ANTARES: Kristine Ong Muslim translates Filipino author Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles. Antares is a collection of fifty poems whose lines are created via systematic erasure and translation from English of Internet Movie Database (IMDb) descriptions involving sex scenes in films. Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles’s Antares is found art constructed from what is more or less marketing copy on a website that is part of Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world. More specifically, Antares is found poetry in translation. I essentially translated it back to English while rereading it through the lens afforded by its lyrical form, its ekphrastic-intertextual constitution, its stylized interpretation, its stark minimalist dispensation. The poems are also arranged alphabetically according to title, which I take as a nod to objectivity, an attempt to replicate the organized neutrality of a database. So, how does one set out to translate poetry engendered through all these means?
Three Scottish (Kathrine Sowerby, William Letford, MacGillivray) and one Welsh poet (Llyr Gwyn Lewis) travelled to Riga in late 2017 to work on translations with Latvian poets Inga Pizāne, Aivars Eduards, Katrīna Rudzīte, and Henriks Eliass Zēgners. The latter then travelled back to Scotland in 2018 to perform with the UK-based poets. Some of the results of these intensive workshops are published in this series. The events were organised by Ryan van Winkle and Inga Vareva, and generously supported by the Scottish Poetry Library, British Council and Latvian Literature.
Kintija Puzāne provided bridge-translations to the Scottish and Latvian poets.
LATVIAN POETRY SHOWCASE 4: KATRĪNA RUDZĪTE. William Letford and MacGillivray present Rudzīte’s poems in translation.
LATVIAN POETRY SHOWCASE 3: EDUARDS AIVARS. MacGillivray and Kathrine Sowerby present Aivars’ poems in translation.
LATVIAN POETRY SHOWCASE 2: INGA PIZĀNE. William Leftford and Kathrine Sowerby present Pizāne’s poems in translation.
LATVIAN POETRY SHOWCASE 1: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON OUR OWN POETRY. Inga Pizāne reflects on the authorship of translation and the process of the meeting one’s poems afresh in translation.
These five instalments showcase work as the result of the 2017 Edwin Morgan Trust translation workshop. Three Portuguese and three Scottish poets met, under the guidance of facilitator Tom Pow, to translate each other’s work. The Portuguese poets were Andreia C. Faria, Ricardo Marques, and Miguel Martins. The Scottish poets were Jane McKie, Miriam Nash and Richard Price. From Portuguese into English, the bridge translators were Carla Davidson and Sophie Paterson; from English into Portuguese, the bridge translator was Catarina Nascimento. The co-ordinator for all translations was Carla Davidson. The Other Side of Silence, a pamphlet containing the other translated poems, was published by the EMT and launched at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2017.
PORTUGUESE POETRY TRANSLATION SHOWCASE 5: Who Makes Literary Translation? Richard Price reflects on the involvement of bridge translators in the process, when the poet-translator does not speak the language of the original poem, and ponders if “translation” is the right term for this collaborative process.
PORTUGUESE POETRY TRANSLATION SHOWCASE 4: Miguel Martins. Three poems by the Lisbon-based poet, translated into English by Jane McKie, Miriam Nash and Richard Price, together with bridge translators Carla Davidson and Sophie Paterson.
PORTUGUESE POETRY TRANSLATION SHOWCASE 3: Ricardo Marques. Three poems by the Lisbon-based poet, translated into English by Jane McKie, Miriam Nash and Richard Price, together with bridge translators Carla Davidson and Sophie Paterson.
PORTUGUESE POETRY TRANSLATION SHOWCASE 2: Andreia C. Faria. Three poems by the Porto-based poet, translated into English by Jane McKie, Miriam Nash and Richard Price, together with bridge translators Carla Davidson and Sophie Paterson.
Robin Fulton Macpherson showcases the work of Lennart Sjögren through his Swedish/English translations. Part 3 of 3.
Robin Fulton Macpherson showcases the work of Kjell Espmark through his Swedish/English translations. Part 2 of 3.
Robin Fulton Macpherson showcases the work of Per Helge through his Swedish/English translations. Part 1 of 3.
Robin Munby accompanies his translation of an autobiographical short story by Uzbek writer Vadim Muratkhanov, ‘The City of Dappled Shade,’ with an in-depth translator’s preface, ‘Metonymy, or Dappled Translation,’ informed by his work on the Russian translation, and his own upbringing.
