“Love in Ruins” by Ise

Lady Ise was one of the most important Japanese poets in history, the woman with the most pieces collected in the imperial anthology Kokin Wakashū (Kokinshū). Named one of the Sanjūrokkasen or 36 Immortals of Poetry, Ise was born in the late 9th century CE and became involved in relationships…

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“The Pledge” by Ukon

Ukon was a Japanese poet of the Heian period, active toward the end of the 10th century, named one of the Nyōbō Sanjūrokkasen or 36 Female Immortals of Poetry. She was a lady-in-waiting of Empress Onshi. The following poem is number 38 in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, a classical Japanese…

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Ode I.14 by Horace

O ship, a new wave thrusts you back To the sea. What are you doing? Rush hard Into port! Can you not see that You are stripped of oars, Mast shivered by fast African winds, Yardarm groaning? Without rigging Your hull cannot withstand The imperious sea! Your sails are torn,…

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“The Ballroom in Bloom” by Castro Alves

Castro Alves was a Brazilian poet and playwright. His abolitionist writing won him the epithet of “O Poeta dos Escravos” (“The Poet of the Slaves”). How lovely the shores of this powerful river, Which flows away frothy, unrivaled, supreme: There in bromeliads, among golden blossoms, Sylphs and fairies establish their…

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“The Phantasmal Canoe” by Castro Alves

Castro Alves was a Brazilian poet and playwright. His abolitionist writing won him the epithet of “O Poeta dos Escravos” (“The Poet of the Slaves”). Coming through the fearful shadows Where is it bound, that canoe? Is it sailing manned or is it lost? Does it travel true or float…

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“The Wolf Howls” by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was a visionary French poet who wrote all his startlingly original verse as a teenager. After the age of 20, he abandoned creative writing. He died shortly after his 37th birthday. The wolf howls beneath the leaves Spitting up the gorgeous plumes Of the fowl on which he…

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“The Sleeper in the Vale” by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was a visionary French poet who wrote all his startlingly original verse as a teenager. After the age of 20, he abandoned creative writing. He died shortly after his 37th birthday. In a green hollow where a river sings, Moss sways wildly in ribbons of silver; The sun…

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“The Albatross” by Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire was an innovative and macabre French poet of the 19th century. Often, for fun, the men of the crew Catch albatrosses, vast birds of the seas, That follow the ship like lazy companions As it glides its way over bitter depths. No sooner are they pinned to the…

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“The Vampire” by Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire was an innovative and macabre French poet of the 19th century. You who, like a thrusting knife, plunged into my plaintive heart; You who, strong as a demon horde, Arrived, insane and all adorned: From my humble spirit Build your bed and your domain; O wretch to whom…

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Finalist for Translation Award

I am excited to announce that the Texas Institute of Letters has selected my book Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry as a finalist for the Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation. On April 5, at the TIL annual banquet, the institute will announce the winner and present…

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