Hélène Cardona

Hélène Cardona

Hélène Cardona is the author of seven books, most recently the award-winning Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016) and the translations Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona, Salmon Poetry, 2018), Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press, 2016), winner of a Hemingway Grant, Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne, 2014), and Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for WhitmanWeb (2016).

She has judged the 2017 Jacar Press Full Length Competition, 2016 PEN Center USA Translation Award, 2015 Writer’s Digest Challenge, and 2014 Rabindranath Tagore Award.

Hélène also translated Rimbaud, Baudelaire, René Depestre, Ernest Pépin, Aloysius Bertrand, Maram Al-Masri, Eric Sarner, Jean-Claude Renard, Nicolas Grenier, Christiane Singer, and John Ashbery.

She wrote her thesis on Henry James for her MA in American Literature from the Sorbonne and worked as a translator/interpreter for the Canadian Embassy in Paris. She taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

Her work has been translated into 16 languages. She co-edits Plume, Fulcrum, and Levure Littéraire.

Acting credits include Chocolat, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Spy, Serendipity and Mumford, among many. Producing credits include the award-winning documentary Femme: Women Healing the World, The Cure, We the People, and Pablo Neruda: the People’s Poet.

 
Ouranoupolis Pantoum

A love song cast upon the vastness of the deep
~ Carl Sagan

She came to me once in a dream,
Luminescent, clad in white, elated,
So much younger than I ever knew her,
Thankful for my return to Chalkidiki.
 
Luminescent, clad in white, elated
For the first time since her abrupt departure,
Thankful for my return to Chalkidiki
Where holy mountains stretch into sea.
 
For the first time since her abrupt departure,
Monasteries sculpted high on rocks lance skies and suns
Where holy mountains stretch into sea,
Trident beckoning the Aegean.
 
Monasteries sculpted high on rocks lance skies and suns,
A direct line to God,
Trident beckoning the Aegean.
She embraced me with such love,
 
A direct line to God,
We were only one.
She embraced me with such love,
Pain or suffering never existed,
 
We were only one.
No resources wasted like granary in empty houses,
Where pain or suffering no longer exist.
Only bliss, and she the flower Mage,
 
No resources wasted like granary in empty houses,
She makes me gardener of memories.
Only bliss, and she the flower Mage,
Roses climbing back into my life,
 
She makes me gardener of memories.
I woke with sheer joy,
Roses climbing back into my life,
I too sea, sand, wind and pine honey.
 
I woke with sheer joy,
Beams of love and innocence,
I too sea, sand, wind and pine honey,
Altered like a glimpse into now.
 
Beams of love and innocence,
So much younger than I ever knew her,
Altered like a glimpse into now,
She came to me once in a dream.

 
From Life in Suspension, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry (2016).

 
For other contributions by Hélène Cardona, please follow the link below:

 
All poems on this post: © Hélène Cardona
Published with the permission of Hélène Cardona