Dear Reader, I do not know what magic this is, but I'd say that I'm about 80% improved from Monday's health conditions. I do admit that I slept for three and a half hours on Monday afternoon, coming home from work early and tumbling directly to the bed. Then, slept 11 hours Monday night, and about 9 hours last night. Lots of OJ while awake. Perhaps this "rest & fluids" prescription is true? I'm trying to do better about listening to my body. So far so good, today.
As for the accounting, I took care of submitting the manuscript to two more book contests this morning, since Monday's work was postponed. This makes a total of nine submissions so far this fall. I'm being a bit more selective about where I send, and I wonder if I'm being too selective; however, the checkbook does play a certain role in this. I do not begrudge the $25 reading fee. I know I profited from it when I won the Anhinga, and I know most poetry presses are living right at the edge of the red-line that signals operating at a loss. So, once again, I send my re-strengthened manuscript out into the wilds of first readers and hope for the best. Oh, and the book is still called In a World Made of Such Weather as This for anyone keeping track. Surely there must be some charm or spell I should chant for protection and positive results. If you know it, please share!
I love the prompt this week at Big Tent Poetry and plan to try it soon. A cascade poem.
I confess that I've been listening to Nic Sebastian's poetic stylings over at Whale Sound from the beginning and have failed to pass along the link. Selfish me. The project has now branched out to include Voice Alpha, a repository of discussions about the reading of poems aloud. Lovely, lovely work being done here for no reward other than the work itself. Amazing people!
Yesterday, I heard the beginning of an interview with Reza Aslan on the Diane Rehm show and haven't had time to finish listening online, but I will this weekend. The interview was about Aslan's new anthology, Tablet and Pen, which collects and translates poetry from the Middle East from 1910 - 2010. I am all for this project and will probably buy the book soon; however, two things struck me from the part of the interview I heard.
One was the recognition of the difficult job of translation. Aslan did a great job, as far as I'm concerned, pointing out that translating poetry is a delicate thing, especially when moving between such different languages as Persian or Arabic and English. For example, he pointed out that in Persian the verb always comes at the end of the sentence. WOW! That tripped my brain a bit.
The second thing that struck me was Aslan's story about the last poem in the book. I didn't write down the title or poet b/c I was driving, but it will be on the interview if you listen. Aslan talked about being so happy to discover this Iranian author's work online because it is so hard to find contemporary Iranian poetry in the West. Then, Aslan talked about having the poem translated and why he included it as the final poem, which all made perfect sense to me. But then, and here's the part that blew me away, he talked about getting an email from this poet who had just found out that his work was included. Aslan said the poet was excited about his work being shared with so many people in translation, so it all seemed cool. Except that earlier in the interview Aslan talked about the process of putting together an anthology and said that he had found the poems, bought the rights, and then had them translated and included. That's how it is supposed to be done, but his story about the Iranian poet made it sound like he just took the man's poem off the internet and had it translated without contacting the author; otherwise, the author wouldn't have been surprised to find out he'd been included, right? This scares me a bit. There have been too many cases recently of people misinterpreting rights and the internet. Yes, I would probably give permission if someone asked to use my poems in translation, but I'd want to know about it and have a say. That's my right, right?