At a Poetry Festival
This poem seems to directly recount the experience of being stateless and having statelessness reinforced upon one - the designation that happens in the naming of poetry delegates at a festival. But poem rewards re-reading and was exciting to translate precisely because such directness is paired with a subtlety of feeling. The transition between the country’s name, the poet’s name and the name of his city in the first two lines, warn us of the slippage between terms. The poem aches with a doubleness of meanings, what it might mean for the name of a country to “arrive” or “return”, how poignantly employed the personal address can be: “my little country / For me, nothing remains of it”.
Edward Doegar, Commissioning Editor