Posts Tagged 'mike stocks'

Dude, where did you find that poem?

by Kurt Schwitters

Our colleague Adam Penna has found a wonderful poem in my interview with Mike Stocks  about his Belli translations. Below is the first stanza (click link for the rest). The original article can be read here.

These days Belli would write about the kids on their motorini.
He’d write about the mayor. He’d write about parking disputes.
He’d write about the druggies and alcoholics with their dogs
and their comic books. He’d write about mobile phones

Modern Rome’s Greatest Poet?

belliWe’re taking a breather to plug a couple of pieces of literary news. Just out online is the Fall 2007 issue of BigCityLit which contains my poem “Time Traveler”. In other news, this month’s edition of The American carries my interview with Mike Stocks about his recently published translation of the Roman poet G. G. Belli. This is the first new translation into English in over 25 years of this extraordinary–if too-often overlooked–poet whose massive opus of over 2000 sonnets paints an unparalleled picture of 19th century Rome and its people.

Against Questioning

It’s not unprecedented to despair,
or even interesting. Who hasn’t mewled
his melancholy, yammered like a fool
pathetic in the street as children stared

and minutes passed and pensioners were kind,
or mumbled in some high place while the low
mean ground hissed invitations? But now grow
out of it and leave such selfish angst behind

to teenagers and the authentic crazed;
such comic desolation is too stark,
and there are optimistic married ways

of being happy that you could be trying.
So let it wait, the large outlandish dark.
It will be just as dark when you are dying.

Mike Stocks

Contrasting Views

"Literalism is a feature of boorish translators." Cicero "The clumsiest literal translation is a thousand times more useful than the prettiest paraphrase." Nabokov

The Faerie Queene

"John Ashbery said reading the Faerie Queene was like reading an endless beautiful comic strip." Kenneth Koch

Sigmund Freud

"Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me."


January 2020
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