On the Death of Viola Fischerová

By Tereza Riedlbauchová (tr. Stephan Delbos)

On the Death of Viola Fischerová

Now I only dream about your vineyard cottage
your name tastes like autumn vines

Today I gave Marina a pageboy haircut
at night in Auvergne her mother called
an ambulance for an outbreak of anguish
last night I received a terrible letter from a friend

I thought I couldn’t write anymore, Viola,
but again your dead hand opened for me
the hatch to forbidden places

—Tereza Riedlbauchová (from Paris Notebook, 2013)

Na úmrtí Violy Fischerové

Teď už jenom sním o tvém domku na vinici
tvoje jméno má chuť podzimní révy

Dnes jsem ostříhala Marinu na mikádo
v noci v Auvergne volala její maminka
sanitku pro záchvat úzkosti
včera jsem dostala zlý dopis od přítele

Myslela jsem, že už neumím psát, Violo,
ale tvoje mrtvá ruka mi znovu otevřela
dvířka do zapovězených míst

—Tereza Riedlbauchová (from Paris Notebook, 2013)

tereza1Tereza Riedlbauchová is a poet, publisher and the deputy director of the Museum of Czech Literature. She is the founder of Literární salon, a publishing house which focuses on the work of beginning poets and has produced twenty-two titles since 2007. Her publications include the poetry collections Blue Apples (2000), Great Biskupov Night (2005), Don Vitor Playing and Other Poems (2009), Paris Notebook (2013) and the lyric poem The Image of the Weeping Virgin (2002). A translation of Great Biskupov Night was published in Bulgaria in 2011. Her poems have appeared – in French, Spanish, English, Bulgarian and Polish – in many magazines and anthologies in the Czech Republic and abroad. She has taken part in international festivals of poetry in Canada, France, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

stephan-delbosStephan Delbos is a New England-born writer who lives in Prague, where he teaches at Anglo-American University and Charles University and edits the web journal B O D Y. His poetry, essays and translations have appeared most recently in Agni Online, Atlanta Review, BlazeVOX, Fourteen Hills, The Istanbul Review, New Letters, and Zoland Poetry. He is the editor of From a Terrace in Prague: A Prague Poetry Anthology (Litteraria Pragensia, 2011). His play “Chetty’s Lullaby,” about the life of trumpet legend Chet Baker, has been produced in New York and San Francisco. He is currently translating the collection The Absolute Gravedigger, by Czech poet Vítězslav Nezval, which is scheduled for publication by Twisted Spoon Press in 2015.

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