Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sonnets for Ashley Faye: Christmas 2020

Christmas this year, the world is shut inside.
No gatherings of family and friends,
no feasting with a ham and chocolate pie.
Just sit indoors and wait for it to end.

But baby, if I must be stuck at home,
I’m happy that I'm stuck at home with you.
We’re isolated, but we’re not alone,
for we are two in one and one in two.

So Christmas this year, let us stay inside.
We’ll drink hot cocoa sitting by the fire,
we’ll roast a bird and make our own damn pie,
we’ll have our Christmas as our hearts desire.

The world can fall apart if we’re together,
so long as I'm with you, now and forever.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Inferno I.130-136 (engraving by Gustave Doré)

And I to him: “Poet, I ask you please—
by that same God whom you had never known,
so, from this evil and worse, I may flee—

to lead me to the place of which you spoke,
that I might see the gateway of Saint Peter
and those whom you make out to be so low.”

Then he moved on, and I kept after the leader.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Inferno I.49-54 (engraving by Gustave Doré)

And then a wolf, who seemed to be encumbered
with every craving, looking lean and light,
and she’s made wretched lives for many others—

with the fear that issued from her very sight,
she put upon me such a heavy strain
that I lost hope of getting to the height.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Inferno I.46-48 (engraving by Gustave Doré)

Against me he appeared to make his way,
with his head high and with furious hunger,
so that the air itself appeared to quake.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Inferno I.31-33 (engraving by Gustave Doré)

And behold, just where the hill begins to slope,
a leopard light and lithe and very fast,
and covered over with a spotted coat;

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Inferno I.1-9 (engraving by Gustave Doré)

In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself again in a dark forest,
for I had lost the pathway straight and right.

Ah how hard it is to describe, this forest
savage and rough and overwhelming, for
to think of it renews my fear before it!

It is so bitter, death is little more;
but to discuss the good I found, I’ll say
the other things I witnessed there before.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Moving on to Inferno

It is time to move on. Starting tomorrow, to promote my upcoming Inferno translation, I will begin posting selections from my translation paired with Gustave Doré's iconic wood engravings. The image above, of course, is not Doré's; it is my own bird's eye view drawing of Dante's Hell.

I have actually finished the translation itself, and now I am working on all of the extra material: pronunciation glossary, notes, introduction, selected bibliography... and maybe a few surprises. This is the culmination of almost a decade of work. I am so excited!!!

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Neruda Translation Featured on Romance Blog

My translation of Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair has been featured on Marie Lavender's I Love Romance Blog for National Poetry Month. Check out the feature here! My thanks to Marie for allowing me to visit her awesome blog. Y'all stay safe in this pandemic.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Neruda Translation Available on Amazon!!!

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

I just published my translation of Pablo Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair! It is now available in paperback from Amazon (the e-book is coming soon, hopefully within 48 hours). I wrote this translation back in 2011, but I couldn't publish it until now because the original book was still under copyright. Now that it is officially in the public domain, I have published my translation! The beautiful cover was done by my brother, Nick Harris. Take a look if you are a fan of Pablo Neruda, or love poetry, or even if you are looking for a Valentine's Day gift.

Here is the blurb from the product description: Published in 1924, when Pablo Neruda was only twenty years old, this striking collection of love poems has proven to be the Nobel Laureate's most popular work. The sensual imagery and heartbreaking verse have inspired lovers and lovers of poetry for nearly a century. This translation by J. Simon Harris captures the fire of the original and stays true to the poetry. This edition includes the original Spanish text of the poems on facing pages, as well as an introduction to the poet and the poems.