Category Archives: Translations

Daisy Fried reads from The Year the City Emptied, translations and adaptions from Les Fleurs du Mal

During the pandemic, while taking care of her dying husband, quarantined from friends, and without much help from Medicaid, one day in the spring of 2020, Daisy Fried read a translation of Baudelaire’s “Paysage” by John Ashbery, thought to herself, “I can do better than […]

Alfred Corn reads his translation of Rilke’s First Elegy from the Duino Elegies

  A few years ago, the news that Alfred Corn was working on a translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies made me very happy. When I was in my early twenties, Rilke was one of the poets who showed me what a poet was […]

Le Pont Mirabeau read by Guillaume Apollinaire and translated by Ron Padgett

  The best translation by far that I have come across of Guillaume Apollinaire’s poetry is by Ron Padgett in a book published by the New York Review of Books in 2015 simply titled, Zone, Selected Poems. When Ron Padgett renders Le Pont Mirabeau into […]

David Bowie and Arthur Rimbaud

… Not doing much this morning, but not doing is doing, right? Listening to Youtube: Martha and the Vandellas, Santana, and David Bowie: the man who could do a show. I’ve always thought “Heroes” was Bowie’s homage to Arthur Rimbaud’s “Royalty” from Illuminations. Here he […]

Peter Valente translates Vers Dorés by Gérard de Nerval

… In my early twenties when I started to study French, I listened to Edith Piaf, translated Le Petit Prince, and bought a bilingual book of Symbolist Poets that included Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine and Gérard de Nerval, whose poems were the first […]

Yemen by Haithem Al-Ezzi

… At one time, peace and calm prevailed throughout my city, and everyone was sleeping in tranquility. Suddenly, without any previous alarm, there were horrible and unspeakable voices everywhere. We saw people being killed, body parts flying, ground burning, houses being destroyed, children screaming. Everyone […]

Lines 644-691 from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book Three with a photo by Stanley Stellar

… When I recently saw the photo by Stanley Stellar of a beautiful painting of a phallic man with a dolphin, I remembered some lines from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a tale told by the captain of a ship who tries to stop his crew from kidnapping […]

El Beso (The Kiss) por Juan Ramón Jiménez

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Les Chercheuses de Poux par Arthur Rimbaud

… My favorite poem by Rimbaud is innocent and sensual; and there are those who would call it repulsive. It’s all about a boy’s sexual awakening. The boy has run away from home and is now dirty but found by some kind women who place […]

Le Léthé par Charles Baudelaire

.. Viens sur mon coeur, âme cruelle et sourde, Tigre adoré, monstre aux airs indolents; Je veux longtemps plonger mes doigts tremblants Dans l’épaisseur de ta crinière lourde; Dans tes jupons remplis de ton parfum Ensevelir ma tête endolorie, Et respirer, comme une fleur flétrie, […]

Une Charogne (The Carcass)

… ……Charles Baudelaire wrote Une Charogne to his lover, Jeanne Duval, an actress and dancer, who met him when she left Haiti for France in 1842. Whether she died sooner or lived longer than the poet is in dispute, though both would succumb to syphilis. […]

Mariposa de Luz por Juan Ramón Jiménez

… Mariposa de luz, la belleza se va cuando yo llego a su rosa. Corro, ciego, tras ella… la medio cojo aquí y allá… ¡Sólo queda en mi mano la forma de su huída! … … Butterfly of light its beauty goes when I approach […]