It was in the year 1997 when my father took me to Somalia to visit our grandfather.
As we stayed there, I and my nephew went to fetch water from a well. Soon after we reached it my nephew threw his shoe into the well. He looked at it and tried to get it back but he couldn’t. Thoughts engulfed him and he feared from his parents that if they find him shoeless they would torture him. As I was looking at him he fell or dumped himself into the well and I remained there alone. I also started thinking about him. If his parents missed him they would accuse me of throwing their son into the well. Time came and went, now I also put on my shoes and prepared myself to also dump myself into the well, but with good luck the well water overwhelmed the edge. Then the water threw the boy up and returned back and again he was thrown. Now some people went in the well and saved the boy.
In short when I remember the day I feel like strangling myself and I knew that Somalis never knew the wisdom which says “Wait before you criticize” but only knew the hit and run straying bullets.
On 5/24/20, the US Embassy in Moscow celebrated Joseph Brodsky's 80th birthday with a collage of American poets reading his birthday poem "May 24, 1980" in the poet's self-translation. Chris Merrill, one of Brodsky's students, is among the readers.
Véronique TADJO (IWP ’06) discusses the renewed interest in publishing rights control among Francophone writers in Africa.
To mark Ireland’s corona-cancelled Leaving Cert graduation festivities, the poet Tom McCARTHY (IWP ’78) reads Paul Durcan’s elegy to side lines, “Sport.”
The lovely poem-a-day for May 14, 2020, “Journey,” is by the nomadic Lidija DIMKOVSKA (IWP ’05), translated from the Macedonian by Ljubica Arsovska and Patricia Marsh Štefanovska.
Over at Harvard Review, poet Mary jo Bang glosses her translations from the German of Matthias Gőritz (IWP ’03).