Découvrez votre prochain livre préféré

Devenez membre aujourd'hui et lisez gratuitement pendant 30 jours
Centres of Cataclysm: Celebrating Fifty Years of Modern Poetry in Translation

Centres of Cataclysm: Celebrating Fifty Years of Modern Poetry in Translation

Lire l'aperçu

Centres of Cataclysm: Celebrating Fifty Years of Modern Poetry in Translation

Longueur:
596 pages
3 heures
Sortie:
Mar 24, 2016
ISBN:
9781780372655
Format:
Livre

Description

Centres of Cataclysm celebrates the fifty-year history of Modern Poetry in Translation, one of the world’s most innovative and exciting poetry magazines. Founded in 1965 by Ted Hughes and Daniel Weissbort, MPT has constantly introduced courageous and revolutionary poets of the 20th and 21st century to English-speaking readers. Ted Hughes thought of MPT as an ‘airport for incoming translations’ - from the whole world, across frontiers of space and time. These are poems we cannot do without. The anthology is not arranged chronologically but, from a variety of perspectives, it addresses half a century of war, oppression, revolution, hope and survival. In so doing, it truthfully says and vigorously defends the human. In among the poems are illuminating letters, essays and notes on the poets, on the world in which they lived and on the enterprise of translating them. ‘MPT seeks a real diversity of voices: women and men equally, different centuries, countries, races, creeds, languages, cultures, ideas. The very essence of the founding principle was: Your view is not the only one.' - David & Helen Constantine ‘The burning heart of cataclysm at the centre of the anthology is drawn out; through translation, migration and exile, it is transplanted into another soil. The word spoken under duress becomes a word of affirmation: a protection and a stating of our own humanity.' - Sasha Dugdale ‘MPT is the Fifth International, anyone who wants to change the world and see it changed should join.’ - John Berger
Sortie:
Mar 24, 2016
ISBN:
9781780372655
Format:
Livre

Lié à Centres of Cataclysm

Livres associé
Articles associés

Aperçu du livre

Centres of Cataclysm - Bloodaxe Books

CENTRES OF CATACLYSM

CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS OF MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION

edited by Sasha Dugale and David & Helen Constantine

Centres of Cataclysm celebrates the fifty-year history of Modern Poetry in Translation, one of the world’s most innovative and exciting poetry magazines. Founded in 1965 by Ted Hughes and Daniel Weissbort, MPT has constantly introduced courageous and revolutionary poets of the 20th and 21st century to English-speaking readers. Ted Hughes thought of MPT as an ‘airport for incoming translations’ – from the whole world, across frontiers of space and time. These are poems we cannot do without.

The anthology is not arranged chronologically but, from a variety of perspectives, it addresses half a century of war, oppression, revolution, hope and survival. In so doing, it truthfully says and vigorously defends the human. In among the poems are illuminating letters, essays and notes on the poets, on the world in which they lived and on the enterprise of translating them.

MPT seeks a real diversity of voices: women and men equally, different centuries, countries, races, creeds, languages, cultures, ideas. The very essence of the founding principle was: Your view is not the only one.’ – David & Helen Constantine

‘The burning heart of cataclysm at the centre of the anthology is drawn out; through translation, migration and exile, it is transplanted into another soil. The word spoken under duress becomes a word of affirmation: a protection and a stating of our own humanity.’ – Sasha Dugdale

MPT is the Fifth International, anyone who wants to change the world and see it changed should join.’ – John Berger

CENTRES

OF CATACLYSM

CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS OF

MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION

EDITED BY SASHA DUGDALE

AND DAVID & HELEN CONSTANTINE

CONTENTS

(Dates in brackets refer to the publication date

in Modern Poetry in Translation)

Title Page

Sasha Dugdale: Preface

David and Helen Constantine: Introduction

Ted Hughes and Daniel Weissbort: From the Editorial to the first issue (1965)

Miroslav Holub: The fly (1965)

Jan Bolesław Ożóg: Ash (1975)

Primo Levi: The Girl at Pompeii (1999)

