* stepping out with rita dove & holderlin

My translation of Borges two weeks ago received a great response on here – thank you all for your kind words!

This week’s poem, “Reading Holderlin on the Patio with the Aid of a Dictionary” by Rita Dove, evokes some of the fascination and thrill of working out a poem from one language to another, how there is a “shyness” but also a “stepping/out” of one’s body in the task.

* Holderlin to your hats *
* Holderlin to your hats *

Reading Holderlin on the Patio with the Aid of a Dictionary – Rita Dove

One by one, the words
give themselves
up, white flags dispatched
from a silent camp.

When had my shyness returned?

This evening, the sky refused
to lie down.  The sun crouched
behind leaves, but the trees
had long since walked away.
The meaning that surfaces

comes to me aslant and
I go to meet it, stepping
out of my body
word for word, until I am

everything at once: the perfume
of the world in which
I go under,
a skindiver
remembering air.


Happy airing!


p.s. I wrote about Holderlin a ways back – check it out here.

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