The Duende of Tetherball – Tim Bowling

THE DUENDE OF TETHERBALL by Tim Bowling Nightwood Editions 2016 79 pages Federico García Lorca, in his 1933 Buenos Aires lecture, The Theory and Play of the Duende, in A.S. Kline’s translation, writes of “Goethe, who in speaking of Paganini hit on a definition of the duende: ‘A mysterious force that everyone feels and no…

Oil, Gas, and the Relentless Decline of Community – andrea bennett – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden I:I:4

andrea bennett’s poem You can put your fingers on the feelings appeared in the same Canadian Literature 216 issue as my poem Chrysoglott. I am reminded of this coincidence after reading her article Boom, in the March 2015 issue of The Walrus, on oil and gas in Fort Nelson in northern British Columbia. In the…

Liszt – Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (c. 1846)

Petrarch/Liszt, sonnet 104. “The effect of the abbaabba octave is truly remarkable. It is actually a blend of 3 brace-rhyme quatrains, since the middle 4 verses whose sounds overlap the others and echo their patterns, impress the reader with a similar sound pattern, thus, abBAABba.”(Alex Preminger, ed., Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics) Canzone CIV…

Georg Trakl (1887-1914) – Stardust of the Crystal Angel

I have been interested in Trakl’s work for several years now, stimulated by several essays in the American literary press, the provenance of which I, alas, have forgotten. What does stay in particular is the poem De Profundis, which is both remarkable and devastating. Michael Hamburger’s translation is this: There is a stubble field on which a…

Rilke – Duino Elegies 4, 7, 9, translated by Allan Cooper

These are translations by Allan Cooper of the 4th, 7th, and 9th of Rilke’s Duino Elegies. They are intensely moving. Allan Cooper lives in Alma, New Brunswick. I have stayed, and written, there often. In Spanish, the word alma usually means soul. They appear in the exceptional literary site, Numéro Cinq, which is the creation of Douglas…

Robert Melançon – Le paradis des apparences (2004), tr. Judith Cowan as For as Far as the Eye Can See (2013)

4 December 2015 Extraordinary is Montreal poet Robert Melançon’s 2004 For as Far as the Eye Can See in an exceptional translation by Judith Cowan. The original is titled Le paradis des apparences. The book consists of 144 12-line sonnets, intricately based upon the truncated form, the sonnets lacking a concluding couplet, but the book’s overarching structure…

Bruce Meyer – The Obsession Book of Timbuktu (2013)

The book employs an elaborate, lyrical conceit of statements by historical figures associated with Timbuktu. It is difficult in this formal construct to achieve coherence, but it works and succeeds, and draws forth fine poetry. It also endeavours to make the historical fabrications relevant to modern day, and this, too, works. This, the pertinence of…

Nguyen Chi Thien, Vietnamese Poet

The Vietnamese Poet Nguyen Chi Thien

A friend sent me the Economist’s obituary of the poet, of whom I knew nothing. The sorrow of his life is documented for Western readers in the dozens of other obituaries to be found on the Web, and in his autobiography, which can be found at the Viet Nam Literature Project. A slim volume of…

Robyn Sarah (Courtesy: prismmagazine.ca)

Robyn Sarah – The Forgotten Insistence of the Past

29 October 2015, Vancouver, BC Congratulations to Robyn Sarah for winning the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry for her My Shoes Are Killing Me. *** 11 March 2015, Edmonton, AB Five poems by Montreal’s Robyn Sarah appear in Prism’s 52:3 (winter 2015). They are particularly evocative of the infusion of the past into the present. Consider the…