Eileen Tabios reviews Bradbury’s Hsia Yü

In one of the most effusive reviews I’ve ever read, Eileen Tabios at Galatea Resurrection #23 engages Salsa by Hsia Yü 夏宇, as translated by Steve Bradbury (Zephyr, 2014). She writes:

I really really like these poems, I began to think after the third poem in the book. Finishing the collection just affirmed: I really really like these poems.

Translations are often reviewed by people who know the source language. Whether they know poetry in the target language much more of a coin-flip. Here, though, the reviewer really knows poetry. I think one of the best paragraphs in the review is where she lays it out:

There’s an is-ness to these poems. It’s an effect facilitated by how many (not all, but many) lines contain individual thoughts. Thus, the effect of Read-a-line: boom, Read-a-line: boom, etc. is perfectly pitched, the boom effect on the reader not elongated onto the next line. For example, these stanzas from “Continuing Our Discussion of Tediousness“ which also serve as ars poetica:

And so we must continue our discussion of tediousness
Tedious things are all so very tedious
And every tedious thing is tedious too
Actually it takes a tedious to be
Tediousness doesn’t need to be discovered, its simply there.

Click the image above for the full engagement.

New Issue of Cerise Press

The new issue of Cerise Press is here, with work by Stephen Kessler, Ron Padgett, Eileen Tabios, Lu Ye 路也 translated by Dian Li , and more. Click the image above for the full issue.

see my feature “Xi Chuan: Poetry of the Anti-lyric” from an earlier issue, with translations of “Power Outage” 停电, “Re-reading Borges’s Poetry” 重读博尔赫斯诗歌, and “Three Chapters on Dusk” 黄昏三章. (And my earlier co-translations of poems by Bei Dao 北岛 with Clayton Eshleman).