What Sparks Poetry is a serialized feature in which we invite poets to explore experiences and ideas that spark new poems. 

In our series focused on Translation, we invite poet-translators to share seminal experiences in their practices, bringing poems from one language into another. How does the work of translating feel essential to the writing of one’s own poetry? Our contributors reflect on inspiring moments as intricate as a grammatical quirk and as wide-ranging as the history or politics of another place. 

Jennifer Kronovet on Celia Dropkin's "A Fear Growing in My Heart"
Photo: Jennifer Kronovet
Michael Bazzett
How exactly did we get here? they muttered. All our lives we opened for others, yet now it seems life’s just begun—
Celia Dropkin (translated from the Yiddish by Faith Jones, Jennifer Kronovet, & Samuel Solomon)
A fear was growing in my heart: I smelled the putrid odor of my grave around me.
Brooke Ellsworth
What if for a moment we stirred that future
Jennifer Polson Peterson
sad every afternoon of my life. Outside a child runs in the grass. Soon I will appear and call her to me.

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Each member of our diverse board selects poems for our daily poem feature and works with us to identify new outstanding, interesting publications for our thousands of daily readers.