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Poetry

Pegasus Autopsy
By Julio Pazos Barrera
Soon the volunteers will arrive
Translated from Spanish by Bryan Mendoza
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Learning Late Letters
By Nguyễn Hoàng Quyên
The dead don't let us go, I say to my friend Sirius, putting my father's letters in a drawer.
Translated from Vietnamese by the author
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The Red Rooster and Inevitable Saint
By Julia Wong Kcomt
“She was hot, your aunt Carmen, / she didn’t look Chinese.”
Translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue
Multilingual
Here in Chorrillos
By Doris Moromisato
My eyes fill with rowboats
Translated from Spanish by Margaret Wright
Multilingual
Four Short Poems
By Sui-Yun
I have licked the tip of evil
Translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue
COVID-19
By Arlinda Guma
In Germany the statue of Marx is playing chess with the family doctor
Translated from Albanian by Peter Constantine
Dawn
By Miguelángel Meza
water boils up from grouped stones, grips me.
Translated from Guaraní by Tracy K. Lewis & Miguelángel Meza
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My Fire
By Alba Eiragi Duarte
At light of dawn I rise and make fire, / and dry in nascent fire-gleam the space where dew once pearled.
Translated from Guaraní by Tracy K. Lewis & Alba Eiragi Duarte
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A hummingbird at sunset
Photo by Ramona Edwards on Unsplash
Our Father Is Tired
By Susy Delgado
a dark stillness / goes about sowing death.
Translated from Guaraní by Susan Smith Nash & Susy Delgado
Multilingual
Serpent
By Alberto Luna
I alone / plunge my roots / and outstretch my branches.
Translated from Guaraní by Susan Smith Nash & Susy Delgado
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[When I was born my mother]
By Giovanna Cristina Vivinetto
I practiced the art of clairvoyance, / became a sorceress, a witch, a woman
Translated from Italian by Danielle Pieratti
Multilingual
Letter to the Father
By Ricardo Domeneck
I ask myself / if mother's ban / against confessing / . . . is still in place
Translated from Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan
In Praise of the Nude Body
By Mutsuo Takahashi
They’re as naked as the day they were born
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
Gifts
By Mutsuo Takahashi
The wisdom gathered from those wanderings is far deeper / Than that of ancient Greece
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
Post-Op
By Mariana Spada
somewhere in between the promise and the certainty of rain / the bounds of things / —all things, including you— / are blurred
Translated from Spanish by Robin Myers
On Masks
By Yu Jian
take custody of my mouth
Translated from Chinese by Shuyu Guo
notes from this city
By Carolina Pihelgas
the window frames have become national borders, the doorknob a border guard.
Translated from Estonian by Adam Cullen
Multilingual
On Beginnings
By Filinto Elísio
Inert stone, atomic, / nuclear before life.
Translated from Portuguese by Jethro Soutar
Multilingual
Lisbon – 1971
By Arménio Vieira
In point of fact, Lisbon was not waiting there [to greet us.
Translated from Portuguese by Eric M. B. Becker & Shook
Caviar, Champagne, and Fantasy
By Arménio Vieira
The Esplanada, thick with the scent of fragrant [DDT
Translated from Portuguese by Eric M. B. Becker & Shook
Song for My Father
By Filinto Elísio
The music played / on Apollo 11, it turned out, was “Georgia / On My Mind,” sung by Ray Charles.
Translated from Portuguese by Jethro Soutar
Multilingual
From the Red Desert
By Maria Borio
I write to you from the red zone.
Translated from Italian by Danielle Pieratti
Multilingual
Shelter in Poems: Poetry to Break the Isolation of Social Distancing
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
Words Without Borders is leaning into poetry's ability to fill the void of isolation.
Notes from Kolkata
By Sonnet Mondal
”Amnesia shrouds a generation.”
Translated from Bengali by the author
The Poem
By Mohsen Emadi
the poem is riding a bicycle; / trembling and in haste.
Translated from Persian by Sholeh Wolpé
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I Spat Out This Poem
By Yasmeen Hameed
I swallowed fire / And forgot you were an ocean.
Translated from Urdu by Mehr Afshan Farooqi
No, My Veil Is Stained
By Parveen Shakir
Flowers will slip from a torn veil.
Translated from Urdu by Adeeba Shahid Talukder
Red earth has broken apart leaving a cliff-like overhand with exposed tree roots against a forest...
Photo by Jan Canty on Unsplash
Color Thief
By Sara Shagufta
When a man cries / he floods himself in salt tears / and colorfast he drowns
Translated from Urdu by Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb
[Only the madman has stayed behind in the city]
By Ciwan Nebî
What does he have to fear?
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
Multilingual
[I needed to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to make it to work]
By Ciwan Qado
I proceeded with caution / Like a marble inching toward the line
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
Multilingual
[I speak to]
By Cihan Hesen
silence sullen-faced fate reaches my ears
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
Multilingual
Water
By Voltaire Oyzon
Three or four days / he hangs out in our house.
