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Poetry

Tree of life carving at the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque
Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ahmedabad
By Bharat Trivedi
Poet Bharat Trivedi contemplates the history of the city of Ahmedabad, translated from the Gujarati by Mira Desai.
Translated from Gujarati by Mira Desai
A large wave crashes in a stormy ocean
Photo by Todd Turner on Unsplash
The Strength of Water
By Gawani Gaongen
In this poem by Kankanaey Igorot poet Gawani Gaongen, water is both a source of life and a threat to survival.
Translated from Kankanaey by the author
Multilingual
Sunset over a field with melting snow
Photo by Vitali Adutskevich on Unsplash
Umbilical
By Julia Cimafiejeva
This week, Deep Vellum publishes Motherfield, a poetry collection and Belarusian protest diary by Julia Cimafiejeva. In this poem, translated by Valzhyna Mort and Hanif Abdurraqib, the poet explores her separation from family and homeland.
Translated from Belarusian by Valzhyna Mort & Hanif Abdurraqib
Multilingual
Two swallows in flight
Photo by Julian on Unsplash
Spring
By Nga Ba
In this witness poem from the anthology Picking Off New Shoots Will Not Stop the Spring, Burmese poet Nga Ba finds that repression always leads to resistance.
Translated from Burmese by ko ko thett
Photo of a man walking alongside his bike on a tree-lined path
Photo by Akshat Vats on Unsplash
To Loved Ones
By Jayesh Jeevibahen Solanki
Two poems by Jayesh Solanki, a poet and activist who envisioned a different future for Dalit and marginalized communities in India.
Translated from Gujarati by Gopika Jadeja
A black and white image of a hairbrush with an engraved handle
Photo by Michèle C., licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The Making of Tenderness
By Lyuba Yakimchuk
and where do they make this tenderness / as the war rages on around them?
Translated from Ukrainian by Oksana Maksymchuk
MultimediaMultilingual
sun setting behind a field of grass
Photo by Jake Givens on Unsplash
Anna
By Samira Negrouche
your mother like Mecca is a promised land—you must go there only once
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
Vibrant green northern lights against a dark sky
Photo by Federico Bottos on Unsplash
Two Poems
By Rönn-Lisa Zakrisson
Show me to those southerners / Tell them about all the tongues that are mine / all the nature that’s mine
Translated from Swedish by Fiona Graham
Multilingual
The Monastery of Saint Naum
Fif' from Paris, France, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Near the Shrine of Saint Naum
By Najwan Darwish
I stood in the red church, / its tiny domes like buds / blossoming in stone
Translated from Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
MultimediaMultilingual
yellow smoke curling against a black background
Photo by Олег Жилко on Unsplash
kretek-ing
By Zahid M. Naser
bloodrush like the swell of desire in a room / surging higher and higher to my eyes, craving life
Translated from Malay by Pauline Fan
MultimediaMultilingual
A close-up of a threaded needle
Photo by Sunbeam Photography on Unsplash
Throwing Voices
By Linnea Axelsson
With this needle she can create anew what would otherwise disappear.
Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel
Sculpture of Coyolxauhqui
who were these goddesses
By Jeannette L. Clariond
For days, / years, they walked with jade beneath their tongues, seeking / home.
Translated from Spanish by Samantha Schnee
MultimediaMultilingual
Etching of The Rape of Caenis from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' by Antonio Tempesta
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1951
poets per square foot
By Raquel Salas Rivera
we take to the poem, a miracle with no church, with no witness.
Translated from Spanish by the author
MultimediaMultilingual
A dock extending into the ocean
Photo by Nikita Castro on Unsplash
[The sea swarms. Your shout extends]
By Claudia Becerra
How likable the island when it isn’t / more than a door that opens outward.
Translated from Spanish by Jacqui Cornetta
A burning match against a blue background
Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash
Embers Fed
By Xavier Valcárcel
My mother and I will burn it all.
Translated from Spanish by Raquel Salas Rivera
Dramatic clouds over a mountain and ocean in Puerto Rico
Photo by Rick Lipsett on Unsplash
Onto Dust We Shall Come
By Manuel Ramos Otero
I return to the world as I depart, / having birthed another phantom, / a dweller of nebulous coasts, / a brief enemy of metaphors.
