Dilemmas of Poets and Sculptors
Translated by Barbara Jursa
Where poets seek a way into space
behind the visible world, sculptors enter
with hands, legs, hooks in the ceiling,
they bring their van loaded with bags of plaster
distracting passers-by with questions about the metal,
seducing them with the communal spirit of their work.
In the uncertainty of dissolving flesh we crave
substance, which is why sculptors are always
appreciated. They rummage through
giving solidity to spiritual places
like libraries where they lay their big
warm hands on the largest spines of monographs
thick with illustrations.
With religious patience they carry
their shining metal tools
into ever smaller spaces.
Poets still have much to say on the matter.
They love the sculptor’s tactile achievement,
glad to elude problems
of such concrete nature.
From afar they watch the group at work.
Sculptors don’t think about poets.
Every so often they look at canaries,
afraid their sculptor’s breath might press them
to the wall. Proud of being
so close to such exotic feathers.
This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!
Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.
Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.