Review of recent GLD digital event celebrating National Poetry Month

At the monthly social on April 13, in celebration of National Poetry Month, GLD members read poems they (in most cases) have translated or are working on translating. Melody Winkle read a poem embedded in novel by Klara Blum, about lovers divided by fate in China in the 1930s. Erin Riddle read her translation of “Im Baum” by Sara Kirsch, a childhood memory of swinging near a lake in springtime. Renate Cords read her translation from English into German of a poem by Lucy Shaw, a meditation on storefront Christmas decorations and the need to seek deeper meaning in the ideas of peace and celebration. Abby Huber read verses of popular wisdom handwritten in a school yearbook from 1911. I read “Es riecht nach Schnee” by Christine Lavant, in which the poet comforts herself when sick and alone. Claire Haymes read “At a Poetry Festival” by the Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish, in which the poet considers a country without a name. Other members who did not read listened generously and shared reactions. Subjects of discussion included poetic musicality, being compelled to write poetry at school, whether we are more like the violet or the rose, and what motivates us to translate and write poetry now. Two members discovered a connection in the Mennonite community of Virginia and we delved into the epiphany tradition of Die Sternsänger. Though it was not a large group, and without any planning, we managed to cover poetry in almost all its uses: romantic, social, spiritual, personal, political. We would like to make this an annual event!

Sign up to receive a poem a day:

Poetry Translation Centre: