Peter Boyle



Awaiting the Death Sentence, Alone in the Pavilion of Lost Swans, the Emperor Plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 20 in D Minor

Extending from sleeves of pure gold the Emperor’s hands uncurl their fingers across the piano’s darkly chequered counters. The earth is suddenly spinning in fast motion. And the beautiful black androgynous hair sweeps down his back, defying age. How long …

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Israel Holas Allimant Reviews Poems of Olga Orozco, Marosa Di Giorgio & Jorge Palma

In 2017, Vagabond Press launched its Americas Poetry Series. This is a brave and much needed venture, one that borders on the quixotic: an Australian editor offering publications from poets from the Americas to the Australian reading public, for the love of poetry and the art of translation. So far, the series has three excellent entries focused on the translation of Spanish language Latin American poets into English.

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3 Translated Samuel Trigueros Espino Poems

Image courtesy of Festival de Poesía El Salvador PIGS ‘I have seen friends Circe turned into pigs. Her wheel, her diamond. The pigs don’t know my hideouts, mercenaries of shadows.’ –Edilberto Cardona Bulnes I have beheaded pigs, but Circe insists …

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Gabriel García Ochoa Reviews Poems of Mijail Lamas, Mario Bojórques & Alí Calderón

This second volume in the series, Poems of Mijail Lamas, Mario Bojórquez & Alí Calderón, focuses on contemporary Mexican poetry. It is translated by Sydney-based, Mexican-born Mario Licón Cabrera, a seasoned poet and translator. Licón Cabrera translates into both English and Spanish.

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Prithvi Varatharajan Reviews Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle’s Ghostspeaking belongs to a relatively rare poetic tradition, in which the poet creates heteronyms through which he or she writes. Indeed, the cover blurb of Ghostspeaking announces that the book contains ‘eleven fictive poets from Latin America, France and Québec. Their poems, interviews, biographies and letters weave images of diverse lives and poetics.’ As opposed to the pseudonym, which is merely a false name that allows the poet anonymity, the heteronym entails the creation of an entire life: not only distinctive poetic works, but also a biography for the poet that embeds them in real history.

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Border Crossing

When you get there. At the frontier. It is very dangerous. Invisible precipices. Water sharp as knives. There are children playing between rocks. Many guns scan the bodies of the children. Suitcases tear open. A play of hands taking out …

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2 Poems by Olga Orozco

Cartomancy The dogs that sniff out the lineage of ghosts, listen to them barking, listen to them tear apart the drawing of the omen. Listen. Someone approaches: the floorboards are creaking under your feet as if you will never stop …

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from Marosa di Giorgio’s Funeral carriages laden with watermelons

What a strange species is the species angel. When I was born I heard them say “Angel”, “Angels”, or other names. “Spikenard”, “Iris”. Foam that grows on branches, the most delicate porcelain increasing all by itself. Spikenard. Iris.

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Discovered in a Rock Pool

A star-shaped object rising up out of the water – five wavering arms, five spokes of a chariot wheel, five curved cylinders, at their centre a cluster of grey barnacles, small pearls, a silver light, the water that drips from …

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Reclaimed Land: Australian Urbanisation and Poetry

In the late 1850s, Charles Harpur composed the image of ‘a scanty vine,/ Trailing along some backyard wall’ (‘A Coast View’). It might be forgettable, save for its conspicuousness in Harpur’s bush-obsessed poetry. Whether purple ranges or groaning sea-cliffs, his poems cleave to a more-than-human continent. The scanty vine, however, clings to a different surface: human-made – the craft of a drystone wall, perhaps, or wire strung through posts like the twist of the poetic line – it signals domestic land division. Harpur’s vine of words trails along the vertical edifice of settlement.

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José Kozer’s ‘Wherein it is seen how buried always inside me is a Jew’ in English and Spanish

Wherein it is seen how buried always inside me is a Jew To howl out ballads, to hear plainchant up ahead, constantly, right to the end. To tread ears of corn on Judgement Day, and see wholegrain bread emerge from …

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Jack Gilbert Gets ‘Foeted’

Anonymously they came for his bones hoping they would still hang with some flesh. ‘Blah blah’ said one, and ‘Yes yes’ said the other. Little too-mortal teeth ripping into the poems they knew were not the truth of it. ‘Oh …

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8 Poems by Gastón Baquero

Gastón Baquero by Eduardo Margareto Born in Banes, Cuba, in 1916, Gastón Baqero grew up in the countryside, a rural beginning that figures as one element in his, in many ways very urbane, poetry. He was part of the Orígenes …

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“A hundred mute gods”

(A hundred mute gods, their eyes all put out, crowd together on a stone altar. Starved of blood. Lingering on in their hunger for one more sunset. A Sybil dozing lightly in an iron lung prophesies.) It may be a …

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Peter Boyle Reviews Yasuhiro Yotsumoto and Shuntaro Tanikawa

Family Room by Yasuhiro Yotsumoto Vagabond Press, 2009 Watashi by Shuntaro Tanikawa Vagabond Press, 2010 At the outset I will say that, though my own latest book Apocrypha was published by Vagabond Press, I hold no financial interest in the …

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John Jenkins Reviews Peter Boyle

Apocrypha: Texts Collected and Translated by William O’Shaunessy by Peter Boyle Vagabond Press, 2009 “No one can count the number of people we have been in a single / life. One death is never enough.” These lines from Apocrypha sum …

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Bev Braune reviews Peter Boyle

Museum of space by Peter Boyle

University of Queensland Press, 2004

Peter Boyle strikes me as a poet who likes the air, much as Peter Minter likes water; Robert Adamson, leaves; Jordie Albiston, defined/confined spaces; John Tranter, lines or, rather, the lineage of the cursive. Boyle most reminds me of Robert Adamson with his gentle, probing style, his yearning approach to all that should be desirable–an understanding of ourselves in space and time, wherein we point all our limitations. In this context, Boyle holds his place very well as a watchful observer of the world (e.g. the wind, sunlight, birds, music, reflections, waves) and other writers (e.g. Rilke, Saint-John Perse, Jabès).

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My soul is wet with the tears of impossible things

“My soul is wet with the tears of impossible things” — Federico Garcia Lorca, ‘Todo será el corazón’ On the surface of the eternal soul hundreds of verses moistened with our lives that have grown sick and weary. I carry …

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The dark has taken root on all four walls

Translated with Peter Boyle “The dark has taken root on all four walls” — Kevin Hart, ‘Room’ Holding fast to this line of Kevin Hart through their deep roots I enter the experience of those prison days. Once more I …

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Everyday

You go to a restaurant and you eat a meal and you choke and die. It happens like that. You feel horny and you visit a sauna, get careless, and you catch AIDS and die. You open a present while …

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Vlado Perlemuter Playing Ravel

The elegant sadness of this music is just the first layer. Beneath enter again the corsetry of a remote childhood, the bindings between the shoulder the neck the puffed belly. Find the white lonely fingers poised above a lake in …

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