Ardengo Soffici (translated from the Italian by Olivia E. Sears)
The day sinks into the scarlet basin of summer And there are no more words For that bridge of fire and jewels Youth you’ll pass like the end of every play Tant pis           Never mind        I’ll make myself a magnificent suit out of old posters
from the book Simultaneities and Lyric Chemisms / World Poetry Books

What Sparks Poetry is a serialized feature in which we invite poets to explore experiences and ideas that spark new poems. 

In our series focused on Translation, we invite poet-translators to share seminal experiences in their practices, bringing poems from one language into another. How does the work of translating feel essential to the writing of one’s own poetry? Our contributors reflect on inspiring moments as intricate as a grammatical quirk and as wide-ranging as the history or politics of another place. 

Olivia E. Sears on Ardengo Soffici's "Rainbow"
Photo: Olivia E. Sears
Laura Cresté
I tend my own but cheat, buy them full-grown from the nursery,                  leaves round as saucers, in the way of daughters                                    fearing their mothers like them less each year we grow older.
Laura Minor
Everyone wants someone to crawl back to;                  everyone wants to forgive the rose for dying.                  You used to make everyone jealous of my laughter,                                   turned every moment vignette, borderless and fading.
Alyse Knorr
Today they color the arteries red and the veins blue, dreaming of their scrubs and their stethoscopes, strangers to Keats and the plague they'll soon grapple. Today the answer is not: Someone once kissed this spot, so tender behind the knee, but, Gracilis, plantaris, extensor hallucis longus.
Lisa Robertson
              The day I cried for Baudelai    re I had been drinking a little                          the discovery that th    ere is no orthodoxy —                              it took place in wh     ich hotel room?

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