The Aging Muse (Sappho)

Sappho was an incredible poet of the ancient world, but most of her poetry has been lost to us. In 2004, Michael Gronewald and Robert Daniel announced that a papyrus in the University of Cologne contained poems of Sappho. This text, recovered from a sort of papier-mâché used for Egyptian mummy masks,…

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Eternal Love (Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer)

At the behest of a friend, here’s my version of Bécquer’s famous poem: Eternal Love The face of the sun may darken forever, The oceans run dry in an instant of fire. The axis spinning our planet may shatter Like so much brittle crystal. Yes, all of that may happen! At…

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Anatomy of a Translation 1.2: Crafting the Poem

I’m presently working on translations of Mayan and Aztec poetry (for a volume tentatively titled Flower, Song, Dance), and several people have asked me about my process. As a result, I’ve decided to break down the translation of a relatively short Nahuatl poem from Cantares Mexicanos, one of the few…

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Anatomy of a Translation 1.1: Getting the Meaning

I’m presently working on translations of Mayan and Aztec poetry (for a volume titled Flower, Song, Dance), and several people have asked me about my process. As a result, I’ve decided to break down the translation of a relatively short Nahuatl poem from Cantares Mexicanos, one of the few existing…

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Along the River 2

I have edited an anthology of local writers titled Along the River 2: More Voices from the Rio Grande. It’s coming out November 17. Here’s the cover:    

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The Monster of Donna Lake

From The Seed: Stories from the River’s Edge (Absey & Co., 2011) News of the latest deaths spread like wildfire throughout the student body of W.A. Todd Ninth-Grade Campus. Text messages were forwarded frantically; beneath desks, hundreds of fingers flailed away at diminutive keys, while misty eyes risked casual glances…

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TOP SHELF: Crossing Blades to Protect Peace

In my latest column, I review K.J. Parker’s Sharps. Visit The Monitor’s website to check it out.  

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Where Songs Begin

From my volume of Mesoamerican verse, Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry (Lamar University Press 2013). This poem is the first in a collection of Nahuatl songs known as the “Cantares Mexicanos” or Songs of Mexico written down by indigenous scholars in the 16th century. The original title of…

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The Labyrinth (Jorge Luis Borges)

The Labyrinth Zeus could never untangle the nets of stone that surround me. I have forgotten the men I once was; I follow the hateful path of monotonous walls which is my destiny. Straight galleries which curve in secret circles as the years wear on. Parapets cracked by the usury…

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Rhyme LII (Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer)

Rhyme LII Giant waves that braying break upon remote, deserted beaches, wrapped in your sheets of foam, take me with you! Hurricane blasts that rip away from the towering woods their withered leaves, dragged along in your blind whirlwind, take me with you! Tempest clouds that the sunbeam breaks and…

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