A new year’s resolution: translate more poetry

LisboaTiles2015map.jpgAfter three days of the new year, how are your resolutions shaping up? There’s still time to make a new one, and join the Poetry Translation Centre in translating some amazing poetry from around the world. You can join the PTC workshops in London, working with Persian, Urdu, Cuban, Thai, Chinese and Swahili poems, starting in two weeks and running till the end of March.

How does it work? “Poets, translators and poetry enthusiasts work towards new English versions of poems, starting with a literal or ‘close’ translation.” To get a feel for the process, take a look at these three poems for the turn of the year. Click to see the original, a literal and final translation of each, and more of the poet’s work.

Start with an Afternoon at Snowfall by Dilawar Karadaghi, translated from the Kurdish by Choman Hardi and the PTC workshop:

I’m not here.
Shame, I won’t be here tomorrow

Move on to After Midnight by Mohan Rana, translated from the Hindi by Lucy Rosenstein and Bernard O’Donoghue:

I saw the stars far off –
as far as I from them…

and finish with Star Rise by Partaw Naderi, translated from the Dari by Yama Yari and Sarah Maguire:

I am the twin of light…

Except I doubt very much that you’ll stop there. It’s easy to get lost in this wonderful online collection of poems from Africa, Asia and Latin America. You can take them with you throughout the new year by subscribing to the PTC podcast, or buying a chapbook from the PTC collection.


Translator, editor, writer, reader

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Posted in international, poetry, translation

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