It’s been a while already since the last pair of animalsclimbed into the ark.An admirable job.The solitary ones have remained on earth,the unpaired, the ones markedwith a red felt penby God.The chill of the firstdrops disperses themonto the avenuesslipperyfrom the port and docksalready without the strength to look up,where thousands of hands and handkerchiefshappily wave toward the promised land—farewell, farewell, farewell—always in pairs.
Copyright © 2018 by Gemma Gorga
Translation copyright © 2018 by Sharon Dolin
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Gemma Gorga has published six collections of poetry in Catalan. The poem featured here is from Diafragma (Girona), a 2013 collaboration with photographer Joan Ramell. She teaches at the University of Barcelona.
Sharon Dolin is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Manual for Living and Whirlwind (both from Pittsburgh). Her translation from Catalan of Gemma Gorga’s Book of Minutes is forthcoming from the Field Translation Series (Oberlin).
Image was founded in 1989 to demonstrate the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of Western culture. Now one of the leading literary journals published in English, it is read all over the world—and forms the nexus of a warm and active community.
We believe that the great art that has emerged from these faith traditions is dramatic, not didactic—incarnational, not abstract. And so our focus has been on works of imagination that embody a spiritual struggle, like Jacob wrestling with the angel. In our pages the larger questions of existence intersect with what the poet Albert Goldbarth calls the “greasy doorknobs and salty tearducts” of our everyday lives.