Tag Archives: translation

Poem 47 In Solidarity: On Istiklal

by David Shook

On Istiklal

Mustache flecked with chicken pudding,
the ice cream trickster juggles scoops,
flips cones for tips,
never smiles.

Perched behind his analog scale,
the salesman invites my mass aboard,
a lira for my passage. Generous,
he rounds up, gifts me weight I have not earned.

The needle’s thin tongue trembles
when I lift my boot in explanation.
Today he’s weighed at least 400 kilos for
the chestnuts he’ll eat walking home.

The weight that’s crossed this city means I’m nothing.
Luxor’s obelisk re-righted with manpower and a plan,
a trough of lokum heavy like a coffin
but filled with sweeter meat.

For all I weigh, I weigh almost nothing,
I increase the earth’s gravitational pull
by an insignificant degree,
this street will not remember me.

Still: I will not be rounded up nor rounded down.

          Look! / Hey! / Dumb-cluck! / Chuck your twanging noise-box.
—Nâzim Hikmet

David Shook

David Shook

David Shook grew up in Mexico City before studying endangered languages in Oklahoma and poetry at Oxford. His debut collection of poems, Our Obsidian Tongues, was published by Eyewear Publishing in 2013. He has translated Roberto Bolaño’s Infrarealist manifesto, indigenous Mexican poetry from the Isthmus Zapotec, and oral poetry by the Burundian Batwa. He served as Translator in Residence at Britain’s Poetry Parnassus at The Southbank, in 2012. There he premiered his covertly shot documentary about Equatorial Guinean poet Marcelo Ensema Nsang. Shook lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the poet and pastor Syd Shook, where he edits Molossus and Phoneme Media. http://davidshook.net

Poem 46 In Solidarity:The Barbarians (Round Two) Hebrew,English, Turkish, French, Spanish, German, Greek, Japanese, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Chinese, Italian and Serbian.

by Amir Or

הַבַּרְבָּרִים: סִבּוּב שֵׁנִי

לֹא לַשָּׁוְא חִכִּינוּ לַבַּרְבָּרִים,
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא נִקְהַלְנוּ בְּכִכַּר הָעִיר.
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא עָטוּ גְּדוֹלֵינוּ אֶת בִּגְדֵי כְּבוֹדָם
וְשִׁנְּנוּ אֶת נְאוּמָם לִכְבוֹד הַמְּאֹרָע.
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא נִתַּצְנוּ מִקְדָּשֵׁינוּ
וּבָנִינוּ אֲחֵרִים לְאֵלֵיהֶם;
כַּדָּת שָׂרַפְנוּ אֶת סְפָרֵינוּ
אֲשֶׁר אֵין חֵפֶץ בָּם לָאֲנָשִׁים כָּאֵלֶּה.
כִּדְבַר הַנְּבוּאָה בָּאוּ הַבַּרְבָּרִים,
וְנָטְלוּ מִיַּד הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת מַפְתְּחוֹת הָעִיר.
אַךְ בְּבוֹאָם עָטוּ לְבוּשׁ כִּלְבוּשׁ הָאָרֶץ,
וּמִנְהָגָם הָיָה מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה;
וְעֵת צִוּוּ עָלֵינוּ בִּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ,
לֹא יָדַעְנוּ עוֹד מָתַי
בָּאוּ הַבַּרְבָּרִים.

The Barbarians (Round Two)

It was not in vain that we awaited the barbarians,
it was not in vain that we gathered in the city square.
It was not in vain that our great ones put on their official robes
and rehearsed their speeches for the event.
It was not in vain that we smashed our temples
and erected new ones to their gods;
as proper we burnt our books
that have nothing in them for people like that.
As the prophesy foretold, the barbarians came
and took the keys to the city from the king’s hand.
But when they came they wore the garments of the land,
and their customs were the customs of the state;
and when they commanded us in our own tongue
we no longer knew when
the barbarians had come to us.

