Poetry Travels with Anna Blasiak and Lisa Kalloo. From THE ANDROMEDA NEBULA by Anna Gréki, translated by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti

The time has come to settle the score
to the wild rhythm of the dead years

Certain fabulous dreams
insist on sounding wrong

Life takes their rusty old ways for a ride
in the gasping of old throats

Well covered like wet nurses
the interlaced years blow us away
& their transparences groan
under the suction cups of the future

Tender blood whispers as it slides away
Its broken voice is undoing me
Against myself I’m clutching 
at the invisible presumable thread
that embroiders daily reality! 

The old fighters of memory
set up their mock-up life army
in the hibernation 
of political professional marital habit
in the cloak of their dreams they are freezing.

The time has come to make silence
deep inside the self so as to bare
the line of melody that rises
inside the spike of memory’s radars

But freedom with her bared fangs
with a new hunger that each day
will question the day
the strict one who knows her own power by measuring it
against the malnourished of the five continents,
the fighter who works in the solid
concrete of the living dead of the damned of the songs
the great disrupter with her hands full of nothing,
nothing, the one who’ll turn hierarchies over like 
rabbit skins & treat them with the tannin
of the people, the uneducated, unhinged
uncouth & unending one, who is it can love her
with her strong smell her greedy belly
her torn-out nails, her newborn skin
stretched over the joints of a swarming dream?
Who is it can love her, who will understand her?

By Anna Gréki

Translated by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti


From THE STREETS OF ALGIERS

by Anna Gréki

Translated into English by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti

Published by Smokestack Books (2020)


A central figure among the artists and intellectuals living at the time and in the aftermath of the Algerian war of independence, Anna Gréki (1931-66) wrote her first collection in prison and published it while exiled in Tunisia. Her second collection was published a few months after her premature death following complications during the birth of what would have been her second child. At that time she was working on a novel and writing extensively on language, politics and art.


Souheila Haïmiche is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Reading University.


Cristina Viti is a translator and poet working with Italian, English and French. Her translation of Elsa Morante’s The World Saved by Kids (Seagull Books 2016) was shortlisted for the John Florio Prize.


Photo by Lisa Kalloo


Check out the Poetry Travels book list on bookshop.org.


Read previous poems from Poetry Travels:

TEAPOT by Nurduran Duman, translated by Andrew Wessels

IT’S COMING AGAIN by Michael Strunge, translated by Paul Russell Garrett

REPORT FROM ANOTHER CITY by Marcin Niewirowicz, translated by the Author

INTERIOR by Ana Blandiana, translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea

THIS IS LOVE by Joanna Fligiel, translated by Anna Blasiak

REVELATION IN H&M by Menno Wigman, translated by David Colmer

*** (I WANT TO FOLD THIS DAY) by Inga Pizāne, translated by Jayde Will

THE SIEGE by Marcin Świetlicki, translated by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese

FISH by Jana Putrle Srdić, translated by Barbara Jurša

THE WELL by Maarja Pärtna, translated by Jayde Will

THE SHADOW by Pentti Saarikoski, translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah

A FAREWELL TO MY DEAD CLASS by Irit Amiel, translated by Anna Blasiak and Marta Dziurosz

THE GIRLS IN BERGEN-BELSEN by Nora Gomringer, translated by Annie Rutherford

DECEMBER, by Jaume Subirana, translated by Christopher Whyte

ROSE RED, by Ulrike Almut Sandig, translated by Karen Leeder

*** (I D[R]IPPED MY PEN…) by Mario Martín Gijón, translated by Terence Dooley

WHAT COMES by Magda Cârneci, translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Mădălina Bănucu

TRANSLATION by Justyna Bargielska, translated by Maria Jastrzębska

*** (MY EYES, DENSE NIGHT…) by Gëzim Hajdari, translated by Ian Seed

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