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Poetry

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
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
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
MultimediaMultilingual
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
MultimediaMultilingual
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
MultimediaMultilingual
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
MultimediaMultilingual
Cloth Birds
By Dorothy Tse
There's no cloth hawker in the bazaar / willing to make dirty deals
Translated from Chinese by Natascha Bruce
MultimediaMultilingual
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
MultimediaMultilingual
A Night Sama
By Tahir Hamut
Their wailing won’t let me sleep, won’t let me sleep . . .
Translated from Uyghur by Darren Byler & Dilmurat Mutellip
MultimediaMultilingual
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
Learn
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
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
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
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
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
Beneath a Pile of Rubble
By Djamal Amrani
Because death is stronger than hunger
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
Minus One
By Samira Negrouche
I would like/ in a faraway language/ to tell you what I don’t/ understand
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
In the Shadow of Grenada
By Samira Negrouche
She tells me not to be/ a holy land/ or a mine of tenderness
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
Celebration of the Absent One
By Habib Tengour
The father’s house is a living language/ Open to guests passing through
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
The Tartar from the Kremlin
By Habib Tengour
This particular Tartar is unbeatable at cards/ Except for whist (not a game for Tartars)
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Three Poems
By Ricardo Aleixo
A Black man is always somebody's Black man.
Translated from Portuguese by Dan Hanrahan
Multimedia
Four Poems
By Cristiane Sobral
Time, lord of the hours / reigns sovereign
Translated from Portuguese by John Keene
Multilingual
A Chair on a Highway on a Rainy Afternoon
By P.K.
a chair standing by itself on a highway / means its life is over
Translated from Vietnamese by the author
Multilingual
Fragments
By Pháp Hoan
Dissonant music lingers in the bodiless ear of the present tense
Translated from Vietnamese by Kaitlin Rees
Somewhere Better Than This Place Nowhere Better Than This Place
By Nguyễn Hoàng Quyên
We have found in the deterioration of flesh and bones a spiritual liberation
Translated from Vietnamese by the author
Multilingual
The Poem as Epiphyte
By Fady Joudah
Hope in the right place, you said, is hope misplaced
Military Drills
By Lela Samniashvili
Who can escape his own charisma
Translated from Georgian by Mac Dunlop & Natalia Bukia-Peters
MultimediaMultilingual
A Run in My Stocking
By Lela Samniashvili
I know there is the curse of god and the curse of being human
Translated from Georgian by Mac Dunlop & Natalia Bukia-Peters
MultimediaMultilingual
The Children of Beslan (To My Children)
By Irakli Kakabadze
We left toys with wilted smiles on the beds
Translated from Georgian by Mary Childs
MultimediaMultilingual
Seventeen Poems by Iaki Kabe
By Irakli Kakabadze
It had rained, / The lilacs were rejoicing.
Translated from Georgian by Mary Childs
MultimediaMultilingual
This City I Come From
By Agnes Lam
no disputes / chroniclers and chronicled as one / reunification, yes, reunification
Translated from Chinese by Natascha Bruce
Searching for Light
By Yao Feng
The light retires to the lamp / and suddenly all is dark again
Translated from Portuguese by Julia Sanches
Mrs. Robinson at the Hotel Estoril
By Un Sio San
Soaking in time he sees fallen Estoril
Translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang
Multilingual
“Chhanna,” the Metal Bowl
By Amarjit Chandan
This bowl is older than I.
Translated from Punjabi by Sarabjeet Garcha
Mustard Flowers
By Ajmer Rode
Morning starts / when lights turn green.
Translated from Punjabi by the author
While I Slept
By Navtej Bharati
I will not accept this old age / grafted slyly on my body.
Translated from Punjabi by the author
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