On Translating Poetry

Going off the Linux topic (which I haven’t started yet, lol). Just something I feel I have to say.

I must admit I don’t see much sense in prose translations of poetry.

After all, the greater part of (traditional) poetry is form, not content. Many great poems look fairly silly in prose. And yet there are those theorists who say that rhymed translations are unfaithful caricatures. Yes this can be “theoretically” proved but it kind of goes against what a normal reader wants to see. A normal reader who wants to read a poem wants to see a poem, not a messy lot of prose.

I strongly believe that the form should be preserved – if it’s a sonnet in the SL, it should be a sonnet in the TL. Form is meaningful in itself and it also structures the meaning of the words.

I think that good translations of poetry don’t even feel like translations. They feel like poems in their own right, though written using the form & imagery of another poem.

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