POETRY

  • A black and white photo of a ball of aluminum foil, shrouded in darkness, except for a strip of focused light on its right side.
       By Liu Xia
    above Liu Xia prepared her goodbye for her husband, Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo (1955–2017), in a poem and a series of photographs titled The Lonely Planets (courtesy of the author). For m...
  • The steel frame of a dock, not covered and thus exposing the sea below, extends out from a rocky beach.
    [untitled] Vacations in the ice, the London Manifestotransformed into a heap of stupiditiesan ultimatum for the scum, the day moon. Inertia: from theclean shoreto the dirty...
  •    By Eleni Kefala
      Photo by Eleni Kefala for G. D.   It was much easier to tell why it was called the golden grotto than to get into it. . . . It appears to have been used as a cemetery, for rows of tombs have be...
  • Author note: These poems are part of a longer sequence that Golan and I collaborated on for my new collection, Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance. All the poems are ba...
  • Smoke drifting up into the air. black and white
       By Li-Young Lee
      God Is Burning Through an open wound in God’s left side,springtime enters into the world,sticky, green, with a taste of iron.That’s not the wound I hurt from. There’s a dull pain...
  • Photo: Daniel Simon
       By Elisa Biagini
    Photo: Daniel Simon [1] this ours that it be a unionof scissors: cutthe hair, the hems, the cord thatfeeds me worry withevery bite, my secret familyline. Cut itas i...
  • Blue and green background
    [1] Winter,                I have to wake up.The day enters the room. With the leavings of yesterday. The first things that reach my ears, fragments of conversation, unfinished sentences. I lie down...
  • Egret flying over blue water with it's reflection beneath it
    Photo: Daniel Simon Egret The bird was just searchingfor food not metaphors –or taking rest from a day’s flight It was dusk after all and its ancestorswho might have crossed the MiddlePassage, crosse...
  • Satiro della Valle, Capitoline Museums, Rome
       By Maxim Amelin
    Satiro della Valle, Capitoline Museums, Rome Эти бездонные ночи в июле Эти бездонные ночи в июле,            О!Ты вопрошаешь: — Меня обманули?            — Да, — отвечаю, — но как! Лучше не спрашива...
  • Anila Quayyum Agha, Alahambra Nights(2016), acrylic and halogen bulb, 30” x 27” x 30” / Courtesy of the artist
    Anila Quayyum Agha, Alahambra Nights (2016), acrylic and halogen bulb, 30” x 27” x 30” / Courtesy of the artist Qasida of the Bridge of Teacups The soul cleaves into two somewhere along the...
  • Flowers
       By Gili Haimovich
     Photo: Tanya Hart   Go Thee And the way you gathered up your excess soulbefore it spilled to the floor.At the end of the Hebrew-Yiddish-English poetry readingand you went to eat shawarma. T...
  • Photo: Andreas Manessinger
       By Ghassan Zaqtan
    Photo: Andreas Manessinger/Flickr Old friend, when we meet, we will meetas two shelves of wings and many harsh years, as one imagination that won’t exchange toasts:there’s no one to stomp the grapes...
  • Gaza City. Photo: Getty / AFP photo / Mahmud Hams
    Gaza City. Photo: Getty / AFP photo / Mahmud Hams   History moves darkly and we are small, soft things.                                                                          –...
  • The abandoned British Residency in Hyderabad, India. Photo: Kishore Nagarigari
    The abandoned British Residency in Hyderabad, India. Photo: Kishore Nagarigari Author’s note: After my mother’s death, I struggled with the meaning of legacy. Mother Load,...
  • Photo: Claude Valette
       By Hagit Grossman
    Photo: Claude Valette    Evolution I was once a Paleolithic painter, a sensual hunterplundering the earth, living from hand to mouth.I painted at the cave’s corner, concerned only w...
  • a tram in Hungary creates a streak of blue lights at night
       By Gábor Schein
    Photo by Zsolt Andrasi/Flickr Glints of the tram. The nondescript housesdream numb underwater dreams. Faces aretransparent bubbles popping off from the windowswhere water used to break through. The p...
  • Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
       By Carolyn Forché
    Photo by Todd Slagter/Flickr   A Bridge Behind us a sea-cliff, landfall, ahead the wind,tar-smoke, the sea, a carrick.We sway on a bridge between themabove a great shattering. We have leftthe verge,...
  • Swirl
    Photo: US Army IMCOM Body For Hassan Rabeh, young dancer displaced from Syria, who killed himself by jumping from a seventh-floor balcony in Beirut, Wednesday, June 22, 2016 & perhaps yo...
  • Green train passing platform outside
    Photo: Train Photos/Flickr A Swap  At the market bus stopI’m waiting with a man in ragged clothes,unshaven, his hair greasy,swinging his hand holding a big plastic bagwith “The Big Shopper” written o...
  • Salmon colored cloth on a clothesline
       By Diti Ronen
    Photo by Kai C. Schwarzer/Flickr On recent nights   בַּלֵּילוֹת הָאַחֲרוֹנִיםאֲנִי מְחַפֶּשֶׂת אֶת הַבַּיִת שֶׁלִּינָעָה אַחֲרָיו בִּשְׁבִילֵי הַיְקוּםאַרְבָּעִים שְׁנוֹת מִדְבָּרמְגַשֶּׁשֶׁת בְּיָד...
  • Open book on a bed. Photo by Steve Petrucelli
       By Zsuzsa Takács
    Open book on a bed. Photo by Steve Petrucelli   9:40 a.m. / Venipuncture  The way they step on one another’s heelsuntil a spindle-legged woman with dyedhair trips in the queue, and all sticktheir nec...
  • Rohith Vemula
       By Meena Alexander
    Fragments of an Inexistent Whole  Inspired by Alison Knowles’s “A House of Dust” 1. Syllables sieved through floating gates, Metal clack of printer  Mortal rendition, Fortran...
  • Photo: visitmelbourne.com
       By Alison Wong
    Photo: visitmelbourne.com                dusk, Summerland Beach, Phillip Island here they come rush of learners jerky gear shifts and no idea about cruise control it’s  a wonder the...
  • Illustration: Amima Rizwan
       By Hera Naguib
    Illustration: Amina Rizwan                        after Tarfia Faizullah Here, by this tide of waste thatribbons black across empty fields,                parched grass a girl gnawsand fills...
  • Photo by Paula Goodale
       By Ana Blandiana
    Photo by Paula Goodale   Thistles and Gods Thistles and gods all withered in the sunLike the blanched remains of temples,Long and slender skeletons,Irrevocable examplesOf the burden of being immortal...

World Literature Today
630 Parrington Oval, Suite 110
Norman, OK 73019-4037
405-325-4531



Updated by World Literature Today: [email protected]