February 2011

A New Zealand Literary Showcase

Issue 14 Guest Artist:
Gordon Walters

Past Features:
Glasgow Voices
Volta: A Multilingual Anthology
(One poem: 93 languages)

15 Miami Poets

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Jason and Medea by Niel Wright  


Through the angry ocean, wind-blasted surge,
I have gone my journey, horrific passage.

Now at length to this shore I have come,
To this green, afforested shore of long presage,
To a land, after much labour, level and calm.

Hither I came, whether for warfare or in peace
Knowing not well, in accordance with a madcap scheme,
Conceived by another man to a dark purpose.

Among a strange people, in a strange city I tread,
Doubtful how to act and what might come to pass,
But assuming a mask of courtesy or trade.

Lady, what do you see, you in whose gaze
My hesitant appearance so well is tried?
Do you perceive my features under this disguise?


Medea, lovely wench, led on by her gaze,
Through her father’s house to Jason’s chamber goes.

There she finds Jason sleepless but in bed,
Cap-a-pe acoutred all in martial guise:
Armour on legs and limbs, armour on head and body.

Upon that dragon he turns his restless mind,
That on the morrow he is set down to combat,
Not of his own choosing, but by regal command.

Upon that treasure also he turns his thought
Whose value by no means is to be determined,
Which he came to win and will not leave without.

But when fair Medea, lovely in every regard,
He saw standing there, need you wonder that
Armour and thought shortly lay in the discard?


I come, led on by the dream of a supposed visage,
Whose fulfillment not at all did I envisage.

A greater treasure to be brought into arms’ reach
Either by negotiation, asking or siege,
That is than a golden fleece in which a king is rich.

A fiercer dragon, a serpent of more horrid size,
Had not prevented me else miserable wretch
From such a possession as this which I now seize.

O dream, o vision, o sight remotely glimpsed
While yet I navigated oceans, stormy seas,
You led me on by fitful and faint gleams.

Woman, such potency is yours, thus to bewitch
With lovely face, bosom, and lips, and limbs,
The dream alone sustained me through the long watch.


In the death that comes from the loss of heart I live,
Sustained by despair itself and your love.

From this source do I derive the hardihood,
The strength of heart and fortitude required to cleave
The dragon through and through, to sever body and head.

As for that treasure hoard that the dragon guarded,
Great as it is, I count it little to be had;
But, as lightly won, to be lightly regarded.

All petty desires of having and fears of loss
No less from my heart have been discarded,
And the thought of you emplanted in their place.

Lady, in your embrace I find that despair
Turns into a world of joy and solace;
Such is your love’s effect on me, such is its power.