Choman Hardi: One Moment for Halabja (2015)

Amarjit Chandan: Punjabi Folksongs from World War One (2014)

Olga Berggolts: Late One Melancholy February Night (1996)

Author unknown or concealed: Dear Fahimeh (2005)

Natalya Gorbanevskaya: ‘That time I did not save Warsaw, nor Prague later…’ (1977)

Natalya Gorbanevskaya: ‘This, from the diagnosis…’ (2002)

Eva Gerlach: The Hedgehog (1997)

Wisława Szymborska: Innocence (1975)

Yehuda Amichai: A Room by the Sea (1965)

George Gömöri: Polishing October (1973)

Dan Pagis: Roll Call in the Concentration Camp (1974)

Dan Pagis: Scrawled in Pencil in a Sealed Car (1974)

Bartolo Cattafi: Winter Figs (1975)

Miklós Radnóti: Letter to My Wife (2010)

Shash Trevett: In Memory (2013)

Shash Trevett: Bitter Waters (2013)

Attila József: What Should a Man Do? (1972)

Anna Akhmatova: Wild Honey (2005)

Frances Leviston: Reconstruction (2013)

Miroslav Holub: Five minutes after the air raid (1967)

Kim Hyesoon: A Teardrop (2014)

János Pilinszky: The Passion of Ravensbrück (1970)

Ted Hughes & Daniel Weissbort: From the Editorial to Issue Three (1967)

Du Fu: Ballad of the Military Waggons (2007)

Gabriel Levin: Self-portrait in Khaki (1993)

Ziba Karbassi: Writing Cells (2015)

Nikola Madzirov: Hope Climbed (2014)

Vasko Popa: The Poplar and the Passer-by (1979)

Fawzi Karim: Usual Story (2014)

Adriaan Morriën: National Anthem (to be sung standing) (1976)

Sasha Dugdale: Editorial to ‘Scorched Glass’ (2015)

Wisława Szymborska: Hunger Camp near Jasło (1975)

George Theiner: From ‘Helping Those Who Have Been Silenced’ (1978)

George Theiner: Letter to Daniel Weissbort, 15 September 1968

Jiří Kolář: Advice for Sycophants (1969)

Ivan Hartel: if I don’t recant, someone else will (1978)

Antonín Bartušek: Anniversary in Fribourg (21.8.1969)

Ted Hughes: From the Introduction to Poetry International, 1967 (1971)

Sarah Kirsch: The Chitchat of Crows (2013)

Luis Felipe Fabre: Doris Najera and Detective Ramirez (2013)

Luis Felipe Fabre: Infomercial (2013)

Josephine Balmer: Naso the Barbarian (2008)

Peter Huchel: Winter Quarters (1967)

Robert Desnos: Tomorrow (2007)

Robert Desnos: Springtime (2007)

Waldo Williams: The Dead Children (2006)

Guillaume Apollinaire: ‘My Lou I shall sleep tonight…’ (2007)

Clemente Rèbora: Voice from a Dead Look-out (2014)

Paul van Ostaijen: Dead Sunday (2014)

Mahmoud Darwish: From ‘A State of Siege’ (2004)

Yves Berger: 2nd March: Al Rabweh (2014)

Dvora Amir: On the Rim of Abu-Tor (2008)

Samih al-Qasim: End of Talk with a Jailor (2008)

Samih al-Qasim: Excerpt from an Inquest (2008)

Sasha Dugdale: From ‘At the Edge’ (2009)

Rafael Alberti: ‘If my voice should die on land…’ (2009)

Homero Aridjis: In a Valley I Saw the Dead Shades (2009)

Homero Aridjis: Black Grass (2009)

Primo Levi: The Black Stars (2011)

Ulrike Almut Sandig: being inspected (2013)

Mykhailo Draj-Khmara: Swans (2011)

Alba Donati: Valerio’s Story (1999)

Raúl Rivero: Stardust (2014)

Hugo Claus: 1965 (2013)

David Constantine: Bertolt Brecht and Margarete Steffin: Love in a Time of Exile and War (2014)

