When Poetry, Translating And Plagiarising Collide

Poetry is more than just a string of words and phrases. Poetry is composed in order to project a meaning from the viewpoint of the poet and how he or she wants the reader to view and interpret something in the world. But many things in the world aren’t necessarily interpreted by everyone else in quite the same way. The dark, sombre environment of a forest, the activities in a busy street, or the frightening passage of a great storm, may all be viewed differently when expressed in poetry. This makes it extremely difficult for a poetry translator to find just the right words to illustrate the mood of the poet.

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Body Issue Cover: What’s it about?

The painting Tommaso’s Bedroom (oil on canvas, 26”x22”, 2016) by Andrea Rugarli depicts the frontal view of a teenager standing in his bedroom. The view is cropped so that the only visible part of the body is between the elbows and the ankles. Elbows, knees and ankles divide the composition in three parts, occupying respectively the top, center, and bottom of the canvas. This unusual perspective creates a tension between a strongly sexual picture and a focus on ambiguous gender. The impossibility to categorize the gender of the subject is intriguing. Even though the title reveals the identity of the boy, the painting emphasizes certain parts of the body that are rarely understood as gender-specific. With our second issue, the aim is to focus on human bodies, without considering gendered categorizations. Ankles, legs and knees are the best representation of the tension between the mind and the body. We all want to be people with both feet on the ground and yet constantly on the move.

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Why don’t poets write about pregnancy?

I’m expecting a baby. And, at first glance, this statement may seem irrelevant to poetry. But, what I feel as a woman with a little body growing inside mine, makes me ask this question again and again. What are poems about pregnant women like?

When we agreed to dedicate the second issue to the body, it immediately struck me that the poem of my choice should be about pregnancy, the most common and the most incredible miracle in the world. Continue reading “Why don’t poets write about pregnancy?”