Discussion → Cervena Barva Press Publishes, "Elegiac: Footnotes to Rilke's Duino Elegies" by Elaine Terranova

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    Gloria Mindock
    Oct 19, 02:47pm

    Cervena Barva Press Announces a New Chapbook
    "Elegiac: Footnotes to Rilke’s Duino Elegies"
    by Elaine Terranova

    Elaine Terranova is the author of four collections of poems, Not To, New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2006) which was a runner-up for the Poetry Society's William Carlos Williams Award, The Dog's Heart (Orchises Press, 2002), Damages (Copper Canyon Press, 1996), and The Cult of the Right Hand, winner of the 1990 Walt Whitman Award (Doubleday, 1991) and an earlier chapbook, Toward Morning/Swimmers (Hollow Spring Press, 1980), Her poems have appeared in magazines including The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, Ploughshares, Boulevard, and Pleiades, and in these and other anthologies, A Gift of Tongues, Blood to Remember: American Poets write about the Holocaust, A Cadence of Hooves, and Riffing on Strings. Her work has been part of The Poetry Society's Poetry in Motion project. Her translation of Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis appeared in the Penn Greek Drama Series (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998). She has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a National Endowment in the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants. She won the Anna Davidson Rosenberg competition in 1992 and has been Banister Writer in Residence at Sweet Briar College and a Fellow at Bread Loaf. She is a writing specialist at the Community College of Philadelphia and a faculty member of the Rutgers, Camden, MFA Program in Creative Writing.


    "I've long admired Elaine Terranova's poetry and Elegiac is another first-rate collection. Taking Rilke's Duino Elegies as a starting point, these "footnotes" to the older poet's work are technically sophisticated and sonically lovely. They're also deeply moving, meditating on mortality, God, and the constantly vanishing past, retrievable only through the vagaries of memory or the creative imagination. These are beautiful, impressionistic poems distinguished especially for their shifting, subtle intelligence and their emotional force."
    —Kevin Prufer, author of National Anthem


    VII Werbung nicht mehr, nicht Werbung, entwachsene Stimme

    1Bird song like "the heart thrust
    into brightness."

    I opened my arms to the past,
    only a wisp. Sails of the white butterfly
    in down-growing grass.

    What spring announces: If only.

    Another body pillows you. Buoyant, buoyant.
    Up to the angel's knees. Angel who promises
    and is startled by the loft of us.

    Bridal. Where a rider
    is joined to a horse. Also, a husband to a wife.
    An elaborate ceremony. Music plays
    and debts are forgiven.

    The soft contours of an old photo.
    Fine lines etched into a hill.
    Motion stops. Smile locked
    before it is imagined. A trip you didn't take,
    bags you let go by without claiming.

    There was the window, the line of light
    that came between so we were separate.

    What dawn pulled away, leaving us
    to the normal operations of the world.

    "Good sleeping weather!" GSW! Nothing
    you'd rather do.

    2Sun peels back
    the dark skin of ponds.
    Watch as it makes
    an entrance into the woods
    like the eyes into a painting,
    like a man into a roomful of women,
    like trouble into a peaceful life.

    Summer, and she loved the stain of autumn
    where the danger and the sweetness died.

    Order online at http://www.thelostbookshelf.com/cervenabooks.html

    Elegiac: Footnotes to Rilke’s Duino Elegies



    Send check or money order payable to:
    Cervena Barva Press
    P.O. Box 440357,
    W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222
    e-mail: editor@cervenabarvapress.com

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