The International Literary Quarterly

February 2010


Rose Ausländer
Charles Bernstein
Amy Bloom
Jean Boase-Beier
Carmen Bugan
Moira Burgess
Larry Butler
James Byrne
Jim Carruth
Neil Charleton
Ronald Christ
A.C. Clarke
David Dawnay
Patricia Delmar
Des Dillon
Anne Donovan
Gerrie Fellows
Cheryl Follon
Ronald Frame
Hazel Frew
Rodge Glass
David Goldie
Jane Goldman
Martin Goodman
Siobhan Harvey
Beatriz Hausner
Kusay Hussein
A.B. Jackson
Kapka Kassabova
Velimir Khlebnikov
David Kinloch
Micaela Lewitt
Zhimin Li
Gerry Loose
James McGonigal
Gerry McGrath
Donal McLaughlin
Kate McLoughlin
Andrea McNicoll
Willy Maley
Peter Manson
Laura Marney
Ernst Meister
Lina Meruane
Edwin Morgan
Ewan Morrison
Laura Muetzelfeldt
Hom Paribag
Mario Petrucci
Clare Pollard
Sheila Puri
Claire Quigley
Elizabeth Reeder
Alan Riach
Dilys Rose
Suhayl Saadi
Sue Reid Sexton
Bina Shah
Yasir Shah
Jim Stewart
Zoë Strachan
Chiew-Siah Tei
Valerie Thornton
Anthony Vivis
Marshall Walker
Zoë Wicomb
Xu Xi

40 Glasgow Voices

Volta: A Multilingual Anthology
(One poem: 82 languages)

Issue 10 Guest Artist:
John Hoyland RA

Founding Editor: Peter Robertson
Deputy Editor: Jill Dawson
Art Editor: Calum Colvin

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boulossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Hollis Clayson
Sarah Churchwell
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Beatriz Hausner
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Martha Nussbaum
Sari Nusseibeh
Tim Parks
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Jeff Barry
Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Poems by Edwin Morgan  


Aretik Isahakian

Where at this moment
is the uncut stone
waiting for when
the grave’s my home?

What if I’ve tramped
the roads and sat
with a girl in my arms
on that very slab?                      (1909)


Birds take joy
in the coming spring
putting all their heart
into their love-chirping.

Well, I was once
an adept at
birds’ talk,
I remember that.

And then I lost
my soul, from day
to day of my life
with its bitter games

and now I don’t know
what their tongue means
to say, that wise
tongue with its dreams.  (1919)


My neighour’s son has died
only twenty years old –
I had just lent him a book –
a lively, healthy lad.

The blue night is all
spring scent, spring moon,
I lean on the window-sill
transfixed with pain.                  (1921)


In some far off forest
the strong oak grows,
my coffin-wood.
And my death is so near
that the deep thick oak boughs
rustle through my blood.            (1928)

 [Translated May 1977]



Black Sea Children

Fazil Iskander                                   

Come all you swashbuckling bath-swabbers, tuba-cheeky chimney-sweeps,
Story-tellers, snake-oil merchants, conjurors, artistes,
Dogged trackers, treasure-seekers, shaggy earth-lopers,
Lemonade-lovers, leaders of your own leaders!
Thrust your carpe-diem snouts in watermelon pulp!
Your blessed bellies will sing and gurgle and blup.

Tell me now, tell me, is he your pal, your comrade,
Runt of a lounge-lizard, well-licked ugly duckling?
Better the air of the seas! Better the air of the forests!
Leaves are the best medicine, trees are your doctors.
Scramble up into the hills, children! Seize the jetting waterfall
That quivers at your feet
Like a bright blade plunged in peat!

(The wind balloons your shirt,
The sun stands at its height.
Dive into the sea-swirl
Like frogs, swim with all your might!)

Out there are bays and backwaters, Athens and Istanbul,
A sea of snorting dolphins right to the Pole!
Joking apart, it’s true! This noted fisher
Tunes with his aerial to the submarine sea-bass singer.
Crab-traders, divers, sea-bed shellfish-lords,
Bold Red guardsmen, silent Red Indian hordes,
Future cosmonauts with skin tanned by the sun,
Flourish, children, mischief-makers. I salute you one by one.

 [Translated 17 March 1988]



As if it was a life, living

Roberto Sanesi           (‘Como se fosse una vita, vivendo’) 

It was towards something ordinary, perfectly
natural objects, but of metal, of stone,
which would have had that blameless existence of theirs
against the prattling of a maple tree, or the grey
trembling of a squirrel;  
                                      in some way
it was towards an organised deceit, of forms
that would have made cold their sustenance, a sort
of solemn stillness; or else from beneath the snow
as if it was a life, living, to return in precision
to the surface, to the great hubbub;
                                                it was by these
distinct measures that I went in search of some clue
of what remains;
                            now dying is towards
the transience of perfection, an extension
of myself within myself which laboriously, tracking
a single target through my travels, I go on
searching for, in the spot where light thickens
the unintelligible winter to come.

[Translated August–September 1988]