an American poet and the editor of The New Formalist.
Born into a Roman Catholic family of Irish-Polish descent, he grew up and attended high school in Farrell, Pennsylvania, a small steel town in western Pennsylvania. He then studied History and Polish Studies at Alliance College, Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, receiving a BA in 1984. Later that year he travelled to Poland on a fellowship from the Kosciuszko Foundation to attend Kraków's Jagiellonian University. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, he decided to settle in Poland. Since 2013 he has lived in Pittsburgh, PA.
Yankevich writes poems in both traditional metre and in syllabics, and only occasionally ... more »
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Leo Yankevich Poems
Apollo’s Archaic Torso
(after the German of Rainer Maria Rilke) We have no knowledge of his ancient brow where pippins ripen. Yet his torso gleams,
A December Wish
You hear the sound of carols from afar. Bright bulbs and tinsel, cinnamon and cloves. Beyond a hill of snow you see a star.
A Warning to Dissidents
Yes, pretty soon now they’ll be at your door. They’ve orders and a warrant after all. It doesn’t matter. You’ll be on the floor, your wife and children having watched you fall.
A Tiny Glow
Without the moon or stars to guide his sight, without a glint from shanties down below, he rested on the foggy hill that night, and begged the heavens for a tiny glow.
At a Suicide’s Grave(1869-1897)
After 20 Years of Marriage
Here is a river with a little boat moored beside its bank. The boat's the colour of oranges in the south of Greece, all bloody and ripe with sweetness, while the bank's the colour
Break of Dawn
I rise at the break of dawn, still dreaming, half awake, wondering whether I’m gone; but, the sun on the lake,
After the Old Masters
The father looks up to the sky or ceiling (beyond the grey scale of the photograph) with his son wrapped inside his cradling arms. An orderly obscures the boy’s midsection,
An Autumn Evening
(after the German of Georg Trakl) The brown village. A darkness often treads Along the walls that stand in autumn. Mock-
Baroque Nativity Scene
Malachite of tower and dome, clatter of sabots, creaks of wheels, neighs of horses headed home from a market where smoked eels
Milk curdles in her jar, mould forms on her black bread. She’s come so very far, but her blue Polish eyes
A Plurality of Worlds
Intensities of pain— of those once persecuted and those once executed.
Perhaps there’s mercy in the skies, although the Spaniards have seen none. The tears of horror in their eyes reflect the fury of the sun
A Hater Learns About Love
After a long night of interrogation, followed by a thirty-minute trial, there was no doubt about it: I was guilty.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Apollo’s Archaic Torso
(after the German of Rainer Maria Rilke)
We have no knowledge of his ancient brow
where pippins ripen. Yet his torso gleams,
reflecting the candela, luminous streams
that yet pour from his gaze, his glance’s glow
still radiant, though dimmed. If not, his bare
breast would not blind you in the silent turn
of hip and thighs, a smile not flash and burn
through groins, his genitals not ever glare.
If not, this stone would seem deformed and small,
the light beneath his shoulder’s sudden fall
not seem a preying panther’s shimmering mane, ...