Tag Archives: Helen Constantine

From Switzerland

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In my early years of writing, I started to wonder when the next letter of acceptance or rejection might arrive. We had a dog, and often this creature would bark wildly at the postman – the arch enemy of dogs, apparently, followed by the newspaper man and the pandesal delivery boy. Those stories about a pet chewing one’s homework are only true if you had a dog like ours. This dog jumped for anything that got placed in the postbox or stuck between the topmost metal spikes of our gate. So I had to know when the postman arrived, usually around three in the afternoon. A chewed up letter is not easy to read, let alone retrieve.

These days I live on a semi-rural area where no postman comes around. We have to drive to a small shopping centre where they have postboxes. A bit of a trip, so I go once a week, usually on a Friday. Today, though, I felt something was calling me. I went, and sure enough there was something, posted all the way from… Switzerland?!?

I’d never received a parcel that had been posted from Switzerland. Odd, since as far as I know Modern Poetry in Translation is published in the UK. Here then, to share with friends and readers, my bit of excitement for the day!

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The Dialect of the Tribe – MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION

Four Filipino poems of mine which I translated to English have been published in the most recent issue of Modern Poetry in Translation: The Dialect of the Tribe (Issue 3 Number 16). One of the poems, “Galing Ingglatera” / “From England,” appears in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan (UST Publishing House 2011). Two poems are from previous books. “Aso sa Tabi” / “Pet” is from Beneath an Angry Star (Anvil 1992) and “Siglo” / “Century” from Salimbayan (Publikasyong Sipat 1994) while the last one, “Ngayong Gabi” / “This Evening” has never seen print.

I am looking forward to receiving my copy of this amazing anthology in the post. Perhaps I’ve found a new audience for my work? 🙂

Here is a snippet from the issue’s editorial:

A language must evolve or die, all its speakers may contribute to its life. And every speaking voice of a language is unique, every person’s speech is an ideolect, every poet’s language is as distinguishable as his or her DNA. Translating a poem, you mix your own voice with the poet’s. Thus doubly flighted, poems pass over the frontiers like seeds.