Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sonnet published

My sonnet, "Unrequited Love", was just published by the Society of Classical Poets. The sonnet begins like a traditional Italian love sonnet, but ends with an ironic twist. The scenario was inspired by a scene in Dante's Vita Nuova, in which Dante is staring at Beatrice but is thought to be staring at a woman in between them, whom he begins to call the "screen lady".

Friday, February 2, 2018

I won a translation contest!

I just won the 2018 translation contest from the Society of Classical Poets! The award was given to me for my translations of Homer's Iliad I.1-47 and Dante's Inferno I. In addition to the honor of winning the award, I also received a $100 check! Not too bad for a broke graduate student. Many thanks to SCP for putting on the award. Also, please check out the list of winners to see the winners of the other annual contests put on by the Society (original poetry, original prose, and high school poetry), including links to the winning poems. Congratulations to all of them!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Drunken (a parody of The Raven) officially published

My parody of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" has been officially published by the Society of Classical Poets. You may remember that the parody, entitled "The Drunken", won first place in the long poem category of the Society's "Funny Food Poetry Contest" last year; but the poem itself only ever appeared in the comments section of the contest page (posting comments was how one entered the contest). Now, the Society of Classical Poets has seen fit to give the poem an official page of its own! Many thanks to the Society, to my readers, and to all fans of Edgar Allan Poe. It was a joy to write this parody of one of my favorite poems, and I'm thrilled that it has a proper page now.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Iliad translation published

The first 47 lines of my Iliad translation has been published by the Society of Classical Poets! It is an honor to be published, and I've gotten a lot of generous comments from readers already.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hiatus on the Iliad, to work on the Inferno

I haven't posted since July, but I'm breaking radio silence now to let everyone know that I am temporarily taking a break from translating the Iliad. I have found it difficult to juggle my writing projects with my work and family life, and as a result, my work on the Iliad has caused my other project, a terza rima translation of Dante's Inferno, to stagnate. I am close to the end of that project, so I've decided to devote to it what little free time I have for writing.

I have basically finished writing the Inferno translation, and I am nearly done with the long revision process. I will try to continue to post regular updates on my writing, but I may not be able to post as many samples, since I will be seeking separate publication for the Inferno translation. You can check out samples from it here. I'll post a few stanzas from my most recently revised section, Canto 26, very soon.

I will return to the Iliad as soon as I am finished with the Inferno. But if you are disappointed that you won't be seeing anymore Homer for a while, please let me know! My thanks to everyone for your patience.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Perfect Game

Seven years ago, my cousin Patrick succumbed to cancer at the age of 17. He always had a bright spirit, and he loved his family, his life, and baseball. As a pitcher, he once threw a no-hitter (which means that he struck out everyone batting against him before they could even hit the ball). When he died, I wrote this poem to honor his life. It is a ballad about Patrick's battle with cancer, and the day he pitched the perfect game, and the indelible mark he left on his loved ones.

At home when on the pitcher’s mound, he wound up for the pitch—
his legendary pitch, renowned, confounding speeds he threw—
and he was calm out on the field; not one revealing twitch
revealed he might have fear concealed: for he was fearless too.

And later, when the doctors found him sick, he still was brave,
still calm, as if still on the mound, still quick though he was ill;
his body riddled by the cancer, Patrick knew the way,
and only Patrick knew the answer, how to stay strong-willed.

He loosed the ball and on it flew, and turbulent it burned
a break-neck path to home plate, through the batter’s errant swinging.
Another pitch, another strike; and now a third, a third—
the umpire cried, his eyes alight, “You’re out!”—the crowd was singing.

And what a crowd our Patrick drew, when he was sick in bed:
his friends and family, strangers too, all came to wish him well;
yes people on the thousands came, to help relieve the dread,
but Patrick, fearless at his game, was fearless here as well.

That day will live in legend when the pitcher Patrick threw
a perfect game—no-hitter—then walked calmly off the field.
One for the books, his chance at fame; I think that Patrick knew
that steady courage wins the game, that courage wins appeal.

So, calm and cool, he took the news that none of us took calmly;
though we supported him, it’s true his courage helped us too.
As in the game, so in ill health, with courage and aplomb, he
moved us through his hard time, impelled us through by being true.

And Patrick, though his life was short, did things that few men do:
he threw a perfect game, what’s more, he warmed his home and hearth.
The legend, number seven, he was brave, kind, funny too;
and though he’s now in Heaven he lives still here in our hearts.

Monday, July 17, 2017

I've Been Published!

My translation of Inferno, Canto I, has been published on the website of the Society of Classical Poets. They also published my poem, "The Mask of Dante". Check them both out here.

I'm really excited to have my work in front of a bigger audience. The Society of Classical Poets is a website and annual journal dedicated to the promotion of classical poetic forms, with an emphasis on rhyming and metrical poetry. It's worth checking out, especially if you're a bit disenchanted with the modern free verse styles that are printed in most magazines today.

If you like my Inferno translation, you can read a few more cantos here. I haven't yet made it available in full. Please contact me or post a comment if you would like to read a specific canto that isn't on the website.