Translated from Spanish by Cristina Pérez Díaz
White and yellow filter on empty blue swimming pool wall without water
Photo by Antonio Jiménez Macías on Unsplash
verses of circumstance
By Laura Erber
sometimes i don’t want to be saved
Translated from Portuguese by Pedro Vainer
A woman's mouth, chin, and neck
Photo by Pan Yunbo on Unsplash
Ligature Marks
By Lee Hyemi
The interplay of night and day. Deception and falsity.
Translated from Korean by Soje
Multilingual
A silhouette of a man looking at his phone
Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash
Seventh Scene
By Maria Borio
In the third scene we talk / motionless across a screen in the ether
Translated from Italian by Danielle Pieratti
The Lights of the Donbas
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
then there’s the war / that flabby, shriveled, animal word “war”
Translated from Russian by Yuliya Charnyshova & Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
Exile Poem
By Tuhin Das
Afterwards, heads of hushed army snipers / pop up on every rooftop.
Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha
February 23, 2022
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
“second time I’ve lost my home,” she utters with hatred / “officially, this time”
Translated from Ukrainian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler & Yuliya Charnyshova
Until the Threads Burn to Ash
By Aleksey Porvin
Hold an assault rifle with my hand, use my mouth
Translated from Russian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
There’s No Getting Out
By Olga Bragina
we won't recognize this city anymore
Translated from Russian by Elina Alter
Multilingual
The Water Freezes
By Alla Gorbunova
Your cheeks are pinked with Parnassus rose.
Translated from Russian by Elina Alter
Children of the Xam
By Khadija Tracey Heeger
Watch Khadija Tracey Heeger read her poem “Children of the Xam” in the original Kaaps.Poet Khadija Tracey Heeger honors a rich and complex heritage.Between the vertebrae of the Langeberg…
Translated from Kaaps by Olivia M. Coetzee & Khadija Tracey Heeger
Multilingual
Affirm
By Martin SIEP Muller
Watch the music video for “Affirm” performed by SIEP, in the original Kaaps.This rap performance by SIEP uplifts and speaks truth.I affirm the soul in each personI affirm the soul in each…
Translated from Kaaps by Andre Trantraal
Multilingual
I Lift My Eyes Up
By Nashville Blaauw
Where moving out is mostly in a coffin
Translated from Kaaps by Andre Trantraal
scratch cards
By Shirmoney Rhode
and that which has no use will be discarded
Translated from Kaaps by Andre Trantraal
Multilingual
Eyes of the Wave
By Francis C. Macansantos
Eyes of blue-green watch you, / Dimpled smiles hidden in water.
Translated from Zamboangueño Chavacano by the author
MultimediaMultilingual
Mr. Marcos (A Soliloquy)
By Francis C. Macansantos
The moon taunts, smiles, / “Come into my parlor, old man.”
Translated from Zamboangueño Chavacano by the author
MultimediaMultilingual
Pantun
By Nironjini Pillay, Shagina Bhalan, Nadarajan Mudalier & Mahendran Pillay
We are known as the Chetti of Melaka, / Guardians of tradition and culture.
Translated from Chetti Malay by Nurul Huda Hamzah & Stefanie Shamila Pillai
MultimediaMultilingual
The Land of Our Lives
By Magin Mario Balthazaar
The fish sing over here, / The fish sing.
Translated from Sri Lanka Portuguese by Hugo C. Cardoso
MultimediaMultilingual
My Beloved Lady
By Magin Mario Balthazaar
There will be no trouble, life will be good, / Come and dance the káfriinha.
Translated from Sri Lanka Portuguese by Hugo C. Cardoso
MultimediaMultilingual
Macau, Our Homeland
By H. Miguel de Senna Fernandes
A tiny land of a thousand wonders / A flower for anyone in grief
Translated from Patuá by the author
MultimediaMultilingual
Afroinsularity
By Conceição Lima
They left the islands a legacy / of hybrid words and gloomy plantations
Translated from Portuguese by Shook
MultimediaMultilingual
[0]
By Lauri García Dueñas
to the rain looming over mexico city open your jaws for us make kids laugh dogs bark
Translated from Spanish by Olivia Lott
MultimediaMultilingual
Monsoon Fable
By Jack Malik
frog cries saturate. life inundates. crane stares blacken. death curdles. ancestral winds whirl.