Núria Quevedo: Cover illustration for ‘The Constellation’ (2014)

Bertolt Brecht: ‘When we were first divided into two…’ (2014)

Margarete Steffin: ‘Emboldened, putting off formal address…’ (2014)

Vitězslav Nezval: Mother Hope (1978)

Vasko Popa: Cape of Good Hope (1981)

Ivan V. Lalić: The Spaces of Hope (1986)

Paul Celan: Tenebrae (1970)

Daniel Weissbort: From ‘Ted Hughes and Translation’ (2003)

Daniel Weissbort: From ‘Hughes Translates Juhász’ (2003)

Ted Hughes: On the ‘provisional tense’

Ferenc Juhász: From ‘The Boy Changed into a Stag Cries Out at the Gate of Secrets’ (2003)

Pascale Petit: At the Gate of Secrets (2003)

Tara Bergin: Stag-Boy (2011)

Ernst Jandl: oberflächenübersetzung (1971)

Ernst Jandl: die zeit vergeht (1971)

Chris McCabe: Ernst Jandl: the Biomechanical Magus in London (2016)

Zahrad: Sentence (1971)

Zahrad: The Woman Cleaning Lentils (1971)

Anna Lewis: From ‘The Wash House’ (2008)

Vasko Popa: Swallows’ Language (1981)

Vasko Popa: Anne Pennington (1981)

Mimi Khalvati: Ghazal: To Hold Me (2006)

Sorley MacLean: Dawn (2011)

Shazea Quraishi: Carandasi (2010)

David Constantine: Editorial to ‘Getting it Across’ (2007)

Paul Celan: Psalm (1970)

George Szirtes: The Voronezh Variations (2014)

George Szirtes: The Voronezh Variations: Versions of a Mandelstam Quatrain (2014)

Paulo Leminski: ‘Poetry is the Liberty…’ (2014)

Yu Jian: Event – Digging (2014)

Sujata Bhatt: Another Daphne (2014)

Zsuzsa Beney: The Translator (2008)

Giuseppe Belli: The Good Life (2005)

Wojciech Bonowicz: Night (2009)

Jamie Duncan: Note on Paulo Leminski (2014)

Paulo Leminski: ‘Things don’t start in a story…’ (2014)

Tomas Tranströmer: The Journey’s Formulae (1971)

Hilde Domin: Cologne (1974)

Leah Goldberg: The Girl Sings to the River (1974)

Carmen Bugan: Why I Do Not Write in My Native Language (2004)

José Rosas Ribeyro: My Grandfather (1997)

Dan Pagis: Instructions for Getting Across the Border (1974)

Ingeborg Bachmann: Exile (1967)

Daniel Huws: Memories of Ingeborg Bachmann and Modern Poetry in Translation (2015)

David Diop: From ‘Contribution to the Debate on National Poetry’ (1979)

David Diop: Testimony (1979)

Gabriela Mistral: The Foreigner (2007)

Soleïman Adel Guémar: False Departure (2004)

Ovid: From Tristia (2004)

Dimitris Tsaloumas: Rain I (2005)

Dimitris Tsaloumas: Rain II (2005)

Tahar Ben Jelloun: From ‘The Poet, neither Guide nor Prophet’ (1979)

Marina Tsvetaeva: From ‘Poem of the End’ (1970)

Elaine Feinstein: From ‘Marina Tsvetaeva’ (1996)

Ridha Zili: Ifrikya the centre of my being (1979)

Yannis Ritsos: Return (2009)

Liliana Ursu: The Tower of Steps (2013)

Liliana Ursu: Between the Wheat Wells and the Bridal Mirrors (2013)

Joan Ariete: Why I Left (2010)

Denisa Comănescu: Return from Exile (2010)

Virgil: The Sibyl (2009)

Tadeusz Różewicz: Chestnut (1975)

Nina Cassian: I wanted to stay (1977)

Bewketu Seyoum: In Search of Fat (2008)

Bewketu Seyoum: Elegy (2008)

Bewketu Seyoum: Meditation on the Garden (2008)

