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Two Poems

Mittens

 

winter came, stretched its frames,

wove misty threads into the damp

 

wood. fogged windows, we didn’t

recognise each other by our arms

 

which were too big, too baggy, all

borrowed onesies, into which we would grow, if they fitted us,

 

which, eventually, they will. would.

a verb like the sound of sleeves over

 

wet glass. like wet sleeves in a mouth,

sucking. through the frames we saw

 

snow portraits of mothers in parks,

wind-ruffled, on the verge of, but held

 

by ribbons, which led to hats, in der

mitte of gloves. saw the supply-threads

 

of winter, linty. and tested our roles,

tentatively, along the midlines of mittens.

 

 

 

 

 

Stationary

 

 

what is a domicile? a domicile is a star-

crossed ten of clubs. what is a crossing?

 

in the flubbed dialect of these forests

a crossing is the word tree. and why

 

do homelands play cards in the air? no one

ever saw the homelands go home. a tree

 

in the forest of neighbouring languages

is a club in this suit. out of its wood

 

someone makes crosses on a map.

the countries fill in their domicile and

 

put the stationery back into its pencil

case. what is stationary? put it back.

 

with nelly sachs

 

*

 

These poems were selected for inclusion in the 2017 Translation Issue by Daniel Medin, a contributing editor of The White Review. He is Associate Director for the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris, and an editor for The Cahiers Series and Music & Literature.

 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

, born in 1979 in Berlin, lives and works in Berlin and Brooklyn. She has published three volumes of poetry, kochanie ich habe brot gekauft (2005), falsche freunde (2009), and Meine schönste Lengevitch (2013) as well as the essay BOX OFFICE (2010) and a joint sonnet erasure project with Christian Hawkey, Sonne From Ort (2012). Her work has been translated into more than thirteen languages. She has received numerous prizes for her literary works and translations, including the Peter Huchel Prize and the Dresden Poetry Prize. Wolf teaches German and literary translation at New York University and the Pratt Institute.

Sophie Seita is a poet, playwright, translator, and scholar. Her most recent chapbook is Meat (Little Red Leaves, 2015). She is the editor of a facsimile reprint of The Blind Man (UDP, 2017) and the translator of Uljana Wolf’s i mean i dislike that fate that i was made to where (Wonder, 2015) and Subsisters: Selected Poems (Belladonna, 2017), for which she received a 2015 PEN/Heim Award. Other writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in BombEmergency IndexThe White ReviewGauss PDFCurrently & Emotion, and PEN America. Her play Les Bijoux Indiscrets, or, Paper Tigers, will be performed at La MaMa Galleria in March 2017. She is a Junior Research Fellow in English at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, working on her first monograph, tentatively called Provisional Avant-Gardes: Little Magazine Communities from Dada to Digital.


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