Our second issue of Purple Ink focuses on the topic of the body. Blood, flesh, bones, nerves. At a time, a microcosm and a macrocosm of components. On the one hand, five fingertips. On the other hand, five fingertips. “Enough to write Mein Kampf,” as Wisława Szymborska sings.
Perceptions and senses. Bodies connect our mind to the outside world. They are the bridge between external and internal perceptions; thanks to our bodies and sensorial apparatus, we gain mind-images, memories of what we impact within our experience of the world. Being kissed, as Marina Tsvetaeva’s poem reveals, allows to a renewed self-awareness.
Body and mind are the two poles of a field of forces, through which the poems we present have been generated. Sometimes, the field of forces results in a conflict between heart and mind, as Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem describes. However, in other poems, there is no conflict but the overlapping of body and mind. For instance, thousands of mind-images, memories, thoughts and cells, molecules, nerves, comprise the “human emotional system” in the verses by Jennifer Soong, and to the poet Ethel Barja love is placing your mind in another body.
Bodies change: they grow and enlarge with pregnancy or become smaller, once the old age arrives. Bodies decay. “How sad that we have to die,” recites Berta García Faet. The connection between our bodies and death is inevitable; in Agrippa d’Aubigné’s poem, the body is driven by the instinct to evade the limitations imposed by the passing of time. Bodies are fearless fugitives that can be dead still in life, facing and fighting the complexity of life, as in the poetic imagery depicted by José Luis Mendoza.
Our new issue expands the corpus -the body- of the languages and cultures explored in the inaugural issue. With the goal of reaching out to new readers, we bring poetry from countries such as Pakistan, Iran, and Angola, showing the paradox of the distant proximity that joins the different interpretation around one theme: the body. We have also decided to explore the limits of this body of work, combining poems of different lengths and visualities, as well as introducing our first exercise on same-language translation. By doing so, we offer an editorial approach that reflects the same themes raised by the content of the poems: physicality, correspondence, and evolution, as well as the ongoing question about the limits of translatability.