Poetry: Aprilia Zank - Gjermani

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Dr. Aprilia Zank is a freelance lecturer in the Department of Languages and Communication at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, where she teaches Creative Writing and Translation Theory.

She was born in Romania and studied English and French at the University of Bucharest. She then moved to Germany where she received her PhD degree in Literature and Psycholinguistics from the Ludwig Maximilian University for her thesis THE WORD IN THE WORD Literary Text Reception and Linguistic Relativity. The research for her PhD thesis was done in collaboration with six universities from Europe, and as a visiting lecturer at Alberta University of Edmonton, Canada.

Aprilia is also a poet and a translator and the editor of two anthologies: the English–German anthology poetry tREnD Eine englisch-deutsche Anthologie zeitgenössischer Lyrik, LIT Verlag, Berlin, 2010, and the anthology POETS IN PERSON at the Glassblower (Indigo Dream Publishing, April, 2014).

She writes verse in English and German and was awarded a distinction at the “Vera Piller” Poetry Contest in Zurich. Her poetry collection, TERMINUS ARCADIA, was 2nd Place Winner at the Twowolvz Press Poetry Chapbook Contest 2013.

Her poetry has been widely published in anthologies and periodicals in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, India, the USA, Canada, Argentina, South-Africa and New Zealand. Her own volume of poetry TERMINUS ARCADIA is due to come out soon.

As a translator, she translates from and into German, English, French and Romanian in collaborative projects with various artists all over the world. In this respect, she organised the W-ORTE Literary Festival 2010 in Munich, the events POETS IN PERSON in London in 2012 and 2014, and the event IMAGINE THE BEATS in Munich, in 2015. These events brought together poets, writers, scholars and artists from many countries.

Aprilia is also a passionate photographer. To her, photography means the attempt to get a new insight into the essence of things. She has organised several photo exhibitions at the Ludwig Maximilian University and other cultural centres in Munich, and several of her images are prize winners and have been selected for poetry book covers.

digging for springs

I had to dig deeper for springs
this year
the ground dry
rocks and roots
barring my way
bound in buckskin
train tickets
for cancelled journeys
family vows
in creaky drawers
growing to ropes
around my ankles
blinded by dust at dusk
and haze at dawn
weary to carry
all those registers
with fading names
and missing addresses
while stray dogs
snarled in mating games
and the owl dived
and tore its prey
on the velvet moss
of the holy stone

I had to dig deeper
this year
beyond layers of soil
and layers of skin
to catch a glance
of the lily
shimmering on waters
thousand years deep.

his name is prophet
inspired by a fellow poet’s verse

I see you
drifting above the clouds
as there is no abode for you
beneath their desultory patterns

you with the patch on your right eye
and the knife in your bowels
you with your rice-paper heart
and the tongue of a hundred tongues

you have reached for the holy light
but it blurred to haze
when you touched it
with your trembling hands

you have walked on soot
and begged for shelter
at celestial gates
but nobody washed your feet
or called you prophet

and when you’re gone
your words will linger about
waiting for translation.

no pictures please

we have our pride after all

the day flickers away
dragging along the last beams
of a weary New York sun

the cold grabs at you
from behind numbered walls
empty-eyed dummies

prophecies of uncertain futures

we may have nothing
but we have
our pride

at dawn
New York snatches its pray
sucks it
chews it
spits its shell
at the close of day

they may have nothing
but they have
their pride

New York is cold
it shuts its doors
behind registered family names
it closes its eyes
desiccating identities

but they have
their pride

New York is mute
it has no answers
to those who go to bed
without prayers
having no bed
and no one to pray to

but, no,
no pictures please
we have our pride

after all;

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