Британский Совет в России совместно с журналом «Иностранная литература» объявляют конкурс художественного перевода стихотворений британской поэтессы Шинейд Моррисси.

Участникам конкурса предлагается перевести одно или несколько стихотворений из последнего сборника Шинейд, «Параллакс» (Parallax).

Подробнее об условиях конкурса читайте здесь.

Тексты для перевода


A beautiful cloudless morning. My toothache better.
William at work on The Pedlar. Miss Gell
left a basket of excellent lettuces; I shelled
our scarlet beans. Walked out after dinner for letters—
met a man who had once been a Captain begging for alms.


The afternoon airy & warm. No letters. Came home
via the lake, which was near-turquoise
& startled by summer geese.
The soles on this year’s boots are getting worn.
Heard a tiny, wounded yellow bird, sounding its alarm.       


William as pale as a basin, exhausted with altering.
I boiled up pears with cloves.
Such visited evenings are sharp with love
I almost said dear, look. Either moonlight on Grasmere
                                                                   —like herrings! —
or the new moon holding the old moon in its arms.


In other noises, I hear my children crying—
in older children playing on the street
past bedtime, their voices buoyant
in the staggered light; or in the baby
next door, wakeful and petulant
through too-thin walls; or in the constant
freakish pitch of Westside Baltimore
on The Wire, its sirens and rabid gunfire,
its beleaguered cops haranguing kids
as young as six for propping up
the dealers on the corners, their swagger
and spitfire speech; or in the white space
between radio stations when no voice
comes at all and the crackling static
might be swallowing whole a child’s
slim call for help; even in silence itself,
its material loops and folds enveloping
a ghost cry, one I’ve made up, but heard,
that has me climbing the stairs, pausing
in the hall, listening, listening hard,
to — at most — rhythmical breathing
but more often than not to nothing, the air
of the landing thick with something missed,
dust motes, the overhang of blankets, a ship
on the Lough through the window, infant sleep.


The Royal children have been sent a gift—
A map of Europe from 1766
Complete with longitude, painted onto wood,
Like any other map in brown and green and red,
But then disfigured: cut up into parts,
A disassembly of tiny courts
Strewn across the table. There is a key
To help the children slot, country by country,
The known traversable world in place:
Little Tartary, Swedish Lapland, France,
The Government of Archangel. The sea
Has been divided into squares, crudely,
As though the cast-iron sides of nations
Still applied (but with more attention
To geometry) while the engraver’s signature
—A circle, his name, a folded flower—
Has been deftly sawn in half. If successful,
The three young princes and the oldest girl
(This is not, after all, a lesson in diplomacy
So she can play too) will, ironically,
Undo the puzzle’s title and its claim:
Europe Divided in its Kingdoms
Shall be Europe reconfigured, whole.
They start in the top left corner with the scale
Then fill the other corners in: ‘Part of Africa’,
A scroll, the blank of simply ‘Asia’
Rolling off to hordes and steppes and snow
Beyond the boundary. Outlines follow,
Aided by exquisite lettering:
‘The Frozen Ocean’ solidifies across the map’s ceiling.
And so the Royal children spend an hour
Staring and exclaiming, clicking together
(What joy!) the angled buttress of a continent—
Their own unlikely island on a slant
By its farthest edge, and in their trance ignore
What will no longer fit: Aotearoa, America.

V is for Veteran

A soldier returned from a war
was how my P6 spelling book put it I saw

                           cripples with tin cans for coins
                           in dusty scarlet, back from some spat of Empire.

                                                                                Later I became aware of buildings
                                                                                built in squares around a courtyard
where every room looked down
to a fountain

                          rinsing and bleaching the light
                          assiduously as the women

                                                                               who in folded hats like wings
                                                                               washed clean their wounds.

My erstwhile stepfather was one
for whom Vietnam

                         was a constantly recurring dream—
                         the jungle inching its tendrils  

                                                                                into his lungs until he becomes
                                                                                half-man, half-vine, asphyxiating.

The word itself has a click in it.
It halts before the ending.

                      Boats left stranded in trees.
                      The ones that survive are amphibian.

                                                                               As I speak, there is something muscled
                                                                              and bloody in the sink

the boy young enough to be my son
spat out and I can’t look.

                     I don’t know how he got inside my house.
                    The stereo is playing Buckets of Rain

                                                                             by Dylan,
                                                                             over and over again.


Belfaste is a place meet for a corporate town, armed with all
commodities, as a principal haven, wood and good ground,
standing also upon a border…

     —extract from a letter to the Privy Council
     from the Earl of Essex, 1573.


Where nothing was, then something. Six months ago
most of this was sludge and a gangrenous slip-way
dipping its ruined foot in the sea — a single rusted gantry
marking the spot where a small town’s population
of Protestant men built a ship the size of the Empire State Building.
Smashed cars and wreckers’ yards flourished in between.


A skin-stripping wind. This morning I walk on concrete
smooth as a runway with a full-scale outline laid in lights
of the uppermost deck. Railings as over a stern.
Grass. Seating. The memorial for the dead hosts names
I can’t pronounce — Sjöstedt, Taussig, Backström—
in immaculate glass. Once, I count a surname seven times.

Through the Eye of a Needle

                                Still shorter than my hip
                         but solid, heavy as a scooped-full
             coal-scuttle, hair so fingerwrapped and knotted
          it stands in coils about her ears and won’t comb flat,
       cherubic, with that dimpled roll of fat above the buttocks
the stubby painted angels carry brightly, her feet and hands a fan
  she opens frequently to admire the slotted hinges of her bones,
         to blow between the gaps, arm-skin like powder down,
            an almost-constant frown atop a round bright box
                with treasure in it: seamless lips, even teeth,
                         eyes that loop the swallows up

                               on their traceable tethers
                          to harry them, upside-down, into
                the huge room of her brain and make them fit
            the vivid, random furniture pre-assembled there—
        buttercup petals crushed on her palm, the Teapot Song,
dust motes and the taste of rust, shadows under her cot that grow
           vast without a night-light, hunger, always satisfied,
             its own fat child in a caul and sleepiness a wall
                     you dig-a-hole-and-curl-up under—
                       where they leave their threaded
                           flight-path like the imprint
                              on a carpet of a stain.