Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Jerome Rothenberg: A poem for the cruel minority

[Written during the Reagan administration as “A Poem for the Cruel Majority” & a counter to talk then about “the silent majority” & its rising place in our national politics. The result of the recent election, in which a minority of the electorate brought Donald J. Trump into office, caused me to rethink & to reword the earlier designation. If further changes are needed (& they will be), I’ll think about it. (J. R.)]


Michael Palmer: 'Tomb of Aimé Césaire' and 'Light Moves (1–6), for Jackson Mac Low'

Editor’s note: I’m using today’s Poems and Poetics to celebrate the publication of Michael Palmer’s new poetry collection, The Laugher of the Sphinx, just out from New Directions.

Gerry Loose: Eight further poems in ogham script with a note on poetics and translation

Church of the 3 Brethren     Lochgoilhead 

little saint of whitethorn

little quencher of wolf spark

welcome to the burial mounds


dear confessor of blood-red berries

sweet dweller of beehive cell

oaks make good gallow-trees


Mohsen Emadi: 'YAMSA, A Tribute to Absence' (from 'Standing on Earth')

In memory of Farzad Kamangar

Translation from Persian by Lyn Coffin


[Farzad Kamangar was a thirty-two-year-old Iranian teacher, poet, journalist, human rights activist, and social worker who was hanged on May 9, 2010. At his execution, he offered chocolates to all the observers.]




I’m sitting at the end of the world

Jerome Rothenberg: 'The Dreamers, for David Antin,' reprinted from 'A Seneca Journal' with a note in reminiscence

[NOTE: In the more than six decades of my friendship with David Antin the pleasure of talking & thinking together was foremost, as much where we disagreed as where we agreed, & David & I knew that for any surface differences we had, the underlying impulse was nearly identical & made for a bond that even now fills me with wonder. I was also keenly aware of his trickster side — as he was, I know, of mine — & never sought to turn him away from it but always relished his thrust toward the unexpected & outrageous.