Tr: Vivian Eden


Nafile değildi barbarları beklememiz
Nafile değildi şehir merkezinde toplanmamız
Büyüklerimizin resmi giysilerini kuşanmaları
Ve tören konuşmalarını çalışmaları nafile değil
Tapınaklarımızı yıkıp onların Tanrıları için tapınaklar dikmemiz de nafile değil
Olması gerektiği gibi yaktık kitaplarımızı
İçlerinde böylesi insanlar için hiç bir şey bulunmayan kitaplarımızı
Sonra kahanetin duyurduğu gibi barbarlar geldi
Şehrin anahtarını aldılar ve kralın kellesini
Ama onlar gelince toprağın kumaşlarını kuşandılar
Ve adetleri bizim devletin adetleriydi
Ve ne zaman ki bizim dilimizde emrettiler
Hiç bilmedik ondan sonra
Barbarlar ne zaman gelmişti bize

Tr: Neshe Yashin

Les barbares (deuxième round)

Ce n’est pas pour rien que nous avons attendu les barbares,
ce n’est pas pour rien que nous nous sommes réunis sur la place.
Ce n’est pas pour rien que nos notables ont revêtu leurs robes officielles
et répété leurs discours en prévision de l’événement.
Ce n’est pas pour rien que nous avons démoli nos temples
et en avons érigé de nouveaux pour leurs dieux ;
tout comme nous avons brûlé avec raison nos livres
qui n’ont rien à dire à des gens comme ça.
Comme annoncé dans la prophétie les barbares sont venus,
et ont reçu les clés de la cité des mains du roi.
Mais quand ils sont venus ils ont endossé les vêtements locaux
et leurs mœurs sont devenues celles du pays ;
et quand ils nous commandèrent dans notre propre langue
nous ne sûmes plus jamais quand
les barbares étaient venus vers nous.

Tr: Aurelia Lassaque

Los Bárbaros (Segundo Round)

No fue en vano que esperáramos a los bárbaros
no fue en vano que nos reuniéramos en la plaza de la ciudad.
No fue en vano que nuestros grandes hombres lucieran sus trajes de gala
y que ensayaran sus discursos para la ocasión.
No fue en vano que destruyéramos nuestros templos
y que erigiéramos otros para sus dioses;
quemamos nuestros libros como era debido
ya que no ofrecían nada para ellos.
Como auguró la profecía, llegaron los bárbaros
y recibieron las llaves de la ciudad de las manos del rey.
Pero cuando llegaron se vistieron con las prendas de nuestra tierra,
y sus costumbres eran las costumbres del Estado;
cuando ellos nos dieron órdenes en nuestro idioma
ya no supimos cuándo habían llegado los bárbaros.

Tr: Karla Coreas

Die Barbaren, zweite Runde

Nicht umsonst warteten wir auf die Barbaren,
nicht umsonst versammelten wir uns am Hauptplatz.
Nicht umsonst kleideten sich unsere Honoratioren in ihre Ehrenkleider
und studierten ihre Rede anlässlich des Ereignisses.
Nicht umsonst zerstörten wir unsere Tempel
und bauten andre für ihre Götter;
dem Gebot nach verbrannten wir unsere Bücher,
in denen solche Menschen keinen Nutzen sehen.
Wie prophezeit kamen die Barbaren,
und nahmen von des Königs Hand die Stadtschlüssel.
Aber als sie kamen, trugen sie die Landeskleider,
und ihre Bräuche waren die Landesbräuche;
und als sie uns in unserer Sprache Befehle erteilten,
wussten wir nicht mehr, wann
die Barbaren gekommen waren.

Tr: Michael Sternheimer

Οι βάρβαροι (Δεύτερη φορά)

Τους βαρβάρους δεν τους περιμέναμε άδικα·
Στην αγορά δέ συναθροιστήκαμε άδικα.
Δεν ήταν άδικα που ύπατοι και πραίτορες τις τόγες φόρεσαν
και λόγους έγραψαν γι’αυτόν τον ερχομό.
Δεν ήταν άσκοπο που τους ναούς κατεδαφίσαμε,
άλλους, στους δικούς τους θεούς για να κτίσουμε,
κι ορθώς στις φλόγες ρίξαμε τα βιβλία μας,
που τίποτα δε γράφουνε γι’ανθρώπους σαν κι’αυτούς.
Όπως τό’χε πει η προφητεία, οι βάρβαροι ήλθαν
κι έλαβαν της πόλεως τα κλειδιά από τον αυτοκράτορα.
Όμως με το που ήλθαν, έβαλαν ενδύματα όπως της χώρας
κι οι συνήθειες τους ήσαν όμοιες μ’αυτές του τόπου·
κι όταν πια στη δική μας γλώσσα έδιναν τις διαταγές τους,
ούτε που ήξερε πλέον κανείς να πει, πότε
ήλθαν σε μας οι βάβαροι.

