In it Culture Supplement of the newspaper PROFILE we offer every week “Narcolepsy – Coordinates for an approach to poetry”and the one chosen this time is “Winds”, by the American Cole Swensen:
I grew up surrounded by huge winds in a house on a ridge surrounded by huge trees, which leads me to wonder, is the wind itself huge, or is it that the trees do it? And now, going back years later, I hear it in terms of syntax. I think I’ve always heard it syntactically, as a matter of sequential progress—wind being, if nothing else, directionality. But so many years later, I can see something inherent to the wind that relates to syntax differently, which is plumage. As such, the wind offers a syntactic pattern of forward momentum that is still constantly cracked with infinitesimals and infinitesimal laterals. What this model can offer to the possibilities of linguistic expression is doubtful, but perhaps it is worth exploring.
(Translated by Patrick Ferrari and Graciela S. Guglielmone)
Originally from San Francisco, California, Cole Swensen She is the author of nineteen poetry collections, the most recent And And And [Y Y Y] (Free Poetry, Boise State University, 2022), from which the text published here is extracted and which the author describes as “a collection of slightly absurd mini-essays on poetics involving many animals”. Other recent books are Art in Time [El arte en el tiempo] (Nightboat Books, 2021), twenty poetic essays on innovative landscape art, and On Walking On [Sobre la marcha] (Nightboat Books, 2017), poetry that explores the relationship between writing and walking. He has also written a volume of critical essays, Noise That Stays Noise [Ruido que se queda en ruido] (University of Michigan Poets on Poetry Series, 2011), and is the co-editor of the anthology of new experimental poetry, American Hybrid [Híbrido estadounidense] (Norton, 2009). She has collaborated with visual artists on artist books, including a collection on the history of electricity with Karen Randall (Zap, Solid Objects Press, 2020), and Flare [Destello] (Yale University Art Gallery, 2009) with the painter Thomas Nozkowski.
Swensen’s work has been awarded the National Poetry Series, the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Sun & Moon’s New American Writing Award, and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, and he has been a two-time finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and once from the National Book Award. Former Guggenheim Fellow, also is a translator of contemporary French poetry, prose and art critic. Its translation of Isle of the Dead [La isla de los muertos] by Jean Frémon, she won the 2004 PEN USA Award for Literary Translation, and her translations have been finalists three times for the Best Translated Book Award and once for the ALTA National Translation Award. She is the founding editor of The Press, (www.lapressepoetry.com), a small publisher publishing contemporary French poetry translated by English-language poets. He spent six years on the faculty at the University of Denver and ten years on the Iowa Writers Workshop faculty. He currently teaches in Brown University’s Master’s Program in Creative Writing and divides his time between Providence, Rhode Island, and Paris, France).
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