Caroline Maldonado: Recalling Rocco (2015)

Rocco Scotellaro: The Full Moon (2008)

Rocco Scotellaro: Forlorn Cuckoo, Your Call Keeps Us Awake (2008)

Yi Lu: Evening Construction Site (2014)

Euphrase Kezilahabi: Sorting the Rice (2013)

Author unknown: The Spirit Lord’s Bearkill (2006)

Harry Martinson: Cable-Ship (2007)

Harry Martinson: ‘The swamp mosses drink of the stream…’ (2007)

Reesom Haile: African Anthem (2013)

Jacques Réda: The Fête (2014)

Euphrase Kezilahabi: Thread (2013)

Shinjiro Kurahara: A Fox (2009)

Shinjiro Kurahara: A Footprint (2009)

János Pilinszky: ‘Creative Imagination’ in Our Time (1971)

John E. Smelcer: Spring on the Yukon (2010)

John E. Smelcer: Owl and Mouse (2010)

Ned Thomas: From ‘From Minorities to Mosaic’ (2011)

Gerður Kristný: Ægisiða (2012)

Razmik Davoyan: ‘Somewhere, a birch wood is being stolen now…’ (2012)

Lal Singh Dil: Nadeen (2012)

Lal Singh Dil: The Outcasts (2012)

Ko Un: Places I want to go (2012)

Ūṉpoti Pacuṅkuṭaiyār: ‘Should clouds refuse to rain…’ (2012)

Homero Aridjis: ‘In its warmth Summer is a nest…’ (1974)

Kristiina Ehin: ‘Cows come from the sea…’ (2010)

José Watanabe: The Arrangement (1997)

Vasko Popa: How the Mole Came to Be (1979)

János Pilinszky: Aquarium (1977)

Valerio Magrelli: ‘I was lying on an outpatient’s bed…’ (1999)

Cesare Pavese: Donne Appassionate (2001)

Pier Paolo Pasolini: Towards the Baths of Caracalla (2014)

Jack Mapanje: Kalikalanje of Ostrich Forest (2015)

Valérie Rouzeau: 01 43 15 50 67 (2013)

Takagi Kyozo: Poor Harvest (1971)

Jón úr Vör: Lean Months (1977)

Edvard Kocbek: Landscape (1970)

János Pilinszky: Knocking (1977)

Fadhil Assultani: A Tree (2003)

Ted Hughes: Preface to Modern Poetry in Translation: 1983

Mahmoud Darwish: From ‘Mural’ (2008)

Miroslav Holub: Wings (1965)

Elena Shvarts: Birdsong on the Seabed (2007)

Kaneko Misuzu: Stars and Dandelions (2006)

Krystyna Miłobędzka: Four Poems (2013)

Liam Ó Muirthile: The Parlour (2004)

Heinz Ehemann: Gerontology or When You Get Old (2009)

Georgi Gospodinov: My Mother Reads Poetry (2009)

Hai Zi: Sonnet: Crown (2013)

Nikiforos Vrettakos: The Orange Trees of Sparta (2009)

Guy Goffette: From ‘Elegy for a Friend’ (2015)

Wang Wei: Autumnal Dusk in the Mountains (2009)

Paula Ludwig: ‘When you return it’s always…’ (2011)

Paula Ludwig: ‘A day and a night it took me…’ (2011)

Primo Levi: Singing (2011)

Yves Bonnefoy: Threats of the Witness (2000)

Hô Chí Minh: Entertainment (2011)

Hô Chí Minh: Liberation (2011)

Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi: Nothing (2012)

Gerður Kristný: My Brother and Sister (2012)

Maya Sarishvili: To My Father (2012)

Maya Sarishvili: ‘This ice-cutter silence…’ (2012)

Federico García Lorca: Romance de la Pena Negra (2012)

Yehuda Amichai: When I Was a Boy (1965)

Carlos Drummond de Andrade: Seven-sided Poem (2014)

Marzanna Bogumila Kielar: ‘a flock of pigeons blossoms white against the greyish cloth…’ (2004)

