Hélène Cardona


Hélène Cardona








The light on the icon,

the way I see her in my dreams,

the core of her at the edge of darkness

in a magic cauldron always full —

never exhausted —

that brings her back to life,

guarded by a golden serpent

coiled in the shape of an egg,

the world snake marshalling

inner reserves,

the seed of a new journey,

a glimpse of a mysterious and elusive

woman crowned with morning glories.

This is how she lands on the page,

slanted, looking out in space,

integrated within me

save the blue sky across her face.



First published in The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology

From Life in Supension: La Vie Suspendue (Salmon Poetry, 2016)










Nothing compares to death.

In intensive care, a room filled with volatile

substances atop the verdant splendor

of Mont Valérien, calmly overlooking Paris,

my brother lies between worlds,

his brain flooded with blood.


I ponder the mystery of the evolution of flowers,

Saturn’s sixty-two sumptuous moons,

Jovian rings and Uranian storms,

while my brother’s future remains uncertain,

our souls fused in a speck of eternity.

What happens here will not be forgotten.


Day after day I drive along the Seine

to stare at him breathe through tubes —

almost strangers, yet closer than ever.

As autumn deepens, he lives parallel lives.

Unlike his body, he seems at peace.

All I can think is, please God spare him.



First published in California State Poetry Quarterly, Volume 41, Number 3

From Life in Supension: La Vie Suspendue (Salmon Poetry, 2016)








Life in Suspension on the Salmon Poetry website:



Life in Suspension on Amazon:



Beyond Elsewhere on the White Pine Press website:



Beyond Elsewhere on Amazon:







A Romanian translation of Dreaming My Animal Selves was published by Junimea Editions in 2016.











Hélène Cardona is a poet, literary translator and actor, the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Hemingway Grant and the USA Best Book Award. Her books include three bilingual poetry collections, most recently Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016), and Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013); and two translations: Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press, 2016), and Ce que nous portons (Éditions du Cygne, 2014). She also translated Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for the Iowa International Writing Program’s WhitmanWeb.

She co-edits Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics, is Co-International Editor of Plume, Essay contributor to The London Magazine, and co-producer of the documentary Pablo Neruda: The Poet’s Calling. She holds a Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College & Loyola Marymount University, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut & Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. Publications include Washington Square, World Literature Today, Poetry International, The Irish Literary Times, Dublin Review of Books, The Warwick Review & elsewhere.

Hélène had roles in Chocolat, Jurassic World, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Mumford. For Serendipity she co-wrote with director Peter Chelsom & composer Alan Silvestri the song Lucienne, which she also sang. She is the Computer Voice in the TV series Heroes Reborn.



Hélène is the Computer Voice in the TV series Heroes Reborn:











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