In this issue of MPT

Poetry and the State, Series 3 No.15

Edited by David Constantine, Helen Constantine

The April 2011 issue of Modern Poetry in Translation (Third Series, Number 15, Spring 2011) is called ‘Poetry and the State’.  ISBN 978-0-9559064-6-6

Poetry matters, and it matters that poetry should be translated and move freely across the frontiers of time and space. These are the premises on which we edit and poets and translators from all over the world contribute to MPT. This issue proves a truth we hold to be self-evident: that poetry is necessary for a humane life. Some states encourage their poets, others ignore them, others imprison and murder them. MPT 3/15 documents the varying but never easy relationship between poetry and the state.  Any lyric poem, whether 'political' or otherwise, insisting on the value of individual experience, lives in more or less uneasy dealings with the order and the ideology of the state.  Does the state allow you the autonomy the poem demands? 

Read a review in the Flaxen Wave blog 

View photos from the launch of Poetry and the State at the FreeWord Festival April 2011 (provided by English PEN) 


EXPLORE THIS ISSUE:   » Editorial   » Poems   » Reviews

Series 3 No.15 - Poetry and the State

Table of contents

In Poetry and the State

Poetry and Features

Editorial David and Helen Constantine

Paula Ludwig, seven poems, translated from the German by Martina Thomson 

Primo Levi, ten poems, translated from the Italian by Marco Sonzogni and Harry Thomas

Oliver Reynolds, ‘& c’ 

John E. Smelcer, three poems, translated from the Ahtna Athabaskan language of Alaska by the author

Ho Chi Minh’s Prison Diary, translated from the Vietnamese by Timothy Allen

Sándor Márai, Unknown Chinese Poet, translated from the Hungarian by John M. Ridland and Peter Czipott 

Cesare Pavese, six poems, translated from the Italian by Martin Bennett 

Archilochus, Fragments, translated from the Ancient Greek by William Heath

Yorgos Soukoulis, ‘Rabies’, translated from the Arvanitika by Peter Constantine

Konstantinos Sampanis, two poems, translated from the Greek by Peter Constantine 

Osip Mandelstam, ‘The Kremlin Mountain Man’, translated from the Russian by Andrew Mayne

Osip Mandelstam, poems from the Voronezh Notebooks, translated from the Russian by Peter France 

Osip Mandelstam, poems from the Moscow and the Voronezh Notebooks, translated from the Russian by Alex Cigale 

Vladimir Mayakovsky, ‘Verses about a Soviet passport’, translated from the Russian by Stephen Capus 

Larisa Miller and Boris Altshuler, interviewed by Sasha Dugdale

Poets of ‘The Executed Renaissance’, translated from the Ukrainian by Steve Komarnyckyj

János Pilinszky, four poems, translated from the Hungarian by Clive Wilmer and George Gömöri 

Tara Bergin, ‘Stag-Boy’ 

Rachida Madani, from Tales of a Severed Head, translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker

Vlado Kreslin, six poems, translated from the Slovenian by Urška Charney

Tudor Arghesi, four poems, translated from the Romanian by Anne Beresford

Bertolt Brecht, ten poems, translated from the German by David Constantine

Ludvík Kundera, four poems, translated from the Czech by Ian Hilton 

Maria-Mercè Marçal, ‘Ivy’, translated from the Catalan by Anna Crowe 

Galina Gamper and Galina Usova, poems, translated from the Russian by Grainne Tobin, Natasha Cuddington, and Ann Zell 

Dvora Amir, ‘To the lost’, translated from the Hebrew by Jennie Feldman 

Jennie Feldman, ‘Lucretius on Suleiman Street’

Amarjit Chandan, two poems, translated from the Punjabi by the author, Ajmer Rode and John Welch

Olivia McCannon, three translations from the French

François Villon,‘Les Regrets de La Belle Heaulmière’, translated by Jane Tozer


Miriam Valencia on Francis Jones’s Mak Disdar 

Moniza Alvi on Amarjit Chandan’s Sonata for Four Hands

Saradha Soobrayen, Further Reviews 

Helen and David Constantine, Notes on Two Books

Reviews on-line

Issue highlights

  • From the Ukraine Poets of 'The Executed Renaissance'
  • Ho Chi Minh's Prison diary
  • Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi from Italy
  • From Israel - Dvora Amir
  • Translations from Ahtna Athabaskan and Arvanitika

Featured review

The Golden Apple: A Round of Stories, Songs, Spells, Proverbs and Riddles

By Vasko Popa
Translated by Andrew Harvey, Anne Pennington
Reviewed by Sophie Mayer

Also a review of:

Verónica Volkow
Arcana & Other Poems.
translated by Michael Smith and Luis Ingelmo.
Shearsman, 2009.
Bilingual edition.124pp paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978184610569

Both Vasko Popa’s anthology of Serbo-Croatian folk literature and Verónica Volkow’s poems, collected from volumes published over fifteen years in her native Mexico, resonate with the influential ethnographic pro...

» Read more

MPT has ... opened windows on landscapes of feeling, on insight otherwise inaccessible...George Steiner

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Spring 2017

Spring 2017

No 4 / 2014

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