Tag Archives: Poetry
The Built-in Approachability of Culture in “Well-Versed: Exploring Modern Japanese Haiku,” A Haiku Anthology Edited by Ozawa Minoru, Translated by Janine Beichman
After Basho and his immediate disciples, haiku gradually fell out of artistic favor in Japanese society until Masaoka Shiki revitalized it as a respected art form in the late 19th century. “Well-Versed” captures everything that has happened since, with 300 haiku written from around 1900 to the present day.
Translation as Capitulation: Mario Martín Gijón’s “Sur(rendering),” Translated from Spanish by Terence Dooley
Surrendering, giving in, letting go: if Martín Gijón’s poems stage, at the formal level, the poet’s handing over control to language itself, letting etymology and morphology steer his associations, their thematic content also underscores the role of rendition as an act and attitude of romantic love. Dooley, in turn, manages to strike a fine balance between the translator’s obsessive pursuit of the original’s meaning in the target language, on the one hand and, on the other, the acceptance of the original’s ultimate elusiveness.
The appearance of this collection is a statement of intervention into the canon of Latin American poetry. Its contextual materials, which include Weaver’s description of meeting Magda Portal in Berkeley in 1981, attest to a long lineage of intentional stewardship of women’s poetics inspired by Portal’s own fierce advocacy, beginning with the book’s initial publication in 1927.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]