How is it I'm becoming particle solid tool with a few odd uses even as I'm honed to nothing more than gesture—wave or stride, shrug, stutter? Resolute contradiction, I'm worn so smooth by now I should be able to explain everything. So what is it that escapes me, that on good days, lifted and filled me? Because that's what I would have called light.
From Rooms and Their Airs by Jody Gladding. Copyright © 2009 by Jody Gladding. Used by permission of Milkweed Editions. All rights reserved.
Born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania, poet and translator Jody Gladding received her BA from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and her MFA in writing from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She has published three poetry collections, Translations from Bark Beetle (Milkweed Editions, 2014), Rooms and Their Airs (Milkweed Editions, 2009), and Stone Crop (Yale University Press, 1993), which was the winner of the 1992 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, selected by James Dickey.
Gladding’s poems exhibit a strong connection with place and translation, whether it is the technical, syntactical translation of one language to another or the translation of lyrics to objects in a three-dimensional space. In addition to her poetry collections, Gladding also produces collaborative site-specific installations that examine the convergence of language and landscape.
In her review of Rooms and Their Airs, poet Jean Valentine wrote, “Jody Gladding’s poems are original, beautiful, and fierce, sometimes enigmatic, but never gratuitously, only faithfully so. They bring to their world (our world) a unique mix of light, lightness, and depth: a world in which human feeling is not all the author’s concern—but more rare, like the human face in Bernifal.”
Gladding has translated over twenty-five works of French for Archipelago Books, Columbia University Press, Princeton University Press, Yale University Press, and others.
The recipient of MacDowell and Stegner fellowships, as well as a Whiting Writers Award, Gladding has taught at Cornell University and currently teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in East Calais, Vermont.
Translations from Bark Beetle (Milkweed Editions, 2014)
Rooms and Their Airs (Milkweed Editions, 2009)
Stone Crop (Yale University Press, 1993)
Date Published: 2009-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/beam