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Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged): Poems

Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged): Poems

by Judy Halebsky
Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged): Poems

Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged): Poems

by Judy Halebsky


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Finalist, 2020 Miller Williams Poetry Prize

A translator’s notebook, an almanac, an ecological history, Judy Halebsky’s Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged) moves between multiple intersections and sign systems connected in a long glossary poem that serves as the book’s guide to what is lost, erased, or disrupted in transition both from experience to written word and from one language, location, and time period to another.

Writers Li Bai, Matsuo Bashō, Sei Shōnagon, and Du Fu make frequent appearances in centuries ranging from the eighth to the twenty-first, and appear in conversation with Grace Paley, Donald Hall, and Halebsky herself, as the poet explores subjects ranging from work and marriage to environmental destruction. Asking what would happen if these poets—not just their work—appeared in California, the poems slip between different geographies, syntaxes, times, and cultural frameworks.

The role of the literary translator is to bring text from one language into another, working to at once shift and retain the context of the original—from one alphabet to another, one point in time to another. These are poems in homage to translation; they rely on concepts that can bridge time and space, and as a result are as likely to find meaning in donuts or Zumba as they are to find it in the ocean. Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged) finds reasons for hope not in how the world should be, but in how it has always been.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682261330
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication date: 03/02/2020
Series: Miller Williams Poetry Prize
Edition description: 1
Pages: 121
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she spent five years studying in Japan on fellowships from the Japanese Ministry of Culture. She lives in Oakland and teaches at Dominican University of California.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Between Jenner and a Pay Phone 3

Over the Fence 4

O in Red 5

By Phone Line 6

Portage 7

Dear Li Bai 8

The Sky of Wu 9

Slide Talk: Ghost Moon 10

Li Bai Considers Online Dating 11

Bird of Prey 12

Skinny Jeans and the Known Universe 13

The Engagement 15

About Last Night 16

Glossary 19

River Merchant in Blue 31

-In Season, 1 32

Obscure, adj. or n. /&rmcgreve;b'skjΥ(&rmcgreve;)r/ 33

Boy Child 34

Letter From America 35

Making Shore 36

Days Idle, Cumulative 37

Li Bai Is Living in a Share House in the Temescal 38

Ikebana Instructions 40

Poem 41

Post-Season 42

Field Exam 45

Poll Numbers in Oakland, 2016 53

-In Season, 2 54

The Playoffs 55

Jacob's Wood Carving Manifesto 57

Li Bai Interviews for a Job at Green Gulch Zen Center 58

Overshopping, n. /$$$/ 60

Credit Counseling: Transcript 61

Ale and Ginger 62

-In Season, 3 63

Moon Dog 64

She Makes a List of Things That Cannot Be Compared 65

Pacific Slope Death Poem 67

Tenure 69

Flight Pattern 70

Alternative Facts 71

Dear Red Pine 72

How to Make Music 73

Appendix: Lost Sections of the Pillow Book* 77

Addendum: Fifth Moon 82

Notes 83

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