Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Amish Trivedi: From 'FuturePanic': 'What We Remembered Before'

What We Remembered Before


A face climbing

atop an old       

starter motor,    

buried down

and spit-taken

ahead of slender


white ether gloves and

Aimé Césaire: From 'Ferrements,' 'Tombeau de Paul Eluard' (1960)

Translation from French by A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshleman


Blazon of blows on the shattered body of dreams

                         first snowy morning

Takahashi Mutsuo: 'This World, or the Man of the Boxes,' dedicated to Joseph Cornell

Translation from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles


Pilgrim on earth, thy name is heaven,
Stranger, thou art the guest of God.

—Mary Baker Eddy


The shade of sooty quince

The bloom of dusty roses

——And beyond that

From 'Technicians of the Sacred Expanded': 'The Age of Wild Ghosts' (Lolop'o [Yi], China)

Translated from Yi & Mandarin by Erik Mueggler


[I have recently added the following to the revised & expanded edition of Technicians of the Sacred, still in progress.  Its place is in a new section of the book called “Survivals & Revivals,” as an instance of old rituals of mourning & healing incorporating the threatening ghosts of those killed by political & social violence in a very real & contemporary local & national setting (Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, etc.).  The work from which I’m drawing, The Age of Wild Ghosts by Erik Mueggler (University of California Press, 2001), is a still more complex & detailed report on what’s at stake here. (J.R.)]

Christophe Lamiot Enos: Postface to 'Un Champ sur Mars / A Field on Mars' (just published)

[The following is the critical postface to my new book, A Field on Mars: Poems 2000-2015 (Un Champ sur Mars), just published by Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre in both an English & a simultaneous French edition.  Christophe Lamiot is an active poet & the editor of the Rouen press’s Jusqu’a (To) series of books devoted to contemporary American poetry & poets in separate English & French editions.  The complete French translation of my Shaking the Pumpkin (Secouer la Citrouille) was also published under his editorship. (J.R.)]


(...) poetry as elation


A Field on Mars. A field on Mars: this is how Jerome Rothenberg tells of his writings in poetry from the last ten years. A former title was “Divagations and Auto-variations.” “Divagations & Autovariations” now stands as a subtitle. I like this gesture of naming, then renaming—from one of the most prolific, far-ranging, active and successful poets of XXth-century Anglophone America.