poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
POETREE is a Dreamwidth-based community for discussing and sharing poetry. Each week the admins select a host whose job it is to share at three or four poems and an optional meta post or question for the audience. While hosts are often poets sharing their own work, poems in the free domain or those posted with permission of the author are also welcome, and people who have never written poetry themselves have hosted wonderful themed weeks in the past.

If you are interested in hosting a week, feel free to leave a comment indicating your interest at the current signup post & to take a look at the Recommended Posting Format page. You do not have to be a Dreamwidth member in order to host a week, and non-Dreamwidth members can participate in discussion through OpenID or anonymous comments.

Roughly every third week one of the admins organizes a community themed week delving into a particular aspect of poetry or poetry culture. For more information about these and other themed weeks, please see the themed weeks master post.

===
Community Calendar

CURRENT WEEK: Semi-hiatus; regular posting will resume May, 2016

HOST(S): N/A

CURRENT CHALLENGES: TBA

NEXT COMMUNITY WEEK: TBA

" " TOPIC & SIGN-UP POST: TBA

PREVIOUS WEEKS/HOSTS: Themed Week & Poetry Host Introduction Posts

=

FEATURED POSTS:


Last updated: 4/3/16 by jjhunter
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Comm member [personal profile] alexseanchai is hosting Two By Two: Fun With Couplets at their journal today. All are welcome and encouraged to drop by.
All conversation on this post
must occur in couplets.

Rhyming or not, metered or not, just one or not,
it matters not as long as it's in couplets.

Talk about your day, how you're feeling,
media you've recently consumed, anything you like.

Today's prompt is blue
but you can discuss other things too.
---
Are you a member of [community profile] poetree? If you plan on hosting an online poetry event of some kind, please let the admins know by PM or mention in the weekly Sunday Picnic post, and we will post a short advertisement on your behalf to the comm.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Comm admin [personal profile] jjhunter is hosting another round of How Are You? (in Haiku) at her journal today. All are welcome and encouraged to drop by.
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.
---
Are you a member of [community profile] poetree? If you plan on hosting an online poetry event of some kind, please let the admins know by PM or mention in the weekly Sunday Picnic post, and we will post a short advertisement on your behalf to the comm.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Comm admin [personal profile] jjhunter is hosting another round of How Are You? (in Haiku) at her journal today. All are welcome and encouraged to drop by.
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.
---
Are you a member of [community profile] poetree? If you plan on hosting an online poetry event of some kind, please let the admins know by PM or mention in the weekly Sunday Picnic post, and we will post a short advertisement on your behalf to the comm.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Comm admin [personal profile] jjhunter is hosting another round of How Are You? (in Haiku) at her journal today. All are welcome and encouraged to drop by.
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.
---
Are you a member of [community profile] poetree? If you plan on hosting an online poetry event of some kind, please let the admins know by PM or mention in the weekly Sunday Picnic post, and we will post a short advertisement on your behalf to the comm.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
jjhunter

Comm member [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith is hosting her monthly crowdfunded Poetry Fishbowl today. All are welcome to leave prompts related to this round's theme of 'earn your happy ending'.

===
Are you a member of [community profile] poetree? If you plan on hosting an online poetry event of some kind, please let the admins know by PM or mention in the weekly Sunday Picnic post, and we will post a short advertisement on your behalf to the comm.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
I'm bilingual in German and English, and I'm terrible at translation, and still I look at Der Vorleser being translated into English as The Reader and I cringe, because there probably isn't a way to do it better, but you're still losing important information: the German actually means The Reader-Out-Loud, and if you're familiar with the book or the film, well...

... and that's a two-word prose title. I also happen to live 30 minutes away from the Saison Poetry Library, and am working my way slowly through a subset of its contents. Most recently I acquired a volume of the selected works of Neruda, with choices and translations by Robert Bly, and I am now pretty certain I am never going to pick up anything he's translated ever again.

On the one hand is that he decided to make a selection of Neruda's early work that demonstrates that during his early twenties, the poet went through a phase of thinking that imagery like waterfalls of sperm and anemones were a good idea (from the complete absence of raining spermatozoa in his later output I deduce that he changed his mind on this subject).

On the other, which I consider far more damning, is the quality of translation. I don't speak Spanish; I have an A-level in Latin (with significant Latin-to-English poetry translation component), and I've just about got enough French to navigate public transport and buy vegetarian food. And yet.

There is the simple, the potentially arguable, as from Ode to Salt:

Y luego en cada mesa
de este mundo,
sal,
tu substancia
ágil
espolvoreando
la luz vital
sobre
los alimentos.

...

Polvo del mar, la lengua
de ti recibe un beso
de la noche marina...
And then on every table
on this earth,
salt,
your nimble
body
pouring out
the vigorous light
over
our foods.

...

Dust of the sea, the tongue
receives a kiss
of the night sea from you...

"Polvo" I would be inclined to translate as "powder" rather than "dust"; it's the same root found in a wide variety of Indo-European languages (e.g. German Pulver), and "powder" for me keeps more of the mouth-shape, the taste, of the word than "dust"; and I prefer the connotations and nuance suggested by powder. But, hey, this I recognise as personal preference, rather than technique.

But to render sal,/tu substancia/ágil as salt,/your nimble/body? No. I'd argue very strongly that Neruda chose to place ágil (nimble, agile) on a line of its own, separate from and following "your body", for reasons to do with poetry; I don't see any reason that Bly couldn't have rendered the English salt,/your body--/nimble-- or similar: preservation (... ha) of both the poetic and the literal.

That's a long-standing argument, of course -- whether translations should be faithful to the letter or the spirit. This is some of why Simon Armitage's parallel translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (which he writes about in the Guardian; excerpts of praise are available on his website) is so highly regarded: he has attempted to preserve both in a new piece of poetry, recognising that poetry resides in alliteration and meter as much as in imagery.

I submit that Bly fails at both.

Read more... )

In sum: I have been reminded once again that I adore parallel translations for all sorts of reasons, even when I don't speak the source language; and I have convinced myself that Robert Bly is someone whose work I wish to actively avoid. And: for all the somewhat woeful and strident tone of this post, I would love for us to talk more about priorities in poetry translation - how we prioritise for ourselves, and how that shifts with context - and about favourite translators. Thoughts decidedly welcome!

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