Friday, August 26, 2005

Sneak Preview Preview (Peter Cole)


Following a link from Josh Corey, I visited the inaugural issue of fascicle this morning. only to find a sheaf of new translations by Peter Cole: "Poems on Poetry by Hebrew Poets of Spain and Provence, 12th - 15th Century." It looks like Peter has a new collection of translations coming out from Princeton UP: The Dream of the Poem: Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain 950-1492, of which this is a sneak preview.

As of 9:10 this morning, the link was down a while--but by the time you read this, it may be back up. Here's a preview of the preview, a little number by Todoros Abulafia of Toledo (1247-sometime after 1300) which proves
that the tradition of the dissing MC goes back at least seven centuries:

Strong Poet, Weak Poet

I.

Your song, friend, is born of a woman,
and the heart of a girl is what it has.
My poems take it daily to bed,
and drive their standards up its ass.

II.

Have you really nothing left to say?
Are your poems' pockets completely empty?
Has a cat suddenly got your tongue?
Mine's a sword, with which I slay.

Come to the threshing floor of my poems;
I'll leave some gleanings for you to take home.
I'll lend you a stanza, or at least a line—
a bed in the corner, a table to write on.

But take this advice as well with the song:
Weaklings like you shouldn't take on the strong.

Yo! Yo! Subliminal! Take it to the bridge.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Oh, wow -- that poem is fastastic, and hilarious. Thank you for that.