"The translator must keep faith with the deeper need that poetry fulfills in our lives, [to] discover not what the poem says but what it does." —Tony Barnstone, in his essay "Poem Behind the Poem"
The translation of Asian poetry into Western languages has been one of the most important literary events over the past one hundred years. Readers have fallen in love with Asian poetry and writers have been greatly influenced by it.
What neither reader nor writer ever witness is the intense engagement behind the poem, how the translator must serve as both artist and alchemist, urging a poem to work and sing in a foreign language. Success is rare, and the practice of translation, as W.S. Merwin has written, is "plainly impossible and nevertheless indispensable."
This endlessly fascinating anthology—the first of its kind—gathers essays, poems-in-translation, and worksheets from twenty-one noted translators who discuss their aspirations, methods, and the forces of imagination necessary to bring a poem from one language into another. Languages discussed include Chinese (both ancient and modern), Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Sanskrit.
"A truly apt translation of a poem may require an effort of imagination almost as great as the making of the original. The translator who wishes to enter the creative territory must make an intellectual and imaginative jump into the mind and world of the poet, and no dictionary will make this easier."—Gary Snyder on translating the Chinese poet Han-shan
Contributors include: Gary Snyder, Willis Barnstone, Jane Hirshfield, J.P. Seaton, John Balaban, Michelle Yeh, Arthur Sze, W.S. Merwin, and Sam Hamill.
|Publisher:||Copper Canyon Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
Table of Contents
|The Poem behind the Poem: Literary Translation as American Poetry||1|
|Translating Vietnamese Poetry||17|
|How I Strayed into Asian Poetry||28|
|Hunting Nets and Butterflies: Ethnic Minority Songs from Southwest China||39|
|A Poem Should Mean and Be: Remarks on the Translation of Japanese Poetry||55|
|The Way of Translation||62|
|Sustenance: A Life in Translation||76|
|from The World Is Large and Full of Noises: Thoughts on Translation||90|
|Entering the Pale of Literary Translation||101|
|Midwifing the Underpoem||113|
|Translating Korean Poets||125|
|Tuning In to the Poetry of U Sam Oeur||133|
|Preface to East Window: The Asian Translations||152|
|Some Thoughts on the Meaning of Translation||163|
|Forms Transformed: Japanese Verse in English Translation||175|
|Manuscript Fragments and Eco-Guardians: The Estate of Sanskrit Poetry||189|
|Once More, on the Empty Mountain||207|
|And Then the Whole Was Flooded with Light: Hiroya Takagai Translated||221|
|Reflections on My Translations of the T'ang Poet Han-shan||233|
|Introduction to The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese||239|
|The Chinese Poem: The Visible and the Invisible in Chinese Poetry||251|
|About the Contributing Translators||265|
|About the Editor||271|