Friday 4 December 2009

Elsa Cross's Selected Poems, second selection

Translations by Michael Smith and Luis Ingelmo

You answer through silence.
You reduce thought
to the void,
and there where you razed all image
your name is renewed.

last stanza of "Name"

Where can I fall where you are not?

last line of "A Tightrope Act"

The ends of the earth
at the tips of your tangled hair.

last stanza of "Dancing Shiva"

My senses dissolve in this wordless sea,
words become quiet,
and one step further on the mind opens up
to the shock of its own annulment.


Present in everything
thus you also disappear.


Where are you leading me
stripped of my own body?


And what of Death?
Small butterflies flying among the ruins.


Froth leaves necklaces around the throat of rocks.
Islands of black rock.
Terns nest in the porous walls.
A necklace of froth--and I see my own wreck.
Night comes and shuts off the shine on the water.
Come, you tell me.
With closed eyes, just the tumble of the sea.
Still very close
those beaches to which I will never return.
Very far away now.


Black light devouring our bodies.


And on the water,
where rays freeze in their own light,
I see you like a seed of fire.
Every wave leaves trails of silk against the sun.

from "Malabar Canto"

Elsa Cross's Selected Poems is published by Shearsman Books and can be purchased online here at The Book Depository, which offers free worldwide delivery on all their books.

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