Henri Meschonnic wanted “to translate not what words say, but what they do.” At times wonderfully, at times unbearably irascible, but always controversial and “incontournable” (unavoidable), Meschonnic — poet, linguist, translator and theoretician — passed away a week ago at the age of 77. His output was immense — close to sixty books — though what he will be remembered for best are most likely his translations from the Old Testament … Read more Henri Meschonnic (1932-2009)
On a sunny Monday morning, here are two sudden translations from Goethe’s West-Östlicher Diwan: Goethe to Hafiz: And if the whole world disappeared Hafiz, with you and only you I would compete . Pleasure & pain As twins we’d share! To love & to drink like you That shall be my pride, my life. BLESSING-PLEDGES Talisman on Carneol Is luck & well-being for the believer, If on Onyx all … Read more Two Poems by Goethe
Well, indeed, that was one busy week: after picking up Habib Tengour at Newark airport early Sunday afternoon (with about an hour extra time in customs thanks to his Arab passport), we made it in good time to the Bowery Poetry project for the Poems for the Millennium volume 3 presentation & reading, with co-editors Jerome Rothenberg & Jeffrey Robinson, Bob Holman, Anne Waldmann, Cecilia Vicuña, Charles Bernstein, Nicole … Read more One busy week…
The English is clear enough to lorry drivers – but the Welsh reads “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated.” Read full BBC article here.
Photo: Robert Kelly As I am thinking about what I can say about translation in 5 minutes for the opening panel of the Translation Symposium here at the University of Georgia (Athens) later today, I get an email from Charlotte Mandell, sending me to a splendid interview on translation she gave to Greta Aart and just published by the Emprise Review. Read it here. And here as hors d’oeuvre … Read more Charlotte Mandell On Translation
Today is the 800th birthday of Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, the great 13th century Persian poet, scholar, writer and sufi mystic (his students founded the still-going Mevlevi order of the Whirling Dervishes). According to the BBC he is the “most read poet in American today,” something due, unhappily, to a long line of newage (rhymes with sewage, as Nathaniel Tarn says) soporific translations that have turned Rumi’s work into Hallmark … Read more 800th B-day of "Most read poet in America today"
Friedrich Hölderlin AN UNSRE GROßEN DICHTER. — TO OUR GREAT POETS. The Ganges’ banks heard the god of joy’s triumph, as from the Indus all-conquering young Bacchus came, with holy wine waking the nations from their sleep. Oh poets, wake them up from their slumber, Who are still asleep, give them laws, give Us life, vanquish, oh heroes, only you Have the right to conquer like Bacchus. DIE SCHEINHEILIGEN … Read more Two little Hölderlin translations
Since translating & posting the extract of Régis Debray’s article on Palestine that appeared in Le Monde Diplomatique, I discovered that said monthly now has an online English edition in which you can read the whole article (under the title: “Palestine: a policy of deliberate blindness”) in a slicker translation than my own quick home-made version. Though I would like to point out some short-cuts taken by that translation. … Read more More re: Debray on Palestine