Translated from Waray by Merlie M. Alunan
Multilingual
Juggler
By Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles
How does one grasp making / sense of timing when to hurl and when to catch?
Translated from Filipino by Kristine Ong Muslim
Multilingual
A Planned Brief Documentary on a Teenage Boy in a Badjao Village
By M. J. Cagumbay Tumamac
Like a fish / in an aquarium, you are a source of distress and distraction.
Translated from Filipino by Kristine Ong Muslim
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Birds of Paradise, 1965
By Enrique Villasis
In the mind, a flock of birds, feathers from an unshakable, shadowy thing.
Translated from Filipino by Bernard Capinpin
Multilingual
from “Melismas”
By Marlon Hacla
What / are the things we need to prepare?
Translated from Filipino by Kristine Ong Muslim
Multilingual
Important Announcement
By Ahmed Fouad Negm
Upsidedownistan here.
Translated from Arabic by Elliott Colla
Tomboy
By Claudia Masin
I don’t understand how we walk around the world / ​as if there were a single way for each of us
Translated from Spanish by Robin Myers
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Pillow
By Lee Young-ju
“Pillow” is a poem by 2019 Poems in Translation Contest winner Lee Young-ju, translated into English by Jae Kim.Listen to Lee Young-ju read her poem “Pillow” in the original Korean.…
Translated from Korean by Jae Kim
Multilingual
Roommate, Woman
By Lee Young-ju
On waking, I see my body has been rearranged.
Translated from Korean by Jae Kim
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An Apocryphal History of the Discovery of Migration, or The Sacrifice of the Pfeilstörchen
By Alba Cid
it’s awful of me to interrupt, but I just / need you to understand how certain kinds of wounds can be useful.
Translated from Galician by Jacob Rogers
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Cloth Birds
By Dorothy Tse
There's no cloth hawker in the bazaar / willing to make dirty deals
Translated from Chinese by Natascha Bruce
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Phone Call
By Tahir Hamut
On a mattress / amidst an armful of hair / a beautiful woman tosses and turns
Translated from Uyghur by Joshua L. Freeman
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A Night Sama
By Tahir Hamut
Their wailing won’t let me sleep, won’t let me sleep . . .
Translated from Uyghur by Darren Byler & Anonymous Uyghur Translator
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I Want to Walk Toward the Altar of the Lord
By Li Hao
my body, / like a spoon, here on this earth, sweetly scoops out / my brain.
Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman
Multilingual
Absent, Or Not Absent
By Tsering Woeser
right in the center, / sat the completely empty dharma throne, / richly decorated, the heart’s dream waiting / like a balloon floating through desire
Translated from Chinese by Ian Boyden
Multilingual
Angels
By Li Hao
I see your unfamiliar riverbank / and walk toward you.
Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman
Multilingual
Perhaps: Love Poems
By Xi Wa
I dare not use mortal eyes to contemplate you
Translated from Chinese by Chloe Garcia Roberts
Multilingual
The Cupboard with Strawberry Jam
By Lee Hyemi
If I had a spare season, I would’ve rushed to whisper vulgar words
Translated from Korean by Soje
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Like Any Messiah Taken Unaware by Death
By Aisha al-Saifi
Death is colder than a cup of water on my body, and/ Fonder to me than sand
Translated from Arabic by Robin Moger
Multilingual
Electronic Thorns
By Reem Allawati
Its scent is like infirmity, / This soul
Translated from Arabic by Ghayde Ghraowi
Multilingual
A Life Diverse and a Life Inverse
By Rogério Manjate
my pact with hope is evergreen: / immense this green that makes a heart.
Translated from Portuguese by Sandra Tamele & Eric M. B. Becker
De(s)igns
By Hélder Faife
She tattoos the wavering future / on the bare skinned wall.
Translated from Portuguese by Sandra Tamele & Eric M. B. Becker
From Voids
By Mbate Pedro
and now my eyes are knives slicing the night to / split the mist
Translated from Portuguese by Sandra Tamele & Eric M. B. Becker
The Prayer of the Flame that Sparked the Forest Fire
By M Aan Mansyur
Tell the sad stories to the sky.
Translated from Indonesian by John H. McGlynn
Multilingual
Two people walk through the snow with the sun rising behind mountains in the distance
Tadeáš Gregor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
From “Aednan”
By Linnea Axelsson
What kind of home is it / where no one dares say / our son’s name
Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel
Multilingual
Interlude
By Mara Lee
He squinted at me, swaying in the wind. Blood or soil, he asked.
Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel
From “White Monkey”
By Adrian Perera
I say change is always painful, / someone has to be the first.
Translated from Swedish by Christian Gullette
Multilingual
From “Twenty-Five Thousand Miles of Nerves”
By Nino Mick
I want to reside in the hard and permanent / so I construct a suite of poems and a man to live inside
Translated from Swedish by Christian Gullette
Multilingual
From “The Night Inside”
By Djamal Amrani
The slumber at the edge/ of my well of fever
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual