Limewood yields to the edge of the master’s blade, peeling away like apple skin, revealing soft flesh within
When I first heard the story, I was Persephone, / feet in the blossoms, oblivious, / on the edge of another world.
In the sanctuary, dim-lit by rows of flickering candles shielded by crimson glass sheltered from other and—other still
I began with one short, circumscribed, parenthetical, untitled poem, in a language I didn’t know, a spark of encounter and revelation, purposely fragmentary, and from these four lines, Paul Celan’s poetry has grown outward for me and become immense.
My friend Armaan used to mention an allegory which compared humans to hedgehogs in winter. The hedgehogs don’t want to get near each other because they each want to avoid getting pricked by one another’s prickles.
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Writers are given the liberty to explore their ideas over a series of pieces. These ‘threads’ are woven together thematically or stylistically, and lightly but deftly touch on the feelings, objects, memories, and passions that pervade our days, crystallising them into psychological and artistic truth. They aim to "feel at each thread" of the mingled webs of our lives, as Pope says in his An Essay on Man: 'The spider’s touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.'
From Greek boardings on the Testament, to English translations of the Arabian Nights, all saw translation as an inherent part of reading and thought. But isn’t translation a greater enterprise of stone shaped into verse, and colour turned into melody? Wasn’t Bernini translating in exquisite marble Daphne’s myth? Aren’t Garcilasos’ verses a melodic translation of Daphne's pain? Isn’t translation, then, the intimate fibre of the most subtle artistic creations? Paraphrasis is the column in which writers are invited to join the modest but arcane craft of the translator by translating and engaging with a piece of poetry, prose, visual arts or music.
In light of the recent global crisis, as well as the lockdown of multiple countries around the world, we have decided to publish a few new pieces every day in this special issue. Unlike our monthly issues and ‘The Thread’, our special issue will not feature original works submitted to LPB. Instead, we will feature work by a selection of the LPB team’s favourite artists, writers and musicians, to keep you company through these dark days, in the same way that they are doing so for us.
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