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Capture d’écran 2023-09-15 à 16.40_edite

as grass becomes flesh



Isbn 9782919582358 – November 2023 – 65 pages – 12 €

After Hiraeth, in which Michael Lee Rattigan sought to uncover the palimpsest of his most elusive thoughts and ideas, we now find him writing poems that appear to dissociate themselves from their author; for each poem is the result of an inclination, not necessarily a literary decision. If the poems feel like the shifting of thought within thought, then this is because Rattigan believes, like Bergson before him, that the mind does indeed ‘overflow the intellect’; thus, this poet never allows his ideas to be contiguous, set side by side on a single plain of consciousness, but rather he prefers to shape poems from the very flux of his intuition. The result is a collection that reveals no artificial diversion from the impulse of the writing itself, and whose power derives from a spiritual search depending on a disavowal of any one form of intellectual mediation.

         A single word filling a room

         with silence

         intimation pressing through flesh

         as the wind through leaves

         opening ages of drought and stone

         stirring up the dead

         a third syllable’s leap

         into prayer midsentence

         the warmth of a hand sparks

         from smitten steel




Michael Lee Rattigan has lived and taught in Mexico and Spain, and translated the complete collection of Fernando Pessoa’s Alberto Caeiro Poems (Rufus Books, 2007). Other translations have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Asymptote Magazine, The Black Herald, The Fiend Journal, and in Selected Writings of César Vallejo (ed. Joseph Mulligan, Wesleyan University Press, 2015). He has since been working on César Vallejo’s Trilce and has completed a fresh translation with the poet and translator Mario Domínguez Parra. His poetry collection Liminal was published in 2012 (Rufus Books), and Hiraeth in 2016 (Black Herald Press).

On the blogésar-vallejo


On November 8, 2016, Michael Lee Rattigan read from Hiraeth at Berkeley Books of Paris (Poets Live).


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