Tag Archives: Poetry

A Poet’s Legacy: René Noyau’s “Earth on Fire,” Translated from French by Gérard Noyau and Peter Pegnall

“Earth on Fire” is a compelling gateway into Noyau’s work and into Mauritian literature.

The Net and the Fence: On Jean Daive’s “Under the Dome: Walks with Paul Celan,” Translated from French by Rosmarie Waldrop

By Anna Levett Several times in Under the Dome, Jean Daive’s elliptical, poetic memoir about his friendship with the Jewish German-language poet Paul Celan, a net bag makes an appearance. I imagine it’s the kind of bag in which you would carry fruits or vegetables that you’d bought from a market—a bag made of mesh […]

The Safeguards of Translation: Philippe Jaccottet’s “Patches of Sunlight, or of Shadow: Safeguarded Notes, 1952-2005,” Translated from French by John Taylor

By Samuel Martin Holding the latest volume of notes by the Swiss poet and translator Philippe Jaccottet, turning it over in one’s hands, one’s first impression is indeed of volume and bold color; it is another of the lavish editions that Seagull Books have made their calling card in recent years. One’s second impression, having […]

Where the Neighborhood Ends: Marija Knežević’s “Breathing Technique,” Translated from the Serbian by Sibelan Forrester

By Russell Scott Valentino Marija Knežević is a prolific Serbian author based in Belgrade who has published some ten books of poetry since approximately 1994. She is also the author of several collections of short stories and essays, and the novels Auto (2017) and Ekaterini (2005), the latter translated by Will Firth into English and […]

Writing Through Memory and Digging Through Secrets of the Past: Mykola Bazhan’s “Quiet Spiders of the Hidden Soul,” edited by Oksana Rosenblum, Lev Fridman, and Anzhelika Khyzhnia

The poems included in Quiet Spiders precede a tragedy in Ukrainian history, the Holodomor, or famine of 1932-1933, and the period known as the Executed Renaissance when a generation of Soviet writers and artists were wiped out by Stalin’s regime.

Nostalgia as Oblivion in Nelson Simòn’s “Itinerary of Forgetting,” Translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel

By Cal Paule It’s funny, but I forgot where I left my copy of this book. It’s lost for now, but luckily I have a pdf version. If, though, it were the memory of the exact color of my mother’s hair, or the angles of a roofline above my hometown, I might not be as […]

Translating Silence: Giuseppe Ungaretti’s “Allegria,” translated from Italian by Geoffrey Brock

By Elena Borelli When translating Giuseppe Ungaretti’s first volume of poetry, originally published in 1919 and subsequently reissued in various editions, Geoffrey Brock has chosen to leave the title in the original Italian. The  translation of the word allegria as “merriment” or “mirth” would be misleading for the reader, especially because in the very first […]

GETTING INSIDE THE OUTSIDE: ANDRÉ DU BOUCHET’S “OUTSIDE,” TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH BY ERIC FISHMAN AND HOYT ROGERS

By John Taylor Following upon Hoyt Rogers and Paul Auster’s translation of André du Bouchet’s Openwork (Yale University Press, 2014), this fascinating new translation, Outside—by Rogers and Eric Fishman—draws attention once again to a seminal figure in postwar French poetry. Thematically and philosophically, if not from a stylistic perspective, du Bouchet (1924-2001) can be associated […]

Edge to Edge: Laura Marris In Conversation With John Taylor and Pierre Chappuis

By Laura Marris Some of us, if we are lucky enough, have witnessed it—the moment when a passing line of clouds tangles with the trees of a ridge, blurring the distinctions between branches and vapor, between landscape and sky. This thoughtful, sensitive volume offers the poetic equivalent of that process, a brush between two imaginative […]

On Dispersal and Translation: Golan Haji’s “A Tree Whose Name I Don’t Know,” Translated from Arabic by Stephen Watts and Golan Haji

By Ghada Mourad In an interview with Prairie Schooner, Golan Haji, a Kurdish Syrian poet, translator, and pathologist residing in France since 2011, states: “Translation is a process of changing places while you are in the same place […] It’s the stranger who comes to your house, is welcomed, is invited, and you know that […]

Everyday Illuminations: Gemma Gorga’s “Book of Minutes,” Translated from Catalan by Sharon Dolin

By Mary Ann Newman Unlike American poetry, Catalan poetry tends to shun the confessional or the directly personal. To revive a Lacanian phrase, Catalan poetry is always already political. A language and a literature that suffered continual interruptions owing to lost wars and various repressions—the 1714 War of Succession, the 1923 dictatorship of Primo de […]

Clinical Erotics in Luis Panini’s “Destruction of the Lover,” Translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel

This month, in memory of our contributor Professor Jed Deppman who founded the Oberlin College Translation Symposium, instituted a literary translation minor, and taught courses in literary translation and comparative literature, we are featuring three reviews by Oberlin College Comparative Literature graduates and students, taught and trained by Professor Deppman and other Oberlin College faculty. Professor […]

It’s a Wonderful Death: Hilda Hilst’s “Of Death. Minimal Odes,” translated from Portuguese by Laura Cesarco Eglin

By Alessandro Mondelli In Of Death. Minimal Odes, Brazilian poet Hilda Hilst imagines death not only as the absence of life or as life’s negation, but also as a productive force that imbues life with a wide yet nuanced palette of affects. Hilst, recognized in Brazil as a seminal writer, poet, and playwright of twentieth-century […]

Pablo Neruda Venture of the Infinite Man

“Free falling through the subconscious”: Pablo Neruda’s “venture of the infinite man,” translated from Spanish by Jessica Powell

Reviewed by Arielle Avraham Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) remains one of the best-known South American poets of the 20th century, with copies of his most famous books selling in the millions, and two biographies published about him. His life is the stuff of legend. Born in a rural town in Chile, he began writing poetry as […]

Carmen Berenguer- My Lai

A Scrapbook of “Memorial Clippings”: “My Lai” by Carmen Berenguer, translated from Spanish by Liz Henry

Reviewed by Kelsi Vanada It feels as though the pages of Chilean poet Carmen Berenguer’s My Lai, translated into English by Liz Henry, originated in a scrapbook or journal kept over many years—picked up, loose pages shaken out, and gathered up again quickly and out of order. This sensation is augmented by the inclusion of […]