Transreading the Baltics: CONSERVATION by A C Clarke

Conservation is A C Clarke‘s ‘transreading’ of Krišjānis Zeļģis‘s untitled poem about hitting a deer, translated by Jayde Will and published in The Baltic Riveter. A C Clarke’s response derives from rewriting the poem from memory, Alys Conran’s first method of ‘expanded translation’. It is, in Conran’s words, ‘wilfully inaccurate’ and has become more so with reworking. The poem has been written during ‘Transreading the Baltics’ course ran by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese at the Poetry School.



I slammed into a young deer

while you were laughing

in the back of the car.

I hung the gralloched carcase

a week for tenderness,

served it with olives and beer.

The numbles I stirred

into the gravy. Not a thing

wasted, thrift’s the word.

Would an ecopoet cheer?

I think the deer

might applaud.


By A C Clarke

A C Clarke is a poet and translator living in Glasgow who has won a number of prizes over the years and been widely published in anthologies and magazines. Herfifth full collection, A Troubling Woman (Oversteps Books), centred on the Medieval visionary Margery Kempe, came out in 2017. It is a companion book to Fr Meslier’s Confession, which is centred on the atheist priest Jean Meslier. She was one of four joint winners in the Cinnamon Press 2017 poetry pamphlet competition with War Baby, which was published in January 2018.

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