“Is ‘the prose poem’ an oxymoron? Of course not, and we have some of the most remarkable writers of the prose poem in the Pitt Poetry Series. David Shumate is one, and his first couple of books with us have gotten rave reactions. His books are both moving and fun to read, and the poems are as tightly organized as good sonnets.”
Translating a Poem
Some say they run their fingers over the page as if it were a message from the dead. Others say a word is a kind of fruit. You slice it open and catch the juices in a bowl. Still others recommend carrying the poem with you into a dream where it might become a bird or a fish. I have a poem in front of me now. Its Chinese lines are delicate. Papery. The thin strand of its meter is like the breath of a sleeping child. I’ve just translated the first line. It has to do with that kind of sadness spring brings. There’s something so familiar about it. As if I’ve just bumped into the poet outside a market and we’ve both dropped our bags. We get down on our knees. She picks up my head of lettuce. I reach for her apricots as they roll into the gutter.
a Poem” from The Floating Bridge $14.00
• 88 pp. ©
2008 University of Pittsburgh Press
Also by David Shumate from the Pitt Poetry Series: High Water Mark $12.95
American Poetry Now features poems by David Shumate and many others from the Pitt Poetry Series.