World Poetry, Inc

The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review May - June 2015

The American Poetry Review reaches a worldwide audience six times a year with the finest contemporary poetry, columns, interviews, photos, translations, and reviews. Every issue includes new voices, established masters, and exciting new translations.

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United States
World Poetry, Inc
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min
three poems

Blame the French 1. Whatever you do the French did first. Whatever you say the French said first. Whatever you wear the French wore first. You see the pattern? There is nothing in life that the French did not do first. Nothing. Can you think of anything? Wrong. The French did it first. Say what? The French already said that. You saw something original in a film once? Then you never saw Renoir or Cocteau. You read something? Zola, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, de Beauvoir, take your pick. Food? Don’t even go there, wise guy. You had a dream after which you awoke amazed at the veracity of your complicated mind? Get over yourself. The French dreamed it long before you. Everything you’ve done in the bedroom— I’ll simply say, the French, and waste no time humiliating you further. Everything you ever encounter or experience in this short-long life you may thank or blame the French for, take your pick. 2. But, for god’s sake, pity the French, will you? For they have no one to praise, no one…

2 min
from the sonnets

12 I hate clocks & mirrors I hate all roses & trees especially trees even evergreens are felled & strung with lights & ornaments I hate ornaments & wind-up creches playing “Silent Night” with plastic cows breathing over a plastic baby I hate babies please don’t have one it will ruin yr beautiful tits forever you’ll have to push a stroller a 40-pound shopping cart before you like a plow 18 years you’ll toil what a waste paint something green get a show somewhere with white walls & people drinking wine I love wine I love taking it in my mouth then kissing it into yours having enough / & time 22 my glass shall not persuade me I am sober after three French 75s in the bar mirror our hair messed up & the bartender carded us both then look I death my days but not yet this afternoon…

17 min
new poetry in translation why poets translate a column

Books Discussed in This Column Ghazals of Ghalib, edited by Aijaz Ahmed. Oxford India Paperbacks, 1994. 174 pages. Rs 150. Selected Translations, W. S. Merwin. Copper Canyon Press, 2013. 406 pages. $40. Collected Translations, David Wevill. Tavern Books, 2014. 168 pages. $17. IF THE NUMBER OF TIMES THAT I HAVE lost a book by lending it out and then ended up buying it again is any indication of its true worth, then the most expensive volume on my bookshelf is definitely Ghazals of Ghalib, edited by Aijaz Ahmed. I first came across it while backpacking through India after college in 1998, the year of the book’s fourth printing. The weight of bound paper is the opposite of what you want on such a journey. But I was so intrigued that I had to buy…

5 min
on “bari, old and young,” by james wright a column

The underbelly, the downside of Italy, is revealed more vividly in “Bari, Old and Young” than in any other writings of James Wright. After so many pieces that celebrate the lavish beauties of both urban and rural Italy, it may come as a surprise to find many of this author’s grittiest images of abhorrence scattered across these paragraphs. He begins in a quietly praiseful lilt, offering more respect than ardor to the old women seated in their open doorways near the sea: “Their faces are beautifully darkened in the sunlight.” And we soon discover that it is the darkness of their souls, across two or more generations, rather than the beauty that is the principal focus of the unfolding drama. The one constant over the many years is the churlish…

2 min
bari, old and young

The old women of Bari near the sea sit in the small shadows of open doors. Their faces are beautifully darkened in the sunlight. Their hair is gray enough. They have seen the wars. They have known the young Germans blundering and falling out of the sky like poisoned moths. The young men in Bari today swagger and smirk as though no one had ever lived before, as though no one had ever died. Forever titivating their lank hair in the Adriatic breezes, voluptuously caressing their own armpits, they love to be told they are the lost youth, unemployed and betrayed by The System. Their motorcycles whinny insanely along the dark streets, and they are interested in women only to frighten them. They are too mindless to be skillful thieves.…

21 min
wang jiaxin and winter’s disposition

It is always an excitement, the discovery of a new poet. So the discovery of a new world of poetry is a fascination. I think American readers are only beginning to absorb, as translations appear, the explosion of new poetry in China during the last few decades. It began with the translations of Bei Dao published by New Directions in the wake of the massacre in Tiananmen Square that crushed a student democracy movement in the People’s Republic of China. Bei Dao’s The August Sleepwalker appeared in 1990, Old Snow in 1991, and American readers began to hear of a new generation of Chinese poets, writing personal and experimental poems in the face of a rigid government censorship. Bei Dao and several other poets of his generation went into exile…