Anna Kühn-Cichocka: ‘Here the houses…’ (2005)

Anna Kühn-Cichocka: ‘On rainy days…’ (2005)

Mario Luzi: Life True to Life (1975)

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen: Sibyls (1972)

Anna Enquist: River (1998)

Edith Södergran: Violet Dusks (1973)

Ingeborg Bachmann: Fog Land (1967)

Ingeborg Bachmann: Days in White (1967)

Charlie Louth: The Correspondence of Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan (2009)

Vita Andersen: The Beautiful Room (1978)

Nina Cassian: Like Gulliver (1977)

Hilde Domin: Catalogue (1974)

Halina Poświatowska: ‘These words have existed always…’ (1975)

Halina Poświatowska: ‘my face is more and more like the moon…’ (1975)

Rutger Kopland: Three Winter Poems (1976)

Antonín Bartušek: Those Few Years (1978)

Haruo Shibuya: A Young Wife (1978)

Jean Dodo: In My Neighbourhood Market (1979)

Ridha Zili: Childhood (1979)

Vasko Popa: Bright Lovers (1981)

Vasko Popa: High Lovers (1981)

Anna Enquist: La Folia (1998)

Gianni D’Elia: Sta(i)rway to Heaven (1999)

Marina Boroditskaya: ‘So Much Gentleness from Unknown Men…’ (2002)

Eleni Vakalo: From ‘Genealogy’ (1968)

Michael Rosen: From ‘A Conversation on Children’s Poetry’ (2015)

Gabriela Cantú Westendarp: The Language of Ghosts (2015)

Nge Nge (Kyaukse): A Man Who is Easily Fooled and a Woman Who Barely Speaks (2015)

Ma Ei: Out of Sight (2015)

Forugh Farrokhzad: In Darkness (2015)

Arseny Tarkovsky: Portrait (1996)

Philippe Jaccottet: ‘Plus aucun souffle…’ (1995)

Philippe Jaccottet: ‘Toi cependant…’ (1995)

Philippe Jaccottet: ‘Qu’on me le montre…’ (1995)

Raymond Queneau: If You Imagine (1966)

Tomas Tranströmer: The Couple (1971)

Takagi Kyozo: Lightning Over Beds of Rice Seedlings (1971)

Ivan Drach: The Ballad of Widowhood (1971)

Ivan Drach: The Ballad of the Bundles (1971)

János Pilinszky: The Desert of Love (1970)

Toon Tellegen: Evening (2013)

Toon Tellegen: Peace (2013)

Xidu Heshang: Fictionalising Her (2014)

Christine Marendon: Evening Primrose (2014)

Angélica Freitas: ‘I sleep with myself (2014)…’

Angélica Freitas: ‘because a good woman…’ (2014)

Natalya Gorbanevskaya: ‘Hurry take pleasure in the oblique caress of rain…’ (1977)

‘The MPT editor’ by Ted Hughes

Acknowledgements

Index of poets’ and translators’ names

Index of poems and prose pieces

About the Authors

Copyright

SASHA DUGDALE

Preface

More than fifty years ago Ted Hughes began thinking about founding a poetry magazine which would publish only translations. The timing was propitious: after what Hughes characterised as a ‘solid wall of dismissal (and derision)’ in the 50s, a ‘passionate affair’ with translated poetry was beginning. Hughes began gathering and considering work, and by the time he came to discuss the magazine with his friend and fellow poet Daniel Weissbort he had already amassed material and ideas. Weissbort’s immediate enthusiasm was a catalyst and the two men set about the practical job of founding the magazine: finding a designer, Richard Hollis; publisher; advertisers; money and subscribers. They chose the austere and functional title Modern Poetry in Translation. There was no need to search out contributors because they came flooding in of their own accord – as Hughes later wrote ‘it seemed easier to let the magazine take off than to keep it grounded. The sheer pressure of material forced the issue.’

