Workings of bpNichol's
Translating Apollinaire
by guest writers and artists




bpNichol called Translating Translating Apollinaire a "Research Report," developed by exploring the possible permutations of his first published poem, "Translating Apollinaire." Here is the base poem:

	Icharrus	winging up
	Simon the Magician      from Judea    high in a tree, 
	everyone	reaching for the sun

	                       great towers of stone 
	built by the Aztecs, tearing their hearts out 
	to offer them, wet and beating

	cold wind, Macchu Piccu hiding in the sun 	
	unfound for centuries

	cars whizzing by, sun 
	thru trees passing, a dozen 
	new wave films, flickering 
	on drivers' glasses

	flat on their backs in the grass
	a dozen bodies slowly turning brown

	sun glares off the pages, "soleil
	cou coupé", rolls in my window 
	flat on my back on the floor 
	becoming aware of it 
	for an instant

You'll find a good deal of the first TTA volume reproduced at this site. The book included not only Nichol's first workings of the poem, but some of the poems in TTA 29, a section of workings by other people. Barrie's introduction ends:

Any writer who wishes to submit a version of TTA 4 for inclusion in TTA 29 is invited to do so & can reach me c/o Membrane Press.

Well, I really wish I could reach him, but he is gone. I've changed the press name to Light and Dust, and, after some soul-searching and consultation with Eleanor Nichol, it seems right to continue this part of the project, at least on some level - partly as a memorial to a great poet and a great friend, partly as a simple continuation of his project. It also seems appropriate that I do so on the World Wide Web, a medium I'm sure he would have loved.

So far about 40 people have either contributed to the project or have contributions in progress. Those whom I have asked to participate work in different modes, from web-specific to mail art to visual poetry to lexical poetry. And so it should continue, diverse, pluralistic, inclusive. Work by some of these contributors appears in this first on-line group. I will upload more in the following months. I won't accept work from anyone not already contacted while I'm doing this, but will go on to another round in the summer or fall. This is not a static project, nor should it be, but one that grows.

The first section, by Hart Broudy, appeared in the print edition. bp had encouraged Broudy, as he had encouraged many poets. For some reason, however, despite the great promise of the work he did for a few years, Broudy ceased writing, or ceased publishing. I've tried to locate him, initially to invite him to contribute to Light and Dust Poets, but without success. A friend says he stopped writing because he became discouraged with his work and its lack of an audience. I have selected this work as a transition piece from print to web because it seems to me the best of the guest works that appeared in the print edition. It is also an invitation for Broudy to resume work. Following in bp's footprints, it is also a way of asking those who have become discouraged - for whatever reason - to start again. With many projects, including TTA, Barrie liked to start over again from square one. For those who have not started, now is as good a time as any.

- Karl Young,
New Year's Day, 1998



Hart Broudy

John Fowler

Susan Smith Nash

Michael Basinski

Christy Sheffield Sanford


Marilyn R. Rosenberg

Lois Ward

David Cole

Bob Grumman

Dave Baptiste Chirot

State of Being

Karl Kempton

Harry Polkinhorn

Stuart Pid

Above poem Copyright © 1979 by bpNichol;
reprinted by permission of Eleanor Nichol.

Return to Light and Dust poets.
Return to Kaldron.

Go to bpNichol's Translating Translating Apollinaire.

This is a cooperative presentation of Kaldron
and Light and Dust Mobile Anthology of Poetry.