Every week the editors of The Paris Review Use the selection for interviews, stories, poems and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these activated parts delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday by registering for the Redux newsletter.
This week at The Paris ReviewWe celebrate the release of Poet at work, our newest collection of interviews. Read on for the work of three of the authors included in the book: Elizabeth Bishop’s Art of Poetry Interview, Ishmael Reed’s poem “The Diabetic Dreams of Cake”, and Pablo Neruda’s poem “Emerging”. You can read too Paris Review Poetry editor Vijay Seshadri’s introduction to the book about the Every day.
If you enjoy these free interviews, stories, and poems, subscribe to them The Paris Review? You will also receive four new issues of the quarter delivered straight to your door. Or subscribe to our new bundle and receive Poet at work for a 25% discount.
Elizabeth Bishop, The Art of Poetry No. 27
Issue No. 80 (Summer 1981)
I can write prose on a typewriter. No poetry. Nobody can read my writing, so I write letters on it. And I finally trained myself so that I can write prose on it and then correct a lot. But for poetry I use a pen. Sometimes about halfway through I write a few lines to see what they look like.
The diabetic dreams of the cake
By Ishmael Reed
Issue No. 218 (Fall 2016)
“Wall Street Says Cake Sales Are Low”
Or to be very clear
“Cake is soda”
Why does a diabetic dream of cake?
Asked to leave a temple
Because he didn’t know these rice cakes
Was it a sacrament?
(He managed to put something in his pockets)
He dreamed that Mount Diablo was a devil’s cake
He started chewing it until it was his way
Interrupted by his pancreas
The pancreas had handle-like arms and legs
It raised a hand and motioned him to stop
He pushed the pancreas aside and finished his
Enjoy the meal…
By Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid
Issue 57 (spring 1974)
A man says yes without knowing it
how to decide for yourself what the question is
and is caught up and then taken away
and never escapes its own cocoon again;
and so are we and we will fall forever
in the deep wells of other beings;
and a thread wraps around our necks
another devours a foot, and then it is impossible
impossible to move except in the well –
no one can save us from other people …
If you liked the above, don’t forget to subscribe! In addition to four print copies per year, you get full digital access to our archives worth sixty-eight years. Or subscribe to our new bundle and receive Poet at work for a 25% discount.