Thursday, October 8, 2015

Toward Infinity . . .

     During summer teaching opportunities a dozen or more years ago in Deva, Romania I met Doru Radu who taught English there -- and our mutual love of poetry led us to collaborate on English translations of work by Romanian poets George Bacovia and Ileana Malancioiu.  Now Doru is in Poland and he is translating Polish poetry into Romanian.  One of his favorite poets is Ewa Lipska -- a poet I have met via Poetry International.  Below is her poem "Newton's Orange:  Infinity" -- found at Poetry International together with the original Polish poem.
     As I have noted before, "infinity" is a term whose varied uses fascinate me.  Sometimes I wonder how much of my "mathematical" understanding of the concept I might some day incorporate into a poem.

     Newton's Orange:  Infinity     by  Ewa Lipska   

     They already were.

     They fight a losing battle of dates.
      Blurred. Surly clouds in the background.

     In the Theater Hollywood
     a train of abandoned chairs whistles.

     The remains of films
     still breathe through the screen’s lips.

     “But Venice means happiness’s burial
      ground to me so much that I don’t feel up
      to returning”—wrote Marcel Proust.

     We just are.

     In love’s globalization
     we succumb to sensuous market forces.
     Speculative fireworks.
     The corrupt bed linens of Shakespeare
     in the national theater.

     A city of muscular stadiums
     sticks to us.

     A pirated copy of welfare.

     A wilted rose’s penitence
     doesn’t tell us anything yet.

     Arrhythmia of infinity.
     Gigabytes of memory.

     At dawn
     a bigoted breeze shivers.

     Norton antivirus software
     scans our lungs.

     All around
     the broken glass of frost.

     You are yet to be.

     On a balcony a woman
     a cloud resembling a kiss.

     New Year’s Eve night is trembling.

     The twenty-second century.
     The twenty-third century.
     The twenty-fourth century.

     We are connected by
     a dye works of sunrises and sunsets.
     A polishing shop of magic, words and fire.

     They divide us forever.

Found here at Poetry International, this translation of Lipska's poem is by Robin Davidson and Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska.

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