The first issue was published in 1965. Hughes favoured a ‘scrappy-looking’ aesthetic and in his letters he suggests that the magazine should be published on thin airmail paper and, in a utopian gesture, sent out free to all poets. Hollis’s broadsheet design, with its columns of poetry set out like broadside ballads, encapsulated the handout spirit of the venture. It was never sent out free to all poets, but it sold for 2s 6d (the same price as Ladybird’s How it Works: the Motor Car), had a print run of over a thousand and quickly went into a reprint. Although function was the watchword, the paper is delicate and white and the butterfly-fragility of its pages made this first MPT a thing of great beauty.

The issue published generous selections of the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Zbigniew Herbert, Miroslav Holub, Ivan V. Lalić, Vasko Popa, Czesław Miłosz and Andrei Voznesensky. Some of these poets were already known but most were not, and the magazine stimulated interest and attention in their work. Hughes and Weissbort saw the magazine as an ‘airport for incoming translations’ and they were determined that the work they published should find a home in the English-speaking landscape, as it mostly did. George Theiner’s translation of Holub’s poem ‘The fly’, first published in that issue was later published in an anthology of British poems, Amichai was published in book form soon after, in a venture inspired by MPT, and all the other poets had great recognition in the English-speaking world in the following decades.

All the poets published in the first issue, with the exception of Israeli poet Amichai, were from Eastern Europe, the region ‘at the centre of cataclysm’, as the editors described it. By the mid-60s the Cold War was an established fact of European life. The brutal Soviet repression of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 had shocked the West and made it apparent that Soviet rule cared little for human rights and freedom of speech in the countries of Eastern Europe. It was a troubling time to be a European. The ugly concrete symbolism of the Berlin Wall, built in 1961, was a constant reminder of the un-peace between West and Eastern Europe.

But the poets of the Eastern Bloc were already being translated and read and Hughes and Weissbort felt this poetry to be the ‘most insistent’ of all the material they had received. They wrote unequivocally: ‘This poetry is more universal than ours.’ It seemed to them as if the political repression of the East and the urgency of the situation produced poetry that was of a higher order, full of confidence, philosophy and universality; poetry that was psychologically subtle and yet spoke to millions. Seamus Heaney, a few decades later, said much the same thing in his essay ‘The Impact of Translation’. He considered that the locus of greatness had shifted to the East and to those poets like Miłosz who testified to the ‘efficacy of poetry itself as a necessary and fundamental human act’.

With hindsight we may choose to disagree, or perhaps to soften the picture: this poetry was important, but the snapshot was partial and it favoured a few European male voices, a new canon in place of the old. Some of the poets, stripped of context, have fared less critically well in recent times. Even within Poland and Czechoslovakia there was a multitude of different poetic responses, many of which we are still discovering. But Hughes and Weissbort were stating a case in the most urgent terms they had, and it is undoubtedly true that poetry in translation has a beneficial effect on English-language poetry: it is by its very existence more universal than ours because it adds to our partial understanding of what poetry is able to do. Reading translated poetry and translating poetry encourages a poet to extend the elastic potential of language, to inhabit other voices, and the proof of this is immediately manifest in the effect that translation had on Hughes’s own poetry. Poet and scholar Tara Bergin has written extensively on how Hughes’s work, particularly the songs of Crow – ‘songs with no music whatsoever’, as Hughes phrased it – owed a great deal to his proximity with the deliberately unadorned poetry of János Pilinszky.

Hughes began the magazine with a particular view of translation. He wrote in a 1967 editorial:

Nevertheless, after our experience as editors of this paper, we feel more strongly than ever that the first ideal is literalness, insofar as the original is what we are curious about. The very oddity and struggling dumbness of a word for word version is what makes our own imagination jump.

We know that this view was Hughes’s own, as Weissbort (amongst others) recorded Hughes’s instinct to cleave to literalness in a piece about his translations published in MPT in 2003. Whilst it is important to see this as a stand against the practice of adapting and making versions in the way Lowell did in his Imitations, we can also see this as Hughes’s desire to seek out something authentic and strange for his own purposes as a poet. Hughes spoke no other languages and all his translations were done with the help of a co-translator, usually a native speaker. We might take issue with Hughes’s belief that this method of working, the capturing of ‘fumbled and broken’ language, is more authentic than the work of an experienced translator of poetry with knowledge of both cultures, but the urgent hunger for something quite other is what gives Hughes the energy to found a magazine, and the Poetry International Festival, in 1967.

