Avatar photo

Poetry Editors’ Note

It’s OK to be another, says one of the people populating Linda Aldrich’s sonnet crown, “Scenes from a Single Life, 1985.” And in many ways, the poems in our Fall/Winter issue consider that idea – what it means to be another. We see poets stepping outside of their own experiences to consider the lives of those in Palestine, Burkina Faso and Iraq, poets telling heart-wrenching stories of victims of sexual violence.

My minute looks like your minute but isn’t, writes Denise Bergman, and many of the poets, here, explore the tension between our own experiences and the work it takes to understand the narrative of others – how to be a poet, as Srečko Kosovel writes, involves wells of understanding.

It is with this in mind that we are particularly delighted to feature so many translations of poets from around the world in this issue. To begin, we have Boston’s Poet Laureate, Danielle Legros Georges’s, translations of spare and deeply lyrical poems by Félix Morisseau-Leroy, prolific Haitian writer, educator, activist, and champion of the Haitian Creole language.

Co-translations by Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ana Jelnikar from the Slovenian of Srečko Kosovel’s poems bring us closer to the stark, Rilkean world of one of Slovenia’s first modernists, now considered one of Central Europe’s major modernist poets.

Stuart Friebert’s translations of poems from the German by Austrian poet, Elisabeth Schmeidel’s introduce us to a poet who is now just getting recognition in the English language.  (If you haven’t already, please check out our recent blog interview with Friebert on translating Schmeidel’s poetry at  http://solsticelitmag.org/dzvinia-orlowsky-interviews-stuart-friebert-translator-elisabeth-schmeidels-poetry/#more-7196. )

In his poem, “1982” Daniel Lawless writes about [t]he year many found the needle but lost the thread. The poems in this issue help us find lost threads – they remind us of what it means to practice empathy and contemplate the relationship between the one and the many. After all, as Félix Morisseau-Leroy writes, When I say me, it’s her/ When I say him, it’s you/ They are me, are him, are you/ We are ourselves ourselves.

Dzvinia Orlowsky and Ben Berman

Join the conversation