23 sept. 2003

Round 10,064

Yusef: "After Your Death" by Natasha Trethewey

Bob: "Poem After Daniel Hang" by Dale Smith

A school of quietude poem, well done, against Dale Smith's imitation/translation of a Spanish conquistador. This is a difficult one. I am not convinced by this voice:

but only when at last
I relaxed could I see
the possibilities of a life
in which to be deprived of Europe
was not to be deprived of much.


Tribe after tribe,
language after language
who could recall them all?

Who is supposed to be speaking here? The voice just doesn't ring true, either as a 16th century explorer or as a contemporary American poet. I can see the argument that it's supposed to be hybrid voice, but I don't buy it. Dale/Bob should win for ambition,


Yusef wins with Natasha's nicely turned poem about "another space emptied by loss." I like the image of the fig half-eaten by insects.

After 10,064


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