from one place, state, form, or appearance to another. That’s the elemental definition of “translate”, according to Merriam Webster. Losing my way with poetry translations these days. The English translation of so much stuff just sounds stupid now. Flipping last night through a bilingual volume of Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati and just gagging at the inadequacy of the English. Flipping just now through Poetry International Web – largely English translations of poets from all over the globe – and the same aack reaction. Perhaps I’m reading and studying myself into a sick, narrow definition of enjoyable poetry. I’m pretty sure that all the translated stuff that makes me gag now felt fine, if not actually great, a year ago. Does fine-tuning your perceptions mean narrowing your capacity for enjoyment?
Poetry as fun just got a whole lot smaller.