And on and on, things real and imagined pile on the table. At the end, "It wobbled once or twice, then stood firm."
In a nice touch, the Tillinghasts include an "Autobiographical Sketch," where the poet complains that "I haven't been able to escape from this poem ever in my life. The same poem would turn up in anthologies, the same poem would be talked about by those who know my poetry only remotely; and if they translated a poem of mine into foreign languages, it would be the Table poem." Cansever was right, of course. Even I feel now that I know something of him, of his poetry, even something of the news of his city. And whatever I know feels right, pleasant, even important.
Father and daughter return to Ann Arbor to read from their translations at Nicola's Books on June 1.
[Originally published in May, 2010.]