The Pond - Moonlight, 1904

Stepan Nosek
Do as I say. Kick your shoes off into the reeds and enter the glassy water, blackest and most viscous at the edge. You feel the oily patterns of bright granules drawn to your calves; your shadow, fallen backwards into the lattice and the twinkling dust; the sticky dizziness beneath your feet; the sweet stifled vertigo. And now lean forward a bit, touch the surface with your fists and immerse your hands until they penetrate the light blue leaves pressed together underwater. Then slowly relax, open your fingers as wide as you can, until you feel the pull between them, until the edges of vascular blades tingle in your palms. Until you feel a stabbing in your shoulders. Stay like that for a while. And endure it even longer. Wait to feel what happens, how it slowly passes, how it begins to abate, lose its colour, flow out along stems rooted in the darkness, float away on the bodies of imaginary fish. Don’t move yet. Wait until your body loses feeling. Then come back out onto the shore. When you turn around, you will see that trap. The moon has disentangled itself from the branches. The surface has dulled like a bog puddle coated with morning frost. An impassive calm pearly disk. A mirror turned downward. And that which was rippling, which has been rocking the plaits of the waterweeds, which churns the sludge and shines olive, is the obverse side, separate, beneath it, foreign, there – now just an echo, a background, lines, nature.  

Translation by: Kirsten Lodge

Page 54, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119
Issue 119

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119 includes new poems by 48 poets including Frank Ormsby, John Kinsella, Rachel Coventry, Aifric Mac Aodha, Gerald Dawe, Alice Miller and Claire Potter. Also included are translations by Richard Begbie and Kirsten Lodge, an essay on Bishop, Lowell, Heaney and Grennan by David McLoghlin, and reviews of Paul Muldoon, Paul Durcan, Sarah Clancy, Medbh McGuckian, Kate Tempest, George the Poet, and many more. The issue also features photography by Hugh O'Conor, Dominic Turner, Sheila McSweeney, Fergus Bourke and John Minihan.