Poetry anthology recommendations please

Benny B

Well-known member
Yeah, I suppose most of that comes from the more literal translations throwing up all kinds of strange stuff that also makes you think about English in a different way. I think it's very healthy for literature.
 

woops

is not like other people
look at it like this

i don't enjoy reading poetry in translation in a language i don't speak only cos i have the privilege of being more or less able to read french stuff in the original. i believe i can tell a bad translation of a french novel based on certain giveaways eg resort to cliché or anachronistic phrases.

so when i look at celan or whoever in translation i'm acutely aware that there's a dimension i'm missing out on, that's why i queried his translator above.

@luka doesn't have any other languages so he is in a sense lucky to be able to look at all translated poetry through the same monoglot lens.

i'd feel i were doing celan a disservice by not studying german to the level in which i can read baudelaire etc. it's not arrogance its just that i happen to have learned french to a reasonably good level
 

luka

Well-known member
but french is just one language among many. and a language which is basically exactly the same as english bar the pronuncuation
 

luka

Well-known member
television-televsion
chocolate-chocolate
hotel-hotel

its literally just how you pronounce the word
 

luka

Well-known member
but denying yourself any access to any other language just cos youre not fluent i think is proper mental.
 

woops

is not like other people
but french is just one language among many. and a language which is basically exactly the same as english bar the pronuncuation
i don't see how that contradicts what i've just said

i'm even less likely to read a chinese poem properly than one in spansih
 

luka

Well-known member
i would be more likely to read chinese cos spainish language poets are hysterical very over emotional
 

luka

Well-known member
spanish laguage poets are like

the white marble corpse of you arm
death in the harrowed field
i reap the whirlwind of the betrayed
 

woops

is not like other people
but denying yourself any access to any other language just cos youre not fluent i think is proper mental.
well this is where we differ cos to me reading any poet in a language you don't speak to a let's say advanced level would be mental to me.
 

luka

Well-known member
you cant have an experience like the translated version of rilkes ninth elegy anywhere else so why would you deny yourself that expansion of the soul?
 

woops

is not like other people
spanish laguage poets in translation are like

the white marble corpse of you arm
death in the harrowed field
i reap the whirlwind of the betrayed
self sabotaging snobbery
i can't unlearn french so i'm stuck with it. like i said you're lucky in that sense.

having said that i've also noticed that i'm probably quite a bad reader of french poetry 'cos after 2 or 3 lines i'm totally seduced by the beauty of the french language, whatever is being "said"/"expressed"/whatever it is they're doing
 

luka

Well-known member
i think you massively overate your knowledge of french and the insight it gives you into language generally. you have basic conversational french, nothing more
 

luka

Well-known member
the truth is you would get vastly more out of a rimbaud translation than you would struggling with the original
 

luka

Well-known member
no one speaks another language. no human truly has more than one language. thats my beleif.
 

luka

Well-known member
pick one and stick to it. we should be grateful we speak the best language with the best pop songs and the best literature and the best telly.
 
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