Tr: Tania Demetriou


蛮人たち (第二ラウンド)

もうわからなくなる いつ

Tr: Yuka Tsukagoshi

ВАРВАРИТЕ (ВТОРА РУНДА)Не беше попусто што ги чекавме варварите,
не беше попусто што се собравме на градскиот плоштад.
Не беше попусто што нашите првенци ги облекоа свечените рува
и ги вежбаа свечените говори подготвени за настанот.
Не беше попусто што си ги срушивме храмовите
и кренавме нови во чест на нивните богови.
Како што е редот, ги запаливме нашите книги
што не содржеа ништо за луѓе како нив.
Пророштвото се исполни и варварите стасаа,
ги зедоа градските клучеви од раката на царот.
Но штом стасаа тие се облекоа во градски рува,
обичаи им станаа обичаите на земјата,
а кога почнаа да ни заповедаат на нашиот јазик
повеќе не знаевме
кога тоа варварите стасале меѓу нас.

Tr: Хелена Берг и Фиона Сампсон

Barbarzyńcy (Runda Druga)

Nie na próżno czekaliśmy na barbarzyńców,
nie na próżno staliśmy na placu.
Nie na próżno nasi oratorzy nakładali togi,
pilnie ćwicząc stosowne przemowy.
Nie na próżno w gruzach legły świątynie,
by dać miejsce bogom, co przyjdą.
Słuszne było, że księgi spłonęły,
bo ich mądrość nie dla takich jak oni.
Jak głosili prorocy, barbarzyńcy przybyli,
a król wręczył im klucze do miasta.
A kiedy przybyli, oblekli się w szaty tej ziemi,
i obyczaj ich stał się majestatem prawa.
I gdy w naszym języku wydali rozkazy,
na wieki opuściła nas pamięć,
kiedy barbarzyńcy przybyli.

Tr: Beata Tarnowska

BARBARII (Runda a doua)

Nu în zadar am aşteptat barbarii,
nu în zadar ne-am adunat în piaţa cetăţii.
Nu în zadar şi-au vopsit mai marii noştri robele
nu în zadar şi-au pregatit discursurile dinainte.
Nu în zadar am distrus templele noastre
şi-am înălţat altele pentru zeii lor;
am ars, după cuviinţă, cărţile
în care nimic nu era scris pentru oameni ca ei.
Aşa cum spunea profeţia, barbarii au venit,
au luat din mâna regelui cheia cetăţii.
Dar cum au venit s-au îmbrăcat în veşmintele locului,
obiceele lor au fost ale acestei ţări;
apoi au rostit poruncile în limba noastră
şi atunci noi n-am mai ştiut
venirea barbarilor oare când să fi fost.

Tr:Ioana Ieronim

野蛮人/ 阿米尔•欧尔,蔡天新译


TR: Cai Taxin

I barbari (secondo round)

Non abbiamo aspettato i barbari in vano
non ci siamo riuniti nelle piazze in vano.
I nostri grandi non hanno indossato i loro abiti ufficiali
e in vano hanno provato i loro discorsi per l’evento.
Non abbiamo mandato in frantumi i nostri templi
e in vano ne abbiamo eretto dei nuovi per i loro Dei;
come dovuto abbiamo bruciato i nostri libri
che non contenevano nulla per gente come quella.
Come predetto i barbari sono venuti,
e hanno preso le chiavi della città dalle mani del re.
Ma quando sono arrivati hanno indossato gli abiti locali,
e i loro costumi erano i costumi dello stato;
e quando ci hanno dato comandi nella nostra lingua
non sapevamo più quando da noi
i barbari fossero venuti.

