translate it yourself

Tired of bad translations? Put the poetry back into translation yourself!

At the Modern Poetry in Translation website, you can read submit your own English translation of a poem, based on a literal translation and sound recording in the original language, if you don’t speak it. There are 21 English versions of the current Portuguese poem, XLIV, by Alberto Caeiro.

If you are more ambitious, for this autumn’s issue the magazine is currently looking for translations of WWI poetry, especially from less obvious combatant countries like Poland.

Modern Poetry in Translation was founded by Ted Hughes and Daniel Weissbort in the sixties, to bring poetry across the Iron Curtain and into English circulation. Their first edition included three of my favourites: Zbigniew Herbert, Miroslav Holub, and Czesław Miłosz.

The magazine includes lots of interesting reflections on language poetry and translation including this one by Romanian-born author Carmen Bugan: “People ask me so often why I do not write in Romanian that I think about it long and hard. First, I do not want to write in the language in which my family suffered interrogations, prison visits, threats of all kinds. I certainly do not want to remember all the times when we wrote to each other and burned our words.”

Here’s a poem from the current issue, by Christine Marendon, who was born a year before the magazine was founded, in 1964. It’s translated from the German by Ken Cockburn.

Evening Primrose 

In each person there exists a sheersheer drop
drop. Darker than campion
which during the day turns inwards
it likes to spread gold
over broad expanses.
So we, animals and humans,
are also vegetation, layers
of the coal age. We are
offshoots, belonging to the species
which pays with pollen
and honey and still awaits the new age.
The flowers, whose language
lacks a word for ‘garden’,
bend forwards into
the newly flighted scar.
Everything is connected
to not belonging.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in books, international, translation, words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Argentina Barańczak Berlin Best Translated Book Award Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Catalan Catalonia Children's Books Chinese Christmas Carols Clare Cavanagh Clarice Lispector Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Dari David Hackston Dublin Literary Award Edinburgh Festival English Estonian Facebook Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finlandia Prize Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hobbit Hungarian Iceland Icelandic Idioms Illustration India international International Translation Day Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin Literature Lola Rogers Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Nobel Prize for Literature Old English Olga Tokarczuk Owen Witesman Oxford English Dictionary PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Phoneme Media Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese Pushkin Press Queer Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Russian Revolution Salla Simukka Second World War Shakespeare Short Stories Sofi Oksanen Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Suomi100 Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson transation Translation translator Translators Without Borders Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow found in translation on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: