to bear, remove, or change

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.

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

2 thoughts on “to bear, remove, or change”

  1. “Does fine-tuning your perceptions mean narrowing your capacity for enjoyment?”

    Yes, it would seem so.


    But it also broadens your capacity for greatness considerably. Unfortunately, that’s pretty scarce these days. You have to dig.

    But there are libraries.

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