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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Etter

Beyond the Sea by Elsa Cross (trans. Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Shearsman, 2016), first selection

I've been enjoying Elsa Cross's work for some years now, thanks to Anamaría Crowe Serrano and Shearsman Books. Here are some favourite passages from this collection:

Like a crab the heat draws its pincers closer.


The east wind is heard,

the metal of goat bells,


the incipient polyphony of summer.

from 'Stones'


the last vowel

reverberates in the ear.


Ah! Metaphors,

those liars.


The afternoon is getting drunk

on its endless greenery,

setting its oxygens alight

at summer's end.


In enclosed courtyards

the light seems to rise from a hidden well;

desires gleam--

such is the accumulated transparency.


The chunks of bread

an old man throws at the water

disappear inside fishes' mouths--

leaving circles that still sparkle

in the evening light.

Then he throws out bait.

The castle,

golden in colour,

becomes a melancholy stain.


The sun is going down.

The bay fills with feline trembling.


Unintelligible echoes

and in their hollows

the surf of your name.

from 'Waves'

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