Author Archives: Ann Kjellberg

Neighboring World, Yakov Druskin

And there is no end and cannot stop / and everything comes out so that there is no break / and flows like water and finding an obstruction in ice / and the sky is grey / and from here the trams on the bridge go slower / and the bridge itself has lengthened and […]

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Wendell Berry, a letter to Gary Snyder, thinking about religion

I think we have to acknowledge the possibility that practical experience can be condensed to good purpose into moral law: Do not let the topsoil wash away. That does not have to be stated as a moral law. It’s a “universal.” It could also be stated: “God has forbidden us to let the topsoil wash […]

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Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, in praise of analepsis

It is the custom of my fellow writers sometimes to go back and leap over a period of time and connect an event that happened before it to an event that happened after it. This is called analepsis (tawriyah), that is, “taking backward” (waraʾ). They may also start by mentioning everything about the protagonist from […]

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New Juan José Saer

Each of them surveys the landscape with the same withdrawn expression he might have assumed had he been alone in this deserted place, the details each observes not coinciding with the other’s, each of them assembling it therefore in his own way, as though it were two distinct places, the island, the sky, the trees, […]

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Cairo evening, 1952, by Sonallah Ibrahim

Father lights a cigarette. I sit at my desk. Pour some seeds from the tube out in front of me. I open the English reader. He finishes drinking his coffee, gets off the bed, and throws a towel over his shoulder He lights a lamp and heads toward the bathroom to wash for prayer. When […]

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Mina Loy: Taking in an itinerate surrealist

Insel panted into my place all undone, despairingly waving a sheet of blue paper. “Das blaue Papier,” he articulated hoarsely, ducking his head as if the Papier was one of a shower of such sheets bombarding him in his dash for escape. “Something the matter? Have a porto. Sit on a chair. Whatever it is—out […]

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April Bernard: Ghastly but possibly interesting

Alvin Lightman’s life first touched mine when both of us were staying at Holdon House Facility upstate. Formerly it was Holdon Hospital, before that Holdon Asylum, and called variously by those who have worked and lived there, among other witticisms, Hold It, The Hold, and Hold On I’m Coming. That I had “committed myself” was […]

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The return of Richard Crashaw (ca. 1613–1649)

The English Poems of Richard Crashaw, edited by Richard Rambuss, is the first critical edition of Crashaw in over forty years. We have a poem from the edition in Little Star Weekly this week, and the quotations on the  book are so interesting we offer them here: Our usual accounts of the early modern lyric […]

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Gro Dahle

I bend, cringe. I am less than a normal person. I am a child. Less than a child. I am an ape. I am a dog. Less than a dog. A cat. A rabbit. I am a turtle. A frog. No, less than a frog. A grasshopper. A …………….beetle. I am a wood louse that hides […]

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P is for Poetry, a definition of sorts from Edward Hirsch

POETRY     An inexplicable (though not incomprehensible) event in language; an experience through words. Jorge Luis Borges believed that “poetry is something that cannot be defined without oversimplifying it. It would be like attempting to define the color yellow, love, the fall of leaves in autumn.” Even Samuel Johnson maintained, “To circumscribe poetry by a definition will […]

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