El aullido eléctrico de las ciudades / The Electric Howling of the Cities: Four Poems by Asier Vázquez, translated by Xisco Rojo, Maider Izeta, and Marcus Doo, including translators’ prefaces. Vázquez was born in Bilbao (Spain) in 1981. He graduated in Journalism and has published two poetry collections: La ciudad prohibida o las flores de orégano (2006) and Bésame entre la niebla (2012). He has also contributed poems to several Spanish literary and art magazines, namely Anáfora, Ex Libris and Los Cuadernos del Pez Globo. The poems featured here are the first to be translated into English and published outside his home country. His creative endeavors also include his professional dedication to film production.
ANA BLANDIANA AND HÖLDERLIN’S ETERNAL QUESTION by Viorica Patea, and THREE POEMS BY ANA BLANDIANA, translated and with a translators’ preface by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea. Patea gives an introduction into the importance of Romanian poet Blandiana’s work as well as offering an overview of her influences, in particular German Romantic poet Friedrich Hölderlin, with whom Blandiana shares “a sense of belatedness, a ‘metaphysical sadness’ […] in a world in which gods are absent and the lyric ‘I’ longs for their return.”
In the preface to their three translated poems, Derrick and Patea explain the process of translating in collaboration involving poets and translators with a variety of mother tongues. The chosen poems are taken from two collections, The Sun of Hereafter (2000) and Ebb of the Senses (2004), and offer a showcase of a selection to be published next year by Bloodaxe in one volume.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK OF FLEMISH MODERNIST PAUL VAN OSTAIJEN and SELECTED POEMS BY PAUL VAN OSTAIJEN Hannah Van Hove gives an introduction to the work of Belgian Modernist Paul van Ostaijen, accompanied by a selection of his poetry in translation. “Paul van Ostaijen (1896-1928) has justly been hailed as one of the greatest innovators and experimenters in Dutch literature. During his short but prolific literary career (he was only thirty-two at the time of his death), he continually sought to question pre-conceived ideas regarding the role of poetry and art, engaging with various early twentieth-century avant-garde movements in order to stretch the boundaries of conventional literary form. Known primarily as a poet, he also wrote satirical prose pieces, a film-script, some translations of Kafka and numerous important articles on art – all of which have contributed to his deserved reputation as Belgium’s “prophet of modernism.””
LILAC CANOPIES, STAR-LIKE APPLES AND RAKIA: Liliya Aleksandrova translates Antina Zlatkova from Bulgarian and German. Aleksandrova offers her translations of three/six poems by Bulgarian-born Zlatkova, resident in Vienna, in Bulgarian and German. While the poems can be grouped in pairs of two, bearing near-identical titles, they are versions of each other. In her preface, Aleksandrova therefore remarks on the nature of bilingual poetry: “The German is by no means a literal translation of the Bulgarian. The verses, for that matter, do not always correspond. It could equally be that the Bulgarian is a retelling of a story first crafted in German. Or that both versions are expressions of the same thought, one that has found a home in different words.”
ONE-HANDED: A NOTE ON THE POSSIBILITIES OF GOOGLE TRANSLATE AS A TOOL FOR POETRY. One-Handed was devised by Juana Adcock and Rahul Bery as an experimental translation project that paired Mexican and Scottish poets together. Rather than simply translating each other, as occurs in other projects pairing poets of different nationalities and languages, in One-Handed we followed a slightly more complicated formula: the Mexican poets re-wrote a source text in Spanish taken from the poetry collection Manca by Juana Adcock (Fondo Editorial Tierra Adentro, 2014). The resulting text was then both translated into English by a literary translator, and fed through Google Translate and sent to a Scottish poet, who used this “literal version” to produce their own translation of the poem. The source texts by Juana Adcock have been lost, decaying and falling away like a perishable item cast in plaster. Or alternatively, they can be found in the pages of the above-cited book. The focus of the One-Handed project is on the process of writing as translation and vice-versa. In this issue, we present two pairings: one by Óscar David López, in translations by translator Kymm Coveney and poet Kate Tough, and another by Rocío Cerón, translated by Ruth Clarke and poet Lila Matsumoto.
SLATE, METAPHOR AND TRANSLATION: Alistair Noon translates Osip Mandelstam from Russian. Noon’s translation ‘The Ode on Slate’ is accompanied by an introduction on his work as translator, asserting: “True, many of those seams of reference and reworking, particularly the ones that lead all the way back to Russia, are blocked off in the translation, or if they are open, few readers will venture down them. But the view of poetry’s ultimate untranslatability only really holds if you also conceive of poems in general as having finite meaning, interest and effect.”