Magazine | September 19, 2011, Issue

Poetry

TRANSLATING CAMÕES

It’s 1925, I sit in the chair

across from Capablanca. I’m here to replace

Herr Lasker, but the Cuban couldn’t care,

the clock is ticking; there’s sweat on my face.

I see that black’s a hopeless situation:

It’s middle-game, French Defense. But I ignore

the crush of infinite numbers, and calculation,

and push my little pawn to Queen’s Rook 4.

It’s 2001, I’ve read your poems and decide

to start with one about love — when you found

your Catharina — and though I’m mystified

by the endless permutations of words and sound,

I finally lift my pen, in frustration,

rhyming “creation” with “supplication.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Who’s Next?

Imagine a corporation that hired people without reading their résumés, or a major university that drew admissions applications from a hat, or a sports team that filled its roster by ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Innocents Abroad

Barack Obama’s badly flawed worldview and the incoherent foreign policy flowing from it have now disintegrated. Within the past few months, his media acolytes notwithstanding, the evidence has become conclusive: ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Reality Shows

In the world of presidential campaigns, Jim Lehrer has become an institution: He has moderated, or served on a questioners’ panel for, eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates. In doing so, ...
City Desk

Trailer Park

A black bounded space. Longer than wide, wider than tall. Tilted. Distant red lights: possible ways out. A colorless shine, paler, marks a stepped, uphill pathway. Side trails lead off ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Organized Labor vs. Fundamental Rights Robert VerBruggen did an excellent job in a short space of demonstrating the egregious flaws in the National Labor Relations Act (“National Labor Relations Bias,” August ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

TRANSLATING CAMÕES It’s 1925, I sit in the chair across from Capablanca. I’m here to replace Herr Lasker, but the Cuban couldn’t care, the clock is ticking; there’s sweat on my face. I see that black’s ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Blackface Party

I must have missed something: Was there some kind of all-hands white-people meeting at which we voted to kick the Democrats out? Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Beto O’Rourke — what’s up with all the ethnic play-acting? Isn’t cultural appropriation supposed to be a bad thing among progressives? Isn’t ... Read More
Film & TV

A Right-Wing Halloween

‘The world is not a dark and evil place,” insists an exasperated woman played by Judy Greer in Halloween. “It’s full of love and understanding!” I put the question to the class: Is she right? In the new film (not a reboot but a sequel that occurs 40 years after the events in the 1978 original and ... Read More