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. Four Poems by Rose Ausländer, translated by Jean Boase-Beier and Anthony Vivis  


Rose Ausländer’s life was one of almost constant movement, change and turmoil. Her childhood, however, showed little indication of the upheavals to come. Born Rosalie Scherzer in 1901 in Czernowitz, then part of Austria-Hungary, she grew up speaking German, and also Hebrew, in a closely-knit Jewish family. But during the First World War Czernowitz was occupied by Romania, and she fled with her family to Vienna, then Budapest. Returning after the war, Rose studied Philosophy and Literature at Czernowitz University, but emigrated to America with a friend, Igaz Ausländer, in 1921, after her father’s death. They married two years later, and she began to publish poems in anthologies. But the marriage did not last and in 1931, after the couple had divorced, Rose returned to Czernowitz to look after her mother. A first collection, Der Regenbogen (The Rainbow), appeared in 1939 but, though it received good reviews, it was impossible at that time for a Jewish author to be accepted. She tried living in New York but returned very soon to Czernowitz and her family. In 1941 Czernowitz was occupied by Nazi troops and she and her mother, unable to escape from the Jewish ghetto, spent most of the next year in hiding. It was at this time that she first met Paul Celan. Czernowitz was liberated by the Russians in 1944, and for the next 3 years Rose Ausländer had a comparatively stable life until, in 1946, when Czernowitz became part of the Ukraine, she again left for New York, leaving behind her mother, whose health by this time was very fragile. In New York she tried to obtain a visa so her mother could join her, but suffered a breakdown when her mother died in 1947. For the next few years, Rose Ausländer wrote only in English but by the late 1950’s, having returned to Europe several times and renewed her friendship with Celan, she was writing again in German. Blinder Sommer (Blind Summer) was published in Vienna in 1965 and was followed by 36 Gerechte (36 of the Just) in 1967, Ohne Visum (Without a Visa) in 1974 and Andere Zeichen (Other Signs) in 1975. In 1965 she returned permanently to Europe, settling in Düsseldorf, in Germany. She received several literary prizes, and a great deal of critical acclaim. After 1981, having become very frail, she wrote no more poetry. She died in the Nelly Sachs Home for the Jewish Elderly in Düsseldorf in 1988.

Her poetry is full of images from the ghetto years – of poverty, hunger, coffins, blood, ashes and smoke. It is, not surprisingly, often about identity, language, family ties, or Jewish belief. Her later poetry is less strictly formal, more colloquial in tone, and tends towards slant rhyme, rather than full rhyme, and towards syntactic pattern rather than regular metre.

The book from which these translations are taken was first published in a monolingual version in 1995 by Arc Publications, Todmorden. A revised bilingual edition is planned for 2010.



Snow falls
the world turns white

In the sun
that white glitters
in every colour

White stars
blossom in the air

On the horizon
beyond the mountains
look: Snow White
and the Seven Dwarves

At night
the white is black
black as the dark queen
beyond the mountains.



Schnee fällt
die Welt wird weiβ

In der Sonne
glitzert das Weiβ
in allen Farben

Weiβe Sterne
blühn in der Luft

Am Horizont
hinter den Bergen
sieh Schneewittchen
und die sieben Zwerge

ist das Weiβ schwarz
wie die finstere Königin
hinter den Bergen


The Carnival Over

The carnival over, the lean times came
the days of mouldy bread and bitter roots
I hungered for the flesh of figs
I thirsted for oranges

I joined a caravan and crossed
the desert on a date hunt
Sand stuck in my throat
A camel’s back
became my home
The hours like ovens round my head
the constellations Scorpio and Crucifix

At daybreak the horizon grew red
with a mirage which would not come closer
Only one oasis gave us shelter
its water smelt of poppies moon and fire
its dates and figs had shrivelled up


Nach Dem Karneval

Nach dem Karneval kamen die Magertage
mit Schimmelbrot und Bitterkraut
Mich hungerte nach Feigenfleisch
mich dürstete nach Apfelsinen

Mit einer Karawane ging ich
durch die Wüste auf Datteljagd
Der Sand stak mir im Hals
Der Rücken des Kamels
war meine Heimat
Die Stunden waren Öfen um die Stirn
die Sterngebilde Kreuz und Skorpion

Am Morgen blühte rot am Horizont
die Fata Morgana die nicht näherkam
Nur einmal nahm uns eine Oase auf
das Wasser roch nach Feuer Mohn und Mond
Feigen und Datteln waren verdorrt


A Day In Exile

A day in exile
a house without doors or windows

Time drawn on a tablet
on white

In a chest
the mortal masks
Who knows all the names

A day in exile
when the hours stoop
to climb out of the cellar
and into the room

Shadows gathered
round the oil-lamp’s eternal flame
tell their stories
along the walls
with ten dark fingers


Ein Tag Im Exil

Ein Tag im Exil
Haus ohne Türen und Fenster

Auf weiβer Tafel
mit Kohle verzeichnet
die Zeit

Im Kasten
die sterblichen Masken
Wer kennt alle Namen

Ein Tag im Exil
wo die Stunden sich bücken
um aus dem Keller
ins Zimmer zu kommen

Schatten versammelt
um’s Öllicht im ewigen Lämpchen
erzählen ihre Geschichten
mit zehn finstern Fingern
die Wände entlang


When I Have Gone

When I have gone
the sun might burn still

The planets still move
to their own laws
round a centre
no-one knows

The lilac still smell
as sweet
the snow send out its white rays

When I go away
from our forgetful earth
will you speak
my words
a while for me?


Wenn Ich Vergehe

Wenn ich vergehe
wird die Sonne weiter brennen

Die Weltkörper werden sich
bewegen nach ihren Gesetzen
um einen Mittelpunkt
den keiner kennt

Süβ duften wird immer
der Flieder
weiβe Blitze ausstrahlen der Schnee

Wenn ich fortgehe
von unsrer vergeβlichen Erde
wirst du mein Wort
ein Weilchen
für mich sprechen?