mërgimtari - exileCommunication by A C Clarke
Incantation by Alexander Hutchison
Artists in Exile Glasgow
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Within Scotland there are writers from many different countries and backgrounds who write in a variety of languages. Scottish PEN and Artists in Exile Glasgow undertook a series of workshops for mutual translation between writers using different languages, from January to March 2004. The resulting work was published by Survivors' Press in 2004. The poems below are extracted from the nomad 22 pamphlet entitled 'exile', which featured poems in Albanian, Farsi, Arabic & English. The poems below have been translated into Arabic, Albanian and English. For more information on these and other works, please see our find out more section.
|Communication by A.C. Clarke was translated by Alket Dashi, Shahin Memishi and Tessa Ransford.|
Send me an unambiguous signal
From inside your territory.
Give me a passport
Through your frontiers.
Teach me the language
Of your silences.
I want to visit
Not to invade.
Dërgomë një sinjal te pastër
Nga brendësia e vetes tënde
Më jep pashapatën
E botës tuaj
Më mëso gjuhën
E enigmës tënde
Dua të të vizitoj
Dhe jo të të pushtoj
|A C Clarke has been writing poetry for many years. She has been quite widely published, with poems appearing in a variety of magazines (e.g. Acumen, Outposts, Poetry News, Staple) and in a range of competition anthologies. Her pamphlet, 'The Gallery on the Left', was published by Akros Press, November 2003. She has recently been awarded a menteeship on the Royal Literary Fund Mentoring Scheme. She is a member and current organiser of a poetry group founded by Jean Sergeant, the widow of Howard Sergeant. She lives in Glasgow.|
To read the following poem, Incantation by Alexander Hutchison, in Arabic, please download the pdf file from our publications library. Translated by: Ayad Alhiatly, Bouzekri Ettaouchi, Ghazi Hussein, Tessa Ransford and Drew Campbell.
– beginning with a couplet from Carmina Gadelica
and with grace notes from the same source.
I have a charm for the bruising
a charm for the blackening
a charm for cheats and impostors.
I summon from the cold clear air
from the bare branches of the trees
from worms coiling under the ground –
charm against cruel intent
charm for neglect
charm against wicked indifference:
may it lie on the white backs of the breakers of the sea
may it lie on the furthest reaches of the wind.
A salve for those who would grudge against the poor
a salve for those who would harry the innocent
a salve for those who would murder children:
may it lie in the stoniest stretches of the hills
may it lie in the darkest shelving along the shore.
A salve for those that would cram
whatever life they have with possession –
for the rage of owning without entitlement
for the desperate murderous possession of things:
may it lie on the cloud-banks that range across the sky
may it lie on the face of Rannoch Moor in its remoteness.
A charm against mystification by doctors
a charm against deception by the self-appointed
a charm against horrific insistence:
from the breeze that stirs the last of the yellowing leaves
from the slanting of the sun as it falls through the window.
A salve against grasping
a salve against preaching
a salve against promises exacted by threat.
Grace of form
grace of voice
grace of virtue
grace of sea
grace of land and air
grace of music
grace of dancing.
A salve against the uselessness of envy
a salve against denial of our own best nature
a salve against bitter enmity and silence.
Grace of beauty
grace of spirit
grace of laughter
grace of the fullness of life itself.
A salve to bind us
a salve to strengthen heart and happiness:
may it lie in the star-blanket there to spread over us
may it lie in the first light at the waking of day.
|Alexander Hutchison, poet and translator in Scots and English, was born in Buckie in the north-east of Scotland, and has worked mostly as a University teacher - including 18 years in Canada and the USA. He currently lives in Glasgow.|
His first collection, Deep-Tap Tree, published by the University of Massachusetts Press (1978), is still in print. Richard Ellmann, the distinguished critic, biographer of Joyce, Yeats and Wilde, said: "Mr Hutchison is his own man, individual in temperament, pungent and accurate in expression. His work is composed of wit and mystery, and delights his readers, even as it teases them into self-recognition".
