Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Jerome Rothenberg: From EYE OF WITNESS: the Table of Contents

[In composing a gathering of my own work over the last half-century or so, I’ve tried to construct it, with the collaboration of Heriberto Yépez, as an assemblage on the model of earlier works of mine like Technicians of the Sacred & Poems for the Millennium.  The experiment in this case was how to turn a “reader” into something more than a chronological work stringing together selections from  previous books of poetry & poetics.  It’s my hope that the table of contents which follows will give some sense of what we were d

15 Antiphonals: for Haroldo de Campos, as a new publication

[The antiphonals that follow have just been published – in time for my birthday (today) – as a small hand-stitched paperback by sine wave peak in Edinburgh.  The poems themselves were part of a commission from Francesco Conz, for work to be added to a series of large colored photo portraits of Haroldo de Campos. As my contribution to what was conceived as a group tribute, I took phrases & lines from English translations of Haroldo’s poetry & responded to them with loosely rhymed soundings of my own. I then handwrote the poems pair by pair onto a black left margin on each of the photographs. In the typographical version below, Haroldo’s words appear in italics, while mine are shown in roman type. For me at least, the resultant work has the feel of translation/transcreation – as still another instance of othering.  They appear in the new edition in a noticeably different format. (J.R.)]

 

(1)

burnt by asthma

churn’d miasma

Ivan Alechine: Muxa Uxi, a Poem from the Huichol Sierra, with Notes by the Author

Translation from French by Wendy Parramore

Ivan Alechine: Shadow of the Shaman Dionisio in Muxa Uxi.
Ivan Alechine: Shadow of the Shaman Dionisio in Muxa Uxi.

I am the man and the dog Nahuatl

the pine needles fall

without thunder

like fine lightning

 

blow the cinders

the great raw theatre

of the oak’s bark

re-appear the black and the white

 

Kofi Awoonor: from 'Poems & Abuse-Poems of the Ewe'

The sorrow & shock of the Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor’s death among the nearly 100 killed in this September’s Kenya Mall bombing & massacre is still another horror to live with. Kofi was our friend & comrade in the early 1970s, a fellow poet & contributing editor to my magazine, Alcheringa Ethnopoetics, & a companion & guest at our dinner table in New York.