Steven Peterson


Three Translations from Languages I Don’t Know

  1. From Rainer Maria Rilke

The Panther

They think they know me but no way, they don’t.
My motto: what glows inside stays inside.
Will zoo bars save their horrid human hides?
Not from my freaky yellow eyes they won’t.

  1. From Li Bai

Drinking Alone Under the Moon

God, I’m drunk.
The moon is my only friend.
I lift my cup to my friend, the moon.
Damn it, I poured wine all over me.

  1. From Charles Baudelaire

La Beauté

Hey, that means beauty and baby I got it.
You can bet those poets always spot it.
I rescue them from their creative lockouts.
Besides, most poets aren’t exactly knockouts.

Steven Peterson‘s recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alabama Literary Review, America Magazine, The Christian Century, Dappled Things, and First Things. His plays have been produced throughout the USA and his web site ( provides links only to the good reviews. He lives in Chicago.