Hutchison returned to Scotland from Canada in 1984, and in spite of occasional hankerings for the lotus land of the Pacific Northwest Coast has settled back in. 'Surprise, Surprise' – a poem about everything you did or didn't want to know or contemplate about haggis – was awarded first prize by Norman MacCaig and Edwin Morgan in the SASV Diamond Jubilee Poetry Competition in 1985. The Moon Calf was published by Galliard in 1990, and Epitaph for a Butcher by Akros Publications in 1997. Akros also published his most recent collection, the pamphlet Sparks in the Dark, in 2002.
Currently he is rounding up Scales Dog: Poems New and Selected, and a gathering of translations. Hutchison won an Academy of American Poets Prize as far back as 1970. A couple of years ago he was invited to Arpino in Italy, birthplace of Cicero, to participate in the project 'Il Libro di Pietra' (The Book of Stone), and as a result his poem 'A Saturno Conditum' was engraved in stone and mounted in the ancient town, along with work by other international poets.
Survivors' Press, founded in 1997, constantly pushes the boundaries of social inclusion, forging links with frequently marginalized communities and language groups. The latest series of publications, dæmon, from which these poems are taken, are small squibs (from 16 to 36 pages long) designed to promote & celebrate those voices. Survivors' Press sometimes works with like-minded organisations in order to co-operate rather than compete.
dæmons can be bought for only £2.00 each plus post, from Survivors’ Press, 2/R 5 West Bank Quadrant Glasgow G12 8NT or independent bookshops. Past issues include inside looking in 12 poems by Tom Leonard; exile/mërgimtari poems in Albanian, Farsi, Arabic & English (with Scottish PEN and Artists in Exile). At the printers is ar dùthaich / our land, (with Birds of Paradise) concerning landownership in Scotland; in preparation: poems in Urdu, Punjabi & English (with Ankur Productions).
International PEN was founded in 1921, its aim to renew and extend fellowship among writers within their own country and between nations. Today, with 130 Centres throughout the world, PEN is international in scope and, in addition, recognised by UNESCO as the voice of the worldwide community of writers. PEN is also one of the few international organisations of which Scotland is a full member in its own right. The International PEN Charter calls for better understanding and respect among nations through friendly co-operation between writers in the interests of freedom of expression throughout the world.
Scottish PEN works to:
- defend writers who are being persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression
- champion the cause of women writers and campaigns for equal opportunities for women
- defend minority languages, many of which are threatened with extinction
- assist and integrate writers amongst the asylum seeking and refugee communities of Scotland
- arrange international links, such as the Baltic Writer Exchange.
Artists in Exile Glasgow aims to stimulate a network for artists and performers within the refugee and asylum seeking communities in the city. It is planned that this network will link with existing artistic communities and foster collaborative approaches to making new work, involving different artforms and different cultures.
The project attempts to address the need to provide access for asylum seeking, refugee and displaced artists to the arts community in Glasgow and its resources. It aims to provide opportunities for professional development within this community in an integrated network which is capable of harnessing the creativity of individuals from multi-cultural backgrounds in the creation and performance/exhibition of new work.
dæmons can be bought for only £2.00 each plus postage from
Survivors’ Press, 2/R 5 West Bank Quadrant Glasgow G12 8NT or independent bookshops.
You can also contact Scottish PEN c/o Mary Baxter 18 Crown Court, Glasgow, G12 9ES or email.
Find out more about Scottish PEN on their website or contact them by email.
Read about Tessa Ransford, President of Scottish PEN.
Visit the Artists in Exile Glasgow website.
Contact Gerry Loose at Survivor's Press for more information c/o 2/R 5 West Bank Quadrant, Glasgow, G12 8NT.
Explore the Poetry Online section of the Scottish Poetry Library website for an interactive poetry map of Scotland.
Visit the Scottish Pamphlet Poetry website.
For more poetry please see our Literature and Scots poetry pages.