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Poems

Albania

On Sunday I went to Albania.
No one understood, clearly, at first, why I (or anyone) would go to Albania.
Except my father, who knew at once: “Because, before, you couldn’t go to Albania.”

In the Alleyway of the Beloved

It was no dream, back then,
in the high cold between the mountains,
at the rim of the gravel pits west of the city,
watching the dog fights, the men with whips taking bets,

The Stave Church at Urnes

Before you bow your head to enter in
and honor the carpenter’s thin son,
look up at us, at what
seem vines and lilies in a braid
a tendrilled border for the door—

To Cure

Deep in your marrow-lair, worm, hear me.
Bore, marrow-worm, through his bone.
Bore through bone into his meat.
Swim through that meat to his cold skin.

The Corner

A man is walking toward a corner
A man walking toward a corner
A man walking to the corner where there may be a woman
Maybe there will be a woman

Essays

The Battle of Fromelles

The Paris Review asked those whose translations appeared in the summer issue to contribute to their online “Staff Picks” feature, a brief note on something each of us has been reading or watching. This micro-essay pursues 250 Australian and British soldiers who went “missing” in the Battle of Fromelles in 1916, and who were finally tracked down and reburied with full honors in 2010. Maps and aerial reconnaissance photos included. View here. (2020).

Dispatches from a Pandemic

The Harvard Review asked some of its authors to contribute to this online feature. Dispatches came in from all over the world, and here’s mine, from the Upper East Side. (2020)

The Untranslatable

The Paris Review asked the translators from its summer issue to discuss a word or a line that evaded any efforts to bring it into English. Forough Farrokzad uses the Persian word for “table” to do a dizzying array of things in her poem “After You,” discussed here. (2020).

The Obstacle

e Poetry Society of America asked for author comments on a poem from Salient. A discussion on the origins of the poem, “The Obstacle,” and its context within the book, can be found in their “In Their Own Words” feature on the PSA site, here. (2020).

Coming in on a Wing and a Lyre: Nathaniel Tarn’s Avia

Iran: Poems of Dissent

Introductory essay, Poetry International No. 18/19. (2013).

POETRY, Letter to the Editor

Poetry, Vol. 203, No. 1 (October 2013).

The Origins of a Text

The Harvard Review. (Spring 1995).

Reviews