me want find as many potato poems as possible, regardless, and – as with the best poetry – it makes me want to write my own.

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Spring 2014

Spring 2015

No 4 / 2014

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