On dark nights when I have no words of my
own, translations calm me, let me
jump deep in letter by letter
soaking up the dampness of the words.
I hear a whispered sigh like the sea
in the dark, as both poem and self
exist in a constant state of becoming.
What draws us as a translator to seek
an equivalent music from one
tongue to another? Affinities, a vibrancy,
listening to meanings that reside, flowering,
beyond the thickness of dictionaries.
Nibbling at the edges of the poem, we give
contours to shadows. How do we translate
the silence that lives between the lines?
I am a nomad searching for a language
in which I am a word unbound,
wandering between the world
we inhabit and the one we create.
Dennis Maloney is a poet and translator. A number of volumes of his own poetry have been published including The Map Is Not the Territory: Poems & Translations and Just Enough. His book Listening to Tao Yuan Ming was published by Glass Lyre Press in 2015. A bilingual German/English, Empty Cup was published in Germany in 2017. The Things I Notice Now is forthcoming from MadHat Press in fall 2018. He is also the editor and publisher of the widely respected White Pine Press in Buffalo, NY. and divides his time between Buffalo, NY and Big Sur, CA.