Tr: Mena Savore

Nismo uzalud čekali varvare,
Nismo se uzalud okupili na gradskom trgu.
Nisu uzalud naši velikani odenuli odore
i uvežbavali govore za tu priliku.
Nismo uzalud srušili naše hramove
i podigli nove za njihove bogove;
spalivši usput sve naše knjige
jer u njima nema ničega za takve ljude.
U skladu sa proročanstvom, stigli su varvari
I uzeli ključeve grada iz kraljevih ruku.
Ali kada su došli, nosili su odeću iz ovih krajeva
I imali običaje iste kao što su naši;
a kada su počeli da zapovedaju na našem jeziku,
mi više nismo znali kada su
varvari došli kod nas.

Tr: David Albahari

Amir Or Photo: Gerald Zörner

Amir Or
Photo: Gerald Zörner

AMIR OR is the author of 11 volumes of poetry in Israel and 13 volumes in Europe and America. His poems have been published in more than 40 languages. He is the recipient of several poetry prizes, among them Levi Eshkol Prime Minister’s Prize, Fulbright Award for Writers, Bernstein Prize, and Oeneumi Poetry Prize.

Or has been awarded fellowships of the University of Iowa, the University of Oxford, and the Heinrich Boll Foundation among others. His translations into Hebrew, include The Gospel of Thomas and Anthology of Erotic Greek Poetry. For his translations he received the Minister of Culture Prize.

Or studied philosophy and comparative religion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and lectured there on Ancient Greek Religion. He has taught creative writing in Israel, Europe and US. In 1990 he founded Helicon Society. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Helicon’s journal and poetry books and set up the Arabic-Hebrew Poetry School. Or is a member of the World Poetry Movement stirring committee and of the European Association of Writing Programs.

He serves as national coordinator of the U.N.-sponsored Poets for Peace and as national editor for the international poetry magazines Atlas and Blesok. He is editor of Catuv poetry series.

Poem 45 In Solidarity: To Everyman

by Julian Tuwim, translated by Marek Kazmierski

To Everyman

Now once again each TV station
is pushing patriotic crap,
and “For the People!’, “For the Nation!”
is sold as truth to any sap.

Now every mighty corporation
is making killing selling arms
so we men of the lowest station
go rape and pillage our own farms.

Now Heads of State begin to pray
and through their lies the mob incite,
decree that “War’s the only way
to do what’s Good, to do what’s Right!”.

Brimstone and pride in their oration
but they demand our sacrifice,
and as we offer our ovation
they know we’ll have to pay their price!

Imams and rabbis, priests and nuns
sprinkle their blessing over guns
for God has told them that His will
is for your Country you should kill.

As gutter tabloids scream and rage,
their chests puffed out on every page,
mothers and sisters still rejoice,
bidding farewell to “Our brave boys!”

– Oh, my ill-educated Friend,
Brother from near or far-off land!
Just for a while your ear do lend
and cast some doubt on high command.

Know they are telling lies perverted,
setting their traps, spinning you lines,
that from some hell-hole oil has spurted,
covering maps with dollar signs.

That through their banks blood money flowing
keeps vamps and vipers in good health,
while you till death will keep on owing
as empires suck us of our wealth.

So drop your gun, turn up your voice
and howl with us this one refrain,
free of their matrix now rejoice,
“We’ll never bow our heads again!”

Julian Tuwim was a Polish poet born in 1894. He was the leader of the Skamander group of experimental poets, he was also a major figure in his nation’s literature. In his principal collection of poetry, Slowa we krwi [words bathed in blood] (1926), he wrote with fervor and violence of the emptiness of urban existence.
Marek Kazmierski

Marek Kazmierski

Marek Kazmierski escaped communist Poland and settled in the UK as a child political refugee. He decided to become a writer, then worked as a librarian, a stripper and a prison governor, among others, to have something to write about. Today, he is translating, publishing and running a series of insider art initiatives. Not Shut Up, OFF_PRESS and Intersection UK are his babies.