Contemporary Poetry and Poetics
Field is a journal with an admirably clear and consistent editorial vision.
Field is a journal with an admirably clear and consistent editorial vision. Typically, this issue presents serious, difficult, reverent poems with very little that is conversational, casual, or occasional; poems that demand to be read slowly and then reread, including work by Carl Phillips, Marvin Bell, Michael Waters, Charles Wright, and Angie Estes, among others, wonderfully wrought translations from Chinese, German, and French, and three in-depth review essays by the editors. I was particularly taken with gorgeous translations of two poems by Chinese poet Bian Zhilin (1910-2000). Translators Mary M.Y. Fung and David Lunde are working on a full-length collection, which I happily look forward to. An excerpt of V. Peneleope Pelizzon’s work-in-progress The Monogahela Book of Hours also offers a glimpse of new writing to anticipate with eagerness. Pape contributes a haunting painting of a poem, “Red Moon,” with dual fire ravaged landscapes, mountains and heart, and Franz Wright contributes four spare, stark, and powerful poems. Here is an excerpt from “Scribbled Testament”: “Having read the great books / of this world only / to completely forget them again; / having learned how to speak / this language only // (darken it up a bit will you) / to translate my heart for you / from the original silence.”