Over the fifty years of MPT, the practice of poetry translation has become increasingly diverse in approach and concern and the magazine never again made a claim for a particular style of translation – perhaps because all the other editors of MPT have been practising translators themselves and aware of the many ways a translator can make a poem sing in another language. The number of translators who work particularly with poetry seems to rise exponentially, thanks in part to the important advocacy work done by centres of translation such as the British Centre for Literary Translation. The internet has allowed us access to translators all over the world and to poetry from many regions.

But MPT is also filled with examples of English-speaking poets, whose poetry was enlivened by the practice of translation from literals. In 1996 Elaine Feinstein wrote in MPT of her earlier engagement with the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva:

I recognised something in Tsvetaeva’s work I could not find expressed elsewhere: an unguarded passion, and a desperation that arose from it, which was willing to expose the most undignified emotions. Even as I struggled to find ways of channelling such intensity into a workable English idiom, I was beginning to be seduced by her example. I wanted to take the same risks in my own writing.

There are many more examples of such creative symbiosis between poets and their translators in this anthology. The editors of the first issue hoped that the work published would ‘stimulate poetry-making in this country’ and MPT did this, and does it still, by offering persuasive and different work to its readers, but also by providing a space for poets to experiment with translation.

Modern Poetry in Translation continued to publish a great deal of work from Eastern Europe over the following decade. In 1969, just months after the Prague Spring and Soviet invasion of Prague one of MPT’s most important collaborators, George (Jiří) Theiner, published his translations of a number of Czech poets in a Czech issue of MPT. Theiner was born in Czechoslovakia, but left his country as a child to escape the Nazis in 1939 and came to Britain. He returned to his native country after the war, but was subject to internment and forced labour under the Communists. In 1968 he left again, writing to Weissbort in a letter dated September 1968, a few weeks after the Soviet invasion:

Just a few lines to let you know that we’ve left Prague and are on our way to London. We have been through a ghastly time and I feel that I’ve had enough of Central Europe, however much I had hoped that life might soon become quite tolerable in Prague. August 21 has effectively dashed all such hopes…

With this letter Theiner sent new translations of Holub and Jiří Kolář which went into the hastily-assembled Czech issue. Later Czech work, gathered and sent by other collaborators was subject to increasing censorship. As one contributor wrote in a letter to Weissbort in 1969: ‘Please let me know when you get it and refer to it as the folk poetry.’

MPT exists because of excellent translation and translators, and the stories of the translators and collaborators occupied us in our selection for this anthology almost as much as the poems themselves. A number of translators, like Theiner, lived between two worlds and attempted to foster contact between the cultures through the medium of poetry. Many of these, like Theiner, Michael Hamburger and Ewald Osers, had fled Nazi Europe: their particular cataclysm was fascism and war in Europe.

Weissbort himself was from a migrant family. His parents were Polish Jews and they had moved to Britain in the 1930s. In the house they spoke French although Weissbort as a child would answer in English. Unlike Hughes, who was confidently ‘local’, a poet of place, Weissbort shared with many of the translators a more complicated sense of national identity and language. He had begun his career as a historian of Soviet Russia, and learnt Russian and he too began to translate for the magazine, eventually dedicating himself to the teaching and practice of translating poetry. In 1973 he became Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa and directed the International Writing Program there. Over his lifetime he contributed many translations to MPT, among them moving poems by the young poet and human rights protester Natalya Gorbanevskaya, who was incarcerated in a Soviet psychiatric ward in the 1970s for her protests on Red

Vous avez atteint la fin de cet aperçu. Inscrivez-vous pour en savoir plus !
Page 1 sur 1

Avis

Ce que les gens pensent de Centres of Cataclysm

0
0 évaluations / 0 Avis
Qu'avez-vous pensé ?
Évaluation : 0 sur 5 étoiles

Avis des lecteurs