Poetry Travels with Anna Blasiak and Lisa Kalloo: THE KNOWLEDGE OF EVERYTHING by Eleni Cay, translated by John Minahane and the Author

Swifts sleep, mate, eat and feed in the air.
They cut the sky with their scythe tails, lay
the clouds on blue fields in layers of ivory white.
You need a shelter. Marked roads. Shepherds
and machines to craft them to immaculate.
Still, there are holes in your roofs and paths –
and you can't even see them. The knowledge
that cast you out of Eden is merely a foundation
for the boundaries of your soul. The forces
that steer your addictions cross
with the God you domesticated in
the gaps between your thoughts.

Eleni Cay

Translated by John Minahane and the Author

Poem from Eleni Cay’s Preludes / Prelúdiá, Versopolis at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2021.

Eleni Cay is a Slovakian-born poet living in Norway. Her award-winning first collection was published in Slovak (Cakanka Press), German (Hein Verlag), English (Parthian Books) and is forthcoming in Greek and French. She is the author of three pamphlets (Westbury Arts and Eyewear Press), one chapbook (Poetry Space) and her second collection titled Love Algorithm was published by Black Spring Press in October 2021. Eleni’s poems appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Acumen, Atticus Review, The Cardiff Review and Poetry Ireland Review. Eleni is known for her multimedia poetry, which has been screened at international festivals and featured on Button Poetry. For regular updates, check out Eleni’s Instagram page @elenicay and her digital home www.eleni-cay.com

John Minahane was born in Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland in 1950. He was educated in Ireland and worked there from 1971 to 1996 at a variety of occupations. He contributed to and sometimes edited some Irish literary journals. Since 1996, he has lived and worked in Slovakia. From 1996 until 2013, he taught English at the Akadémia vzdelávania in Bratislava. Since 2003 he has also produced English translations of literary, musicological, art-historical, ethnological, and other writings in Slovak, and recently also of some writings in Czech. He is currently engaged full-time in translating.

Photo by Lisa Kalloo

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

Read previous poems in the Poetry Travels series:

ALIBI by Ewa Brzoza Birk, translated by Anna Blasiak

PATIENCE by Ziba Kirbassi, translated by Stephen Watts

HARLEQUIN by Arjola Zadrima, translated by Vlora Konushevci

SIRENS by Victoria Amelina, translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky

JOB: A WOMAN by Dominika Lewicka-Klucznik, translated by Anna Blasiak

BAGS by Blerina Rogova Gaxha, translated by Vlora Konushevci

TONGUEFISH by Yolanda Castaño, translated by Keith Payne

WHAT DO YOU NEED by Friederike Mayröcker, translated by Christina Daub

A WORK OF BIOGRAPHY by Max Jacob, translated by Ian Seed

UNTITLED POEM by Ivano Fermini, translated by Ian Seed


LIGHT by Vasyl Makhno, translated by Olena Jennings

A MESSAGE FROM THE ISLE OF WIGHT by Wioletta Greg, translated by Maria Jastrzębska and Anna Blasiak

HOME by Nataša Sardžoska, translated by the Author

ONLY THE BEGINNING COUNTS (4) by Jan Baeke, translated by Antoinette Fawcett

*** (RABID WINDS) by Gerður Kristný, translated by Rory McTurk

ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS by Vainius Bakas, translated by Kerry Shawn Keys

AGGRESSOR’S MONOLOGUE by Artūras Valionis, translated by Jura Avizienis

THAT’S ALL by Jurgita Jasponytė, translated by Jura Avizienis

UNTITLED by Linas Umbrasas, translated by Audra Skukauskaitė

FIRST SPRING OF THE WAR by Vytautas Kaziela, translated by Jura Avizienis

A LETTER TO A CHILD by Lina Buidavičiutė, translated by Ada Valaitis

UNTITLED by Aneta Kamińska, translated by Anna Blasiak

TWO LYRICS OF LOVE AND MEMORY by Lina Kostenko, translated by Stephen Komarnyckyj

CROW STUDY by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Ludmila Khersonsky, translated by Maya Chhabra

UNTITLED POEM by Iryna Vikyrchak

From THE ANDROMEDA NEBULA by Anna Gréki, translated by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti

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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