Featured Poem

State of Emergency


Expectancy and hopelessness
Are plotted on the same horizontal axis.
Just as we sometimes expect
Things are frequently hopeless.
While hands struggle to swim
Legs are happy to drift along.
When eyes are weary
Does talking offer comfort
Make tomorrow easier than other days?
We have known so many times like these.
Our ears pick up repeated sirens.
Warning lights flash continually in our eyes.
Some events move so fast
They clash with what’s in season.
It’s disappointing, growing up with defaults.
If we can shake hands with a traveller
The way we can with a banker
What else can still shake us?

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About the translation:
Poet:
Nge Nge (Kyaukse)
Translator:
Olivia McCannon
Original language:
Burmese
Issue:
2015 Number 2 - I WISH...

About the author

Original poet

Nge Nge (Kyaukse)

Nge Nge (Kyaukse) (b.1984) still lives outside Yangon and the metropolis. Her poems are full of sensitivity to the natural env...

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Translator

Olivia McCannon

OLIVIA MCCANNON’S poetry collection Exactly My Own Length (Carcanet/OxfordPoets, 2011) was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney C...

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