Poetry

Poetry and Democracy: Part Three

In conjunction with The Poetry Coalition’s March 2019 joint programming exploring the theme “What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy,” The Common presents four weekly features this month, each addressing and extending this national—and international—conversation.

In this, our third installment, we offer Peggy Robles-Alvarado’s “To the Women Who Feel It in Their Bones” and an excerpt from When Rap Spoke Straight to God by Erica Dawson.

Debbie WenPoetry and Democracy: Part Three
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Poetry and Democracy: Part Two

In conjunction with The Poetry Coalition’s March 2019 joint programming exploring the theme What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy,” The Common presents four weekly features this month, each addressing and extending this national—and international—conversation.

In this, our second installment, we offer Megan Fernandes’s “White People Always Want to Tell Me They Grew Up Poor” and William Brewer’s “Daedelus in Oxyana.”

Avery FarmerPoetry and Democracy: Part Two
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Three Torabully Translations

Poetry by KHAL TORABULLY

Translated by NANCY NAOMI CARLSON

 

Note from the translator:

I first came across Khal Torabully’s work in Patrick Williamson’s The Parley Tree, a bilingual anthology of poets from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world. I was immediately drawn to Torabully’s lush language and sea imagery, and developed an even greater appreciation of his work when I learned more about the context of these poems—giving voice to the millions of men and women who endured horrific conditions as indentured workers during the years between 1834 and the end of World War I. Sometimes tricked into indenture, these workers, mostly from India and China, were separated from their families and homelands, and were transported to Mauritius in the same ships that had formerly carried slaves. Many were forced to stay and work in Mauritian sugar cane fields, while others were sent to other regions under colonial rule, and subjected to cruel conditions in the cargo hold of ships during transoceanic voyages. Similar to the way Aimé Césaire coined the term “negritude,” Torabully coined the term “coolitude,” imbuing the pejorative word “coolie” with dignity, pride, and a humanity that transcends all geographical, biological, and ethnic divisions.

Whitney BrunoThree Torabully Translations
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Poetry and Democracy: Part One

In conjunction with The Poetry Coalition’s March 2019 joint programming exploring the theme “What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy,” The Common presents four weekly features this month, each addressing and extending this national—and international—conversation.

In the first installment we offer Lawrence Joseph’s “In That City, In Those Circles” and “The Beauty of Boys Is” by Vievee Francis.

Debbie WenPoetry and Democracy: Part One
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February 2019 Poetry Feature

PEGGY O’BRIEN 
from Tongues

Preface
“Trinity”
“Virago”
“Midges”
“Trying”
“Judgement”

Preface

The following long poem is based loosely on the letters of Abelard and Heloise as translated from the Latin by C.K. Scott Moncrieff.

Julia PikeFebruary 2019 Poetry Feature
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November 2018 Poetry Feature: New York Elegies

New York Elegies Cover

This month we offer you selections from New York Elegies: Ukrainian Poems on the City, edited by TC contributor, Ostap Kin, forthcoming from Academic Studies Press.

Ukrainian poets have long connected themselves to the powerful myth of New York, offering various takes on its aura of urban modernity, its problematic vitality. New York Elegies demonstrates how evocations of New York City are connected to various stylistic modes and topical questions urgent to Ukrainian poetry throughout the past hundred years.

Julia PikeNovember 2018 Poetry Feature: New York Elegies
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Poems from Puerto Rico: Mara Pastor

Poems by MARA PASTOR
Translations by MARÍA JOSÉ GIMÉNEZ

"De Puerto Rico: Un Ano Despues de la Tormenta"

 

Homage to the Navel

Navels end sometimes.
Before that happens,
the body draws a road
from the door
through which you will arrive
to the place of areolae
where you will calm your hunger.
Origin of anthill
of white light that from me
will return to you to teach us
that a navel ends
when another is
about to begin.

Whitney BrunoPoems from Puerto Rico: Mara Pastor
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Bovine

By TOM PAINE

 

While eating sardines because they swim for a shorter time in the dying oceans than larger fish and are thus less full of mercury and industrial cocktails (and also because they promote neuroplasticity with all their Omega-three fatty acids, and who doesn’t want to grow new neurons?), and while vigorously churning the sardines with a fork in the can so they didn’t look so suited and ready to swim, I spied a lunula of minute vertebrae dangling from my fork.

Debbie WenBovine
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