Another Mandelstam Poem via Celan

From Paul Celan’s radio-essay on Osip Mandelstam, here is a further Mandelstam poem — a very literal translation of Celan’s German version. Earlier extracts of this piece can be found here, here and here. JANUARY 1, 1924 Whoever kisses time’s sore brow will often, like a son, think tenderly how she, time, laid down to sleep outside in high heaped wheat drifts, in the corn. Whoever has raised the … Read more Another Mandelstam Poem via Celan

Mandelstam via Celan (2)

Last December I posted the opening of Paul Celan’s radio-essay on Osip Mandelstam — which you can read here — and earlier still some the notes Celan wrote when composing the radio-essay — which you can read here. Both come from the German variorum edition of Der Meridian, the translation of which I am finally completing these days & which should come out next year from Stanford University Press. … Read more Mandelstam via Celan (2)

"Whisk! Don't Churn!" Reviews & more

Two reviews of Nicole Peyrafitte & Michael Bisio’s CD Whisk! Don’t Churn!: — Laura Hinton: “How to Cook Live Poetry: The performance Art of Nicole Peyrafitte” —>here —Greg Haymes review in the Albany Times Union: —>here * * * A good piece by David Noriega on Jerome Rothenberg’s “total translations” of the Navaho Horse Songs (with soundfiles) at the Poetry Foundation’s site: —>here * * * Since the publication … Read more "Whisk! Don't Churn!" Reviews & more

George Economou on C.P. Cavafy Translations

Some weeks ago, The New York Times Book Review published a review of recent translations of the Greek poet C.P. Cavafy. A rather sloppy job by someone who doesn’t in fact know Greek. The poet, translator & scholar George Economou sent a letter to the editor, critical of this (& other) reviews of Cavafy’s work in translation, which the Times did not deign publish. Economou’s points are well taken, … Read more George Economou on C.P. Cavafy Translations

Unica Zürn's Anagrams

Last week’s reading at The Drawing Center brought back the pleasure I had when translating and working on Unica Zürn’s anagrammatic poems. I had published these nine translations back in the early nineties in Clayton Eshleman’s SULFUR, but feel like posting them today again. A more deteailed essay on Zürn and Hans Bellmer is forthcoming in my collection of essays, Justifying the Margins, to be published later this month … Read more Unica Zürn's Anagrams

Henri Meschonnic (1932-2009)

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)

Two Poems by Goethe

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

One busy week…

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…

Charlotte Mandell On Translation

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