Translated from Malay by Thira Mohamad
MultimediaMultilingual
Poem in June
By T. Alias Taib
a field stretches, a pilgrim shuffles in despair
Translated from Malay by Eddin Khoo
MultimediaMultilingual
Linguistic Threads, translated by Alta L. Price
By Rahma Nur
Afro-Italian poet Rahma Nur describes her experience as a member of a diaspora living in Italy, noting how language marks the body and how it shapes one’s sense of loss.As you make headwaybetween…
Translated from Italian by Alta L. Price
MultimediaMultilingual
Linguistic Threads, translated by Candice Whitney
By Rahma Nur
Afro-Italian poet Rahma Nur describes her experience as a member of a diaspora living in Italy, noting how language marks the body and how it shapes one’s sense of loss.In the step that you takeBetween…
Translated from Italian by Candice Whitney
MultimediaMultilingual
Linguistic Threads, translated by Barbara Ofosu-Somuah
By Rahma Nur
Afro-Italian poet Rahma Nur describes her experience as a member of a diaspora living in Italy, noting how language marks the body and how it shapes one’s sense of loss.In that step you takebetween…
Translated from Italian by Barbara Ofosu-Somuah
MultimediaMultilingual
Cereté, Córdoba
By Raúl Gómez Jattin
I love you all even more in exile
Translated from Spanish by Katherine M. Hedeen & Olivia Lott
You Will Tell Them
By Mariem Mint Derwich
You will say to them that she sleeps in the calabash of worlds
Translated from French by Emma Ramadan
Multilingual
Say to the Tomb
By Bios Diallo
Here the poem ends
Translated from French by Emma Ramadan
Multilingual
It’s difficult to calculate the influence of the missus of the night
By Bergrún Anna Hallsteinsdóttir
it’s difficult to appraise the unseeable
Translated from Icelandic by Meg Matich
Multimedia
Sinkings
By Haukur Ingvarsson
the glacier is black / polar bears run on hot sand
Translated from Icelandic by Meg Matich
Multimedia
In Human-Made Society
By Eva Rún Snorradóttir
In order to get a visa, they had to explain to him how two women went about having sex.
Translated from Icelandic by Larissa Kyzer
Essays, or the Opening and Closing of the Okra Flowers During the Eclipse
By Alba Cid
The work of German photographer Karl Blossfeldt and his relationship to plants is reimagined in this poem by 2019 Poems in Translation Contest winner Alba Cid from her collection Atlas.Light is choral…
Translated from Galician by Megan Berkobien & Jacob Rogers
Multilingual
[My mother works in a cannery]
By Luisa Castro
A mother-daughter conversation and a child's search for her origins lead from the grandiose to the dreary in this poem by Luisa Castro.My mother works in a cannery.One day my mother said to me:love…
Translated from Galician by Laura Cesarco Eglin
Multilingual
Stress
By Antón Lopo
I suspect something in Kinue / reminds him of his own life.
Translated from Galician by Erín Moure
This, I Don’t Know
By Samuel Solleiro
These are the years directly preceding the onset of vulnerability.
Translated from Galician by Neil Anderson
Letter to Ukraine
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
Like the border between the word leave / and the concept of returning
Translated from Russian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler & Reilly Costigan-Humes
blurry image of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in St. Petersburg behind a canal
Murashko olga, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
About Time to Smile at Homeless People
By Dinara Rasuleva
Dinara Rasuleva questions received notions of home and national identity in this poem about her relationship to Russia.
Translated from Russian by Hilah Kohen
Multilingual
Three Observations, Untitled
By Ksenia Zheludova
The most horrible things, remember this, are incremental.
Translated from Russian by Josephine von Zitzewitz
MultimediaMultilingual
Destined from Birth
By Xenia Emelyanova
Enough of their butchery.
Translated from Russian by Katherine E. Young
Multilingual
In Puget Sound
By Isabel Zapata
before their paths divided, they formed, together, three glints of light and shadow moving on at last
Translated from Spanish by Robin Myers
Elephant
By Yu Jian
O, it is a defeated god, approaching the dusk of time.
Translated from Chinese by Xin Xu
Birds in Flight, 1965
By Enrique Villasis
Not as a multitude, but as one.
Translated from Filipino by Bernard Capinpin
MultimediaMultilingual
Trial Run
By Yau Ching
nothing is certain but and taxes
Translated from Chinese by Chenxin Jiang
MultimediaMultilingual