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Crossing borders: The Translation Project, Euclid, and Reunions

The Translation Project, which marks a new beginning for The Poetry Society of New York, bridges the Poetry Brothel of New York and the Prostibulo Poetico of Barcelona. Poets from each poetry brothel were paired to translate each other’s work. Edited by Nicholas Adamski and Stephanie Berger of the Poetry Brothel in New York, and Kiely Sweatt of the Poetry Brothel in Barcelona (my lovely madame!), the book is a collection and translation of work by emerging poets from diverse cultures that is a valuable and lacking element of the culture at large.

The Translation Project, volume 1

Please support us! The book is now available on Amazon.

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On another poetic note, this reminds me of last month’s BOWWOW poetry reading series at the Bowery Poetry Club where I read or listen to poetry once a month.

Bowery Poetry Club

At that time, writer Claire Basarich and I, who met as poets for the Poetry Brothel in Barcelona and have remained great friends, saw each other again after two years. I read the following poem and she read the French translation she wrote (blogged here with permission).

Euclid’s Lament, or the Infinity of Primes
by Catherine Young

Perhaps the only things that are greater
Than the lonely wanderers on earth
Are prime numbers. Are there more of them
Than the stars in the galaxy or the
Grains of sand on the shore? Stars can
Die, after all, while sand can be washed away.
Should we pity their solitude, or envy their
Indestructibility? It seems that we humans are the
Fragile products of shattered pieces that are
Easily divided with drunken inexactitude.
But nevertheless, to list them all is madness—
They will outlast us all.

La Lamentation d’Euclide
by Claire Basarich

Peut-etre que les seules choses qui sont plus
Importantes que les pauvres vagabonds sur terre
Sont les nombres premiers.
Sont-ils plus nombreux
que  les étoiles dans la galaxie ou les
grains de sable sur le rivage? Les etoiles peuvent
mourir, après tout, tandis que le sable peut etre emporté.
Devrions-nous plaindre leur solitude, ou envier
Leur indestructibilité? Il parait que nous les humains sommes
des produits fragiles de morceaux brisés qui sont
Facilement divisés avec une inexactitude ivre.
Néanmoins, en faire la liste est de la folie—
Ils nous survivrons tous.

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