Sankha Ghosh is widely considered the preeminent poet writing today in Bengali, a language spoken by more than 200 million people. Ghosh was born in Chandpur, Bangladesh in 1932, and currently resides in Kolkata, India. His first book of poems came out in 1956 and he is the author of more than two dozen volumes of poetry and several volumes of literary criticisms. His poetry is renowned for its aural splendor, density of images, and an acerbic tone often directed at perpetrators of social and political malfeasances.
Ani Dasgupta was born in Kolkata, India, and holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University. He is a Professor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the director of MMA’s International Maritime Business Center. He has taught at Penn State, Tufts, and Boston Universities, in addition to serving as the chief economist of a dot-com and being a business consultant and software creator. He is currently working on a book-length project of “trans-creating” several of Sankha Ghosh’s poems.
Heinrich was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in either 1797 or 1799. In 1831 he took exile in France, where he often struggled financially despite irregular patronage from a millionaire uncle. With freedom of speech he developed an international reputation for the lyricism, wordplay, irony, and excoriating satire of his poems, and was called the last of the Romantics. In 1841 he married Crescence Eugénie Mirat (“Mathilde”), who cared for him during eight years of paralysis; he wrote from bed until his death in 1856.
Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585) was attached to both the French and Scottish courts in his youth; he was later named royal poet for the House of Valois. He led the group of poets called the Pleiades, who looked to classical poetry for paradigms but wrote in French rather than Latin to encourage the development of French literature. In An Introduction to theFrench Poets, Geoffrey Brereton writes, “He projected . . . an image of his own century. . . .
Terese Coe’s poems and translations have appeared in Able Muse, Alaska Quarterly Review, the Cincinnati Review, New American Writing, Ploughshares, Poetry, Threepenny Review, Agenda, the Moth, New Walk, New Writing Scotland, Poetry Review, the TLS, the Stinging Fly, and many other publications and anthologies. Her poem “More” was heli-dropped across London in the 2012 London Olympics Rain of Poems, and her latest collection of poems, Shot Silk, was published by Kelsay Books.
Challenge for a Mounted Tournament in the Form of a Ballet
original French poem
Cartel pour le combat à cheval, en forme de balet
Ces nouveaux Chevaliers par moy vous font entendre
Que leurs premiers ayeuls furent fils de Méandre,
À qui le fleuve apprit à tourner leurs chevaux
Comme il tourne et se vire et se plie en ses eaux.
Pyrrhe en celle façon sur le tombeau d’Achille
Feit une danse armée, et aux bords de Sicile
Enée en decorant son pere de tournois,
Feit sauter les Troyens au branle du harnois,
Où les jeunes enfans en cent mille manieres
Meslerent les replis de leurs courses guerrières.
Pallas qui les conduit, a de sa propre main
Façonné leurs chevaux, et leur donna le frein,
Mais plustost un esprit, qui sagement les guide
Par art, obeissant à la loy de la bride.
Tantost vous les voirrez à courbettes danser,
Tantost se reculer, s’approcher, s’avancer,
S’escarter, s’esloigner, se serrer, se rejoindre
D’une pointe allongée, et tantost d’une moindre,
Contrefaisant la guerre au semblant d’une paix,
Croisez, entrelassez de droit et de biais,
Tantost en forme ronde, et tantost en carrée,
Ainsi qu’un Labyrinth, dont la trace esgarée
Nous abuse les pas en ses divers chemins,
Ainsi qu’on voit danser en la mer les Dauphins,
Ainsi qu’on voit volet par le travers des nues
En diverses façons une troupe de Grues.