Sunday, December 1, 2013

For Poets and Lovers of Poetry

Poets Translate Poets: A Hudson Review AnthologyPoets Translate Poets: A Hudson Review Anthology by Mark Jarman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(I was provided an electronic galley of this book through Netgalley and the publisher.)

So good, I'm buying a copy! A must-read for anyone interested in world poetry and the art of translation. Only missing the original-language verses for comparison. I'm sure most people don't speak every language, but it's one of the joys of reading translations; when one does know both languages, it's easier to see both poet's visions--that's the theme of this collection, if nothing else is--a poem, translated, is two poems. Does one go literal or does one translate for spirit and image?  Mark Jarman's introduction alone is a lovely treatise on this theme.

As well as an overview of world poetry both historical and contemporary, the book contains translations from the careers of several poets, Merwin for one example--you can get an overview of his poetic sensibility over time by reading his translations over time. Though an original conceit of the editors was to arrange the book by translator in order to highlight this, the poems are instead arranged by language and by time within that language. Not a comprehensive collection, but a representation of what's been published in the Hudson Review over the years. Biographical notes on the original authors and the translators place each selection in time and context.

A must-have for any student of poetry and certainly many libraries.

View all my reviews