Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (11): from the Popol Vuh (Mayan)

The Popol Vuh, literally “the book of the community” (or “commonhouse” or “council”), was preserved by Indians in Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, Guatemala, and in the eighteenth century given to Father Francisco Ximénez who transcribed it in roman letters and put it into Spanish; vanished again and rediscovered in the 1850s by Carl Scherzer and Abbé Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg.

Translation from the Mayan by Dennis Tedlock

 

this is the beginning of the ancient word,

here in this place called k’iche’

 

Here we shall inscribe,

               we shall implant the Ancient Word,

Heriberto Yépez: What Are the United States and Why Are There So Many of Them (Work in Progress)

Originally published in S/N New World Poetics, a publication edited by Charles Bernstein and Eduardo Espina. Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Clayton Eshleman: 'Chauvet. First Impressions' (a new poem)

NOTE: See also the poem “Chauvet: Left Wall of End Chamber” in Reciprocal Distillations (Hot Whiskey Press, 2007) reprinted in CE / The Essential Poetry (1960–2015). With James O’Hern, I visited Chauvet Cave with Jean-Marie Chauvet (one of the 1994 discoverers) on January 8, 2004. My gratitude to Dominique Baffier for arranging our visit. Excellent color photographs of the wall with the paintings addressed in my poem may be found in Chauvet Cave / The Art of Earliest Times, directed by Jean Clottes (The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 2003).

The depth of body.

The depth    of a hollow

     animal belly

imagination fills out to an agreeable convexity, &

the tenderness in a bear drawing

like a loom within stone.

Seesaw pitch of breath & stasis:

my heart pounding   Take Heed   halfway

Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (10): The birth of the war god (Aztec)

Bas-relief of Coyolchauhqui, from Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan
Bas-relief of Coyolchauhqui, sister of Huitzilopochtli, from Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan

SOURCE. English working by Jerome Rothenberg after Spanish prose version in Ángel María Garibay’s Epica Náhuatl, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1945.

1.
                        old Coatlicue snake woman

            ’s sweeping up

a feather falleth on her

A first anthology/assemblage of the poetry and poetics of the Americas, from origins to present

An announcement and an appeal

The following is an early announcement of a work now in progress: a full-blown anthology/assemblage of the poetry of all the Americas (“from origins to present”), coedited with Heriberto Yépez, that the University of California Press has just accepted for publication. As Heriberto & I move into the work, I’m posting our proposal for the book, below, as an indication of what’s in store & in the hope, as with other assemblages of mine, that others will come forward with suggestions for materials relevant as texts & commentaries that fall along the lines of those in my earlier anthologies. Even more important for a work of this scope, Heriberto & I are looking for others who can assist us in the formidable task of translation: Spanish, Portuguese, French, & the full range of indigenous languages & creoles from the two great American continents. 

[The following is an early announcement of a work now in progress: a full-blown anthology/assemblage of the poetry of all the Americas (“from origins to present”), coedited with Heriberto Yépez, that the University of California Press has just accepted for publication.