[TRANSLATOR'S NOTE. In 2002 I was asked to contribute to Alec Finlay’s edition of translations by several hands of Paul Celan’s poem “Irisch.” While working on my translation (which duly appeared in the second volume, Irisch (2), Edinburgh 2002), I began to work on other dimensions of the poem, then of other Celan poems. The present homeophonic translations are one result.
[The excerpt below comes from the introduction to Carr’s and Robinson’s Active Romanticism: Essays on the Continuum of Innovative Poetry and Poetics from the 18th Century to the Present, which University of Alabama Press will be publishing later this year. Designed as a followup to Poems for the Millennium, volume 3, in which Robinson & I tried to create an assemblage or anthology of romantic & postromantic poetry, this volume will bring together essays & critical work by a number of poets & scholars: Dan Beachy-Quick, Jacques Darras, Rachel Blau Duplessis, Judith Goldman, S.P. Jarvis, Andrew Joron, Nigel Leask, Jennifer Moxley, Bob Perelman, Jerome Rothenberg, Elizabeth Willis, and Heriberto Yépez. (J.R.)]
[These five poems are based on diverse drafts and fragments preserved in the Cavafy archive and published along with proposed reconstructions in the collection of thirty texts entitled ATELI POIEMATA (Unfinished Poems) edited by Professor Renata Lavagnini of the University of Palermo (Athens: Ikaros Press, 1994). “The Newspaper Story,” the first poem in Lavagnini’s Greek edition, appeared earlieron Poem
[NOTE. For nearly forty years now Wai-lim Yip, a major Chinese poet-scholar, has been our (almost) neighbor & close friend in southern California. His reputation in the United States has mostly focused on his critical writings on Ezra Pound (Pound’s Cathay & other seminal works) & on his Chinese Poetry: Major Modes and Genres, which greatly expands & clarifies the Pound & Fennolosa approach to “the Chinese character as a medium for poetry.” What these English works mask however is the extent of his prolific & influential writin