Beak & Wave

February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hey, folks–


I’m jumping ship in order to be involved in some good conversations at Beak & Wave, a new project I started with poet Rachel Andoga. Join us there to talk about poems, craft, etc.





Mid-semester blues

March 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Zachary Kanin’s cartoon pretty much sums up my mid-semester, great-big feeling of simultaneous possibility and hopelessness. These ideas of mine will surely become a marvel of contemporary poetry if only I can GROW SOME FINGERS!  Also see: Kanin’s giggle-worthy cartoon entries for this week’s culture diary at the Paris Review blog.

I have been absent, but not silent– I promise (ye three readers)

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hey, guys, so, I’ve been working on some translations for the past few months. Here they are:

Drunken Boat Translation Issue 2011: Poems by David Leo García, translated by Sara Sams

More to come! Seriously, spring break must be for blogging, because I won’t let it be solely for grading.

When does the sun die in Arizona?

January 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I can’t get “Lament for Pasiphaë” out of my head, mostly because the sun won’t stop shining here. I fell in  love  with Lauridsen’s composition of Graves’ Midwinter Songs circa 2006 with my college choir, and usually get a hankering for them around this time of year (how hard the year dies…). Living in this movement in particular, I can’t help but feel like this is the most lovin’ Pasiphaë’s ever gotten, what with her condemning womanly lust. The tender line tempted her pity is matched by the most caring of musical dedications. After accidentally reading about some random, traveling a-hole’s slutscapade, I feel really happy about there being beautiful men in the world who can create such body-shaking sadness/sympathy for Pasiphaë… Then she who shone for all resigned her being– kersplat, my heart.

Dying sun, shine warm a little longer!
My eye, dazzled with tears, shall dazzle yours,
Conjuring you to shine and not to move.
You, sun, and I all afternoon have laboured
Beneath a dewless and oppressive cloud–
a fleece now gilded with our common grief
That this must be a night without a moon.
Dying sun, shine warm a little longer!

Faithless she was not: she was very woman,
Smiling with dire impartiality,
Sovereign, with heart unmatched, adored of men,
Until Spring’s cuckoo with bedraggled plumes
Tempted her pity and her truth betrayed.
Then she who shone for all resigned her being,
And this must be a night without a moon.
Dying sun, shine warm a little longer!

–“Lament for Pasiphaë,” Robert Graves

Also, weird: a high school does an excellent rendition (worth staring at the accompanying photos of high school yearbookdom).

Jackson Hotel by Lynda Hull

November 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Jackson Hotel by Lynda Hull : The Poetry Foundation I love this, especially here (and–funny how it seemed a little bit like winter here last night):

I want to still the dancer’s hands

in mine, to talk about forgiveness

and what we leave behind– faces

and cities, the small emergencies

of nights

Rui Pires Cabral

October 27, 2010 § 1 Comment

Of course I find the most appropriate time to update this blog is during my busiest night yet as a graduate student– papers galore to grade, translations to re-enter, and applications upon applications for glorious after glorious Piper global opportunities. But– but! I remembered, while writing these meandering essays about why, blah blah blah, I must travel, blah blah blah, a poem I found by Rui Pires Cabral in an international poetry anthology gracing a Parnassian bookshelf. Here it is, in all its translated-from-Portuguese deliciousness:

The night is sustained by its décor
like a dead man linked to his machines.
Customers leaf through books, all Poles
from the same block. We suddenly
realize: there is something beyond words
that resists deciphering. In foreign cities
we make better use of our senses, we are bolder
in our intuitions. And after the soup and the warm
tea, going out into the street, we can discover
that we are still alive and that, after all,
we have never known any other condition.
This is the hour that reveals us.
And what we call reality
heads off with us in the same direction.

translated by Alexis Levitin, copyright 2003 Averno, Lisboa


Check out SLW’s new design blog!

May 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • sasams