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"You think" by Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Translated from the Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse and the author

You think
my poems
are simple as roadside stones
You think
my words
are not astronauts, but earthbound children
What can I do, my heart?
Images and thin ideas
shimmer for a moment
and die like fireflies
in the black nights of gardens and orchards
I can only catch those
which tire and fall
like autumn leaves  

14.07.1993
Moscow

Nathaniel Mackey reading 10/30!

TIR staff
National Book Award-winning poet (and recent TIR contributor!) Nathaniel Mackey will read from his work this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Coe College's Kesler Auditorium. He will also participate in a Q&A session moderated by Iowa Review senior poetry editor Nick Twemlow. There will be a dessert reception afterward, and books will be available for purchase and to be signed. 
 
Mackey's "Song of the Andoumboulou: 108" appears in The Iowa Review's fall 2014 issue.
 

Eric Chevillard's PREHISTORIC TIMES

Russell Scott Valentino

Under the influence of having just completed this book—and let me note at the outset that the influence is hard to resist—I feel like I could start just about anywhere in reviewing it, so why not a footnote. There is just one in the book, but what a footnote, extending over two pages, explicative, digressive, apt, entertaining, and, best of all, delivered in the voice of the translator, Alyson Waters. We can say more (since, too impatient to wait for the French book to arrive in the mail, I wrote to the translator to ask): what in the world could the author have written in French that would translate so well into such a translator’s note? Answer: nothing at all! Or next to nothing.

"Martyr" by Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Translated from the Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse and Haval Mustafa

Last night, my sleep was fitful
I crept outside
my mind throwing thunder
Lifting my head to the sky
I saw naked stars
clusters and clusters, thousands and thousands
Around the roosting swan
they were scattered like pomegranate seeds 

I went back inside and mourned
for them, for those stars
with wounded wings and broken necks
who at the height of their brilliance
plummet from the heavens head first 

13.07.1992
Moscow

 

New Translations of Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Abdulla Pashew (b. 1946) is a true heir to the tradition of Kurdish poetry. He dedicates himself to the sounds of each poem, drives his reader across a range of subject matter. He completed his graduate work, a Masters in Pedagogy and a Doctorate in Philology, in Moscow and began his academic career as a professor in Tripoli.

Fluent in Kurdish, Russian, and English, he is also a prolific translator. When he isn’t writing poems, he is bringing Whitman and Pushkin into Kurdish. He loves, as many poets do, that the act of translating enlarges the capacity for expression in his mother tongue.

Arguably the most popular contemporary Kurdish poet, he draws audiences in the thousands when he reads publicly. Each of his eight collections of poetry has been so sought after that bootleg copies proliferate.

 

Silence

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