1. The Conversation of the Hours

    The first hour says to the second,
          I am a hermit.
    The second hour says to the third,
          I am an abyss.
    The third hour says to the fourth,
          put on morning.
    The fourth hour says to the fifth,
          stars rush down.
    The fifth hour says to the sixth,
          we are late.
    The sixth hour says to the seventh,
          animals are clocks also.
    The seventh hour says to the eighth,
          you are friends with the grove.
    The eighth hour says to the ninth,
          the coursing starts.
    The ninth hour says to the tenth,
          we are time’s bones.
    The tenth hour says to the eleventh,
          it may be we are couriers.
    The eleventh hour says to the twelfth,
          let us consider the roads.
    The twelfth hour says to the first,
          I’ll catch up with you in our endless race.
    The first hour says to the second,
          have some human sedative, friend.
    The second hour says to the third,
          at what point can we concur.
    The third hour says to the fourth,
          I bow to you as if you were a corpse.
    The fourth hour says to the fifth,
          we too are darkened treasures of the earth.
    The fifth hour says to the sixth,
          I worship the hollow world.
    The sixth hour says, seventh hour,
          it’s dinner time, come home.
    The seventh hour says to the eighth,
          I would have wanted to count another way.
    The eighth hour says to the ninth,
          you are like Enoch snatched up to the skies.
    The ninth hour says to the tenth hour,
          you are like unto an angel engulfed in flame.
    The tenth hour says, eleventh hour,
          for some reason you lost your moving power.
    The eleventh hour says to the twelfth,
          and still we are incomprehensible.

    —Poetry month is coming to a close, a month where we launched our new poetry series, NYRB Poets, and we wanted to end it with a somewhat circular poem. This is from Alexander Vvedensky’s An Invitation for Me to Think; it’s a poem within a poem, part of the script that makes up “God May be Around,” translated by Eugene Ostashevsky

  2. "Everything is filled with you"

    Everything is filled with you,
    and everything is filled with me:
    the towns are full,
    just as the cemeteries are full
    of you, all the houses
    are full of me, all the bodies.

    I wander down streets losing
    things I gather up again:
    parts of my life
    that have turned up from far away.

    I wing myself toward agony,
    I see myself dragging
    through a doorway,
    through creation’s latent depths.

    Everything is filled with me:
    with something yours and memory
    lost, yet found
    again, at some other time.

    A time left behind
    decidedly black,
    indelibly red,
    golden on your body.

    Pierced by your hair,
    everything is filled with you,
    with something I haven’t found,
    but look for among your bones.

    —The poem “Everything Is Filled with You” by Miguel Hernández, translated by Don Share, and included in our new collection of Hernández’s poetry. Below is a bio of Hernández written by our editor Jeffery Yang which featured in the The New York Review of Books.

    The poet and playwright Miguel Hernández (1910–1942) was born into a peasant family in the province of Alicante in southeast Spain and died from tuberculosis in a prison hospital there at age thirty-one. For much of his life he worked, like his father, as a shepherd. As a soldier and cultural ambassador for the Republican Army during the Spanish civil war, Hernández read his poems and plays on the radio and on the front lines. When the war ended in 1939, he was arrested and sentenced to death (commuted to thirty years in prison).

    In various jails, Hernández wrote many poems that were included in letters to his friends and family, particularly his wife, Josefina Manresa—a seamstress from his hometown Orihuela, with whom he had two sons. “Everything Is Filled with You” was written during this time of imprisonment and was published in 1958 in his final collection of poems, Cancionero y romancero de ausencias (Songs and Ballads of Absence).

  3. Totemism

    Inside everyone there are secret rooms. They’re cluttered and the lights are out. There’s a bed in which someone is lying with his face to the wall. In his head there are more rooms. In one, the venetian blinds shake in the approaching summer storm. Every once in a while an object on the table becomes visible: a broken compass, a pebble the color of midnight, an enlargement of a school photograph with a face in the back circled, a watch spring—each one of these items is a totem of the self.
          Every art is about the longing of One for the Other. Orphans that we are, we make our sibling kin out of everything we find. The labor of art is the slow and painful metamorphosis of the One into the Other.

        - National Poetry Month is not over yet, and although we think poetry is for all months, we wanted to celebrate the end of April with some recently published poems. Above is the poem “Totemism” by Charles Simic in Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Jospeh Cornell. Enjoy poetry and think!