Thompson suddenly disappeared from the literary scene in the early 1950s, when he moved to a small town on the east coast of England with his partner, Philip Trower. This collection brings together for the first time the two halves of Thompson’s poetry: his baroque, postwar poetry and the spare, religiously infused verse of his later years.
Kulakov’s poems find the holy in the unsettling yoke of disparates: in the Bible and Qur’an lying side by side; in a mango glowing from within an aluminum can; in Harlem, where “flowers of blood nailed Christ to the walls.” These are poems of displacement, as the poet wanders from D.C. to Moscow to Pakistan to Oxford to Georgia and beyond.
It’s all over my Facebook newsfeed: some retail stores are bucking the trend and staying closed for Thanksgiving Day, and people—Christians and atheists, conservatives and liberals—are applauding them for it.
It was the holy part of the day, my loved ones asleep in other countries, me with no duties and rooms full of quiet. I ate my dark bread with brie and jam, pressed out two cups of dark coffee. And that must be the sun, skulking like a grown-up boy who knows it’s been too long since he visited his mother. He has no excuse but all is forgiven, she will open the curtains, haul up the shades, crack the windows though it’s far too cold for that. We will ring all the bells in the quiet church across the street, unscrew the doors from the jambs, dismantle all the borders, forgive the Russians whether they like it or not. And mercy will pour down like sunshine in the grand photographs in the vast inscrutable book I bought for ten euros at the bookstore downtown, a store full of books translated out of the language I know so that I could read only the authors’ names. Truth must be personal, said Kierkegaard, home from another of his long, brooding walks. And yet not merely private. You shall love the neighbor, he insisted. Outside my window the church is solid and pale, three stories and a squat round tower, in the tower three narrow windows that reveal nothing. Winter sun warms the green roof, but the entrance is still in shadow.
Ten refugees have been selected to compete in the Summer Olympics in Brazil this year. Five of them are runners from South Sudan who have been living in Kakuma, a refugee camp in Kenya. The Sudanese will be joined by two Congol