Richard Jeffrey Newman

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #86

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 23: Anxiety of Words, tr Don Mee Choi.

From Song of Skin, by Kim Hyesoon

The open lips find my breasts
though they weren’t told where mine were,
draining sweet water from my body.
They want to suckle again right after they’ve eaten.


Bookshelf Juxtapositions #85

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 22: The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, tr by Judith Hemschemeyer.

I read her first book, Evening, and some of the later poems as well. It’d be fascinating to read them all in order and experience her development over time.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #84

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 21: Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad tr by Sholeh Wolpé

from Summer’s Green Waters

We sully each other with our breaths,
with the purity of happiness.
We fear the sound of the wind.
We pale when doubt shadows enter…

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 20: An Absence of Shadows, by Marjorie Agosin, translated by Celeste Kostopoulos-Cooperman, Cola Franzen & Mary G. Berg.

The more I read of this book, the more I kept thinking of June Jordan.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #83

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 19: Language Duel/Duelo del Lenguaje, by Rosario Ferré.

The first poem in the book is in the pictures.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #82

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 18: Directions For Use, by Ana Ristović, tr Steven & Maja Teref

From Little Zebras:

The more I read
the more books
resemble little zebras
their spines bend under the thumb
anticipating the riders
they won’t buck off.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #81

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 17: Spring Essence, tr by John Balaban:


My body is like the jackfruit on the branch:
my skin is coarse, my meat is thick.

Kind sir, if you love me, pierce me with your stick.
Caress me and sap will slicken your hands.


#TheSealeyChallenge Day 16: The Ink Dark Moon, tr by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani:

By Izumi Shikibu:

We live
in a tide-swept inlet,
floating, flung.
In such a world, why cling to
collections of poems?

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #80

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 15: BeautyBeast, by Adina Dabija, tr by Claudia Serea:

from The Blood:

I’m thirty and I have known the blood.
I am the second daughter of Ana
who stuck a spindle into her uterus
to get rid of the baby.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #79

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 14: Songs of Love and War: Afghan Women’s Poetry, tr by Marjolin De Jager (from French translation of the Pashtun by Majrouh and Velter)

Landay 25:

You would be a heap of ashes instantly
If I threw you my intoxicated look.

#sealeychallenge #WITMonth

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 13: Poems of Jahan Malek Khatun in Faces of Love, tr by Dick Davis. Read his bio of her.

“You’re like the nightingale,”
He said, “whose lovesick woe
Harangues the rose! Poor wretch,
Stop whining now, and go!”

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 12: Sin Puertas Visibles, edited & translated by Jen Hofer.

From Third World, by Cristina Rivera-Garza: “It was at the far edge of the far edge/about to exist and about not to exist like faith”

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #78

Day 11 #TheSealeyChallenge, #WITMonth: Songs of the Kisaeng, tr by Constantine Contogenis, Wolhee Choe.

This is by Maehwa:

I would have to take each and every
detail of my constant thoughts of him
and send them through the silk curtain
across the moonlit window of his room

to have a chance that he imagine
I have a longing that will not spare him.

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #77

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #76

Day 10 #TheSealeyChallenge: Cattle of the Lord, by Rosa Alice Branco, tr. by Alexis Levitin.

From Savings Bank: “I follow the numbers that lead to you./The rosary of bones tells this love/that does not fit within my hands.”


My blog post about this book: