May 1999

Steven Ford Brown

Steven Ford Brown (photo by Laverne H. Clark) Steven Ford Brown's translations of Angel Gonzalez and Carrera Andrade have appeared in American Voice, Chelsea, Harvard Review, Poetry, Quarterly West.  Considered one of most important Latin American poets of century, Steven Ford Brown's book of translations is Astonishing World: Selected Poems of Angel Gonzales, 1956-1986 (Milkweed Editions, 1993).

   Steven Ford Brown translates the work of Jorge Carrera Andrade.

Jorge Carrera AndradeClick to hear Steven Ford Brown's introduction Jorge Carrera Andrade (1902-1978) served as Ecuadorian ambassador to numerous countries.  The author of more than seventy books, he published forty-five volumes of poetry.  Praised by American poets Paul Engle, Archibald MacLeish, Thomas Merton, Carl Sandburg and William Carlos Williams, Carrera Andrade served briefly on the faculty of SUNY Stony Brook, gave lectures at Harvard & Vassar, and participated in a literary festival at the Library of Congress.  In 1975 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Clock    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio

for Jaime Torres Bodet

stonecutter of time.

Obdurate chisel, pendulum,
striking the hardest wall of night,

The vanilla awakens, composing
a suite of fragrances in the armoire.

Overseer of the clock's work,
silence moves about in hushed slippers.



Song of the Apple    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio

Afternoon sky in miniature:
yellow, green, flesh-colored
with bright stars of sugar,
tiny satin clouds.

Hard breast of apple
with snows slow to the touch,
rivers sweet to the taste,
skies of delicate fragrance.

Symbol of knowledge.
Bearer of a higher message:
the law of gravity
or the beloved sex.

The apple in our hands
is the memory of paradise.
Miniature sky: in your curve
an angel of fragrance is flying.



Spring & Co.    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio

The almond tree has bought a dress
for first communion. Sparrows
in doorways advertise their green merchandise.
Spring has already sold
all of its white clothing, its January masks,
and today obsesses only with blowing
its propaganda into every corner.

Reeds of glass. Bottles of spilt perfume.
A carpet laid down for school children to walk on.
Little baskets. Batons
of cherry trees. Oversize gloves on
ducks in ponds. The stork: a flying parasol.

A typewriter breeze in the leaves,
an inventory of fragrances
as the display case of night arises:
cross of diamonds, little red lanterns,
and rosary of precious stones.

March has lit sparks in the grass;
the useless old spruce tree has put on green spectacles.
After these past months spring has now prepared
an order of fruit jars of preserved
grapes—glands of sweet crystal—
and gilded leaves to store away sadness.

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Steven Ford Brown (translating Jorge Carrera Andrade): Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue SevenThe Cortland Review