Friday, August 02, 2019

Nava’s Poems (from Rilke)

enchanted / in

Last November, by the time we started the open reading period for this year’s “season,” we’d already agreed to publish a chapbook by Nava Fader—a collection of poems loosely tied to the work of Rainer Maria Rilke.  I found her poems to be hypnotic and engrossing and definitely a voice separate from Rilke’s.  (Admittedly, I had limited experience with Rilke’s poetry.)  At the time of accepting her work, I let Nava know we’d schedule its publication once we got through the manuscripts in the open reading and made our selections.  Her chapbook was scheduled to come out toward the end of the “open reading season” chapbooks, rather than before. And here we are.

Nava uses lines from Rilke’s work as starting places for some of her poems.  Other poems are “false translations” of his.  I was drawn by the way the poems flow and the way simple words are combined to make new, unique compound words (like “vapormist,” “armsweep,” and “suntimes”) in several of the pieces.  There’s not an identifiable narrative thread running through the poems, but they are tied together by an exploration of language that weaves a story of its own.

From “Love Song (a false translation)”

“We are one halt
soul here, served neither
dinner nor rubles. Unrelenting
soul, grooved—so to speak—ditched
among ravenous animals girded

for riding, molting variously, and we call them

You can (and should!) pick up a copy at the Titles page. Hell, pick up two copies.

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