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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney

 

 

Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition

 

 

Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

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SUJI KWOCK KIM

 

 

 

Suji Kwock Kim in Southword JournalSuji Kwock Kim is the author of Notes from the Divided Country, which won the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (selected by Charles Simic), the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets (selected by Yusef Komunyakaa), and was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize; Private Property, a multimedia play performed at Playwrights Horizons (NY) and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (U.K.); and Disorient, which is forthcoming. She is also translator of The Selected Poems of Hwang Tong-Gyu. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The Nation, The New Republic, Poetry, Paris Review, on the PBS New Hour and National Public Radio, and has been performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright/ IIE, Whiting Foundation, Blakemore Foundation for Asian Studies, Korea Foundation, and Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission.

 

 

 

Sonogram Song
1st Prize in the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition

 

Out of albumen and blood, out of amniotic brine,

placental sea-swell, trough, salt-spume and foam,

 

you came to us infinitely far, little traveler, from the other world

skull-keel and heel-hull socketed to pelvic cradle,

 

rib-rigging, bowsprit-spine, driftwood-bone,

the ship of you scudding wave after wave of what-might-never-have-been.

 

Memory, stay faithful to this moment, which will never return: 

may I never forget when we first saw you, there on the other side,

 

still fish-gilled, still water-lunged,

your eelgrass-hair and seahorse-skeleton floating in the sonogram screen

 

like a ghost from tomorrow,

moth-breath quicksilver in snowy pixels, fists in sleep-twitch,

 

not yet alive but not not, 

you who were and were not,

 

a thunder of bloodbeats sutured in green jags on the ultrasound machine

like hooves galloping from eternity to time,

 

feet kicking bone-creel and womb-wall,

while we waited, never to waken in that world again, 

 

the world without the shadow of your death,

with no you or not-you, no is or was or might-have-been or never-were.

 

So may I never forget when we first saw you

in your afterlife which was life,

 

soaked otter-pelt and swan-down crowning,

face cauled in blood and mucus-mud, eyes soldered shut,

 

wet birth-cord rooting you from one world to the next,

you who might not have lived, might never have been born, like all the others,

 

as we looked at every pock and crook of your skull,

every clotted hair, seal-slick on your blue-black scalp,

 

every lash, every nail, every pore, every breath,

with so much wonder that wonder is not the word.

 

 

 

©2012 Suji Kwock Kim

 

 

Author Links

 

Suji Kwock Kim homepage

Suji Kwock Kim at the Poetry Foundation

Reading by Suji Kwock Kim at University of California (YouTube)

Suji Kwock Kim PEN page

 

 

 

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