Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)


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Alfred, Lord Tennyson | Poetry Foundation
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Poet Donald Hall Reads From His Work (1999)

Oxford Reference. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search within my subject specializations: Select Medicine and health Music Names studies Performing arts Philosophy. Overview Pages. Subject Reference. When it comes to actual translating decisions, poetry translators are often allowed considerable autonomy by other team players.


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  4. Flynn's translators report p. After submission, copy-editors make fewer corrections to poetry than to literary-prose translations p. Some source poets who read the receptor language, however, may insist on approving all textual decisions; and if they disagree with the translator, their higher social capital may mean that their opinion prevails, even if TT quality suffers Keeley, in Honig : —9; Weissbort Poetry translators may well translate from more than one language and national literature—like all of Flynn's interviewees : Restrictions on SL knowledge or reading and writing skills can be overcome by collaborative translating.

    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)

    A typical pattern is where an expert reader of the source language works with a native writer of the receptor language e. Kunitz and Weissbort , Csokits , Hughes The former may also be the source poet. Another common collaborative pattern is where both translators are SL readers and TL writers, but feel that shared expertise or complementary working styles lead to better results e. Keeley : 32—7. Potential ST informants may be the poet, if living Kline , or other native readers of the source literature.

    Potential target-version readers may or may not know the source language Bishop : 65 ; some translators argue that not being able to read the source allows readers to focus more clearly on TL draft quality. Fellow translators may play both roles Flynn : —7.

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    Positionality indicates where a project player's allegiance lies Toury , cited in Tymoczko : It may be seen in terms of physical location, but also of affective loyalty Jones Poetry translation teams very often have a distributed positionality. In other words, a team's players are typically located in both SL and TL countries, and even third countries; and Internet publication means that readers may be anywhere in the world, especially if the TL is an international lingua franca.

    The players' loyalty tends to be primarily to the source p. But as their implicit brief is always to communicate a poetic message to receptor readers, there is also a loyalty towards those readers: this may mean not only making the message comprehensible but also, very often, communicating the project's cultural or ideological aim to readers see e. As a profession involves a shared sense of identity, institutions, etc.

    Though published poetry translators rarely work full-time for full pay, they may in other respects be regarded as professionals: they have a special expertise which is valued and recognized by those who use their services, and which they are usually allowed to use autonomously cf. Freidson : Professions tend to be distinguished by their own institutions and habitus ways of behaving sanctioned by the network: Inghilleri b : —5. Institutionally, poetry translators are only weakly professionalized. Professional accreditation of poetry translators, therefore, is almost always informal, by word-of-mouth recommendation and reputation among second-order networks of literary production publishers, editors, poets, fellow translators, etc.

    As for poetry translators' professional habitus, we have already discussed cognitive aspects. It is, however, worth mentioning status and visibility. Poetic messages are typically seen as: canonical, i. These, plus an awareness that poetic messages rarely have one-to-one equivalents across languages, mean that poetry translation is also seen by many users as requiring high, autonomously wielded expertise—even p.

    This helps to explain why published poets often translate poetry—as opposed to novels, say, which are rarely translated by published novelists. As a result, poetry translators often enjoy higher status than translators of other genres. With some such as Robert Bly in the US or Octavio Paz in Mexico , this may derive partially or largely from their reputation as receptor-language poet. And if their translations are judged successful, even non-poet translators of previously unknown poets may acquire respect among communities of readers.

    This status is recognized and stimulated by two practices common in poetry but unusual in other genres, which give the poetry translator high visibility. One is the prominent display of the translator's name: on a book cover, say, or beneath poems in multi-translator anthologies. Another, mentioned above, is that poetry translators often write paratextual materials to accompany their translations. Professional ethics form a key aspect of habitus.

    This, of course, underlies not only poetry translation but also professional translation in other genres. Even producers of poetry-to-prose translations and adaptations may be seen as subscribing to this ethic: believing that poetry translation cannot be both semantically reliable and poetically effective, they aim to convey loyally whatever aspect of the source poem they see as most relevant to their communicative purpose its semantics, or its poetic effect.

    As befits a non-institutionalized profession, there are few if any qualifications or degree programmes in poetry translation. Training is largely informal and self-driven, with poets or linguists gradually developing an interest and often, though not always expertise in poetry translation through practice. Some other-directed training does happen, however.

    Affect Studies and Literary Criticism

    Universities, translators' and writers' associations may run poetry translation workshops, and poetry translation modules may be offered within creative writing or translator-training degree programmes and extra-mural courses. Conditions of translation and reception may affect which texts are offered to a reader community.

    If a project does not fit the receptor culture's expectations about domestic or translated poetry, by contrast, it may not be accepted by receptor readers and critics, or its reception may not accord with the production team's aims Malroux : 20; Flynn : There are similar risks if receptor readers have no knowledge about the source poet s or their literary culture Dutch poetry in the s UK, for instance: Holmes : 12—13 —a knowledge which Introductions typically aim to supply.

    Receptor-language poets often see their own output as influenced by translated poetry, whether as translators or readers—Octavio Paz in Mexico or Ted Hughes in the UK, for instance Dumitrescu ; Jarniewicz a : Jarniewicz a : 93—5. Here, by deciding whether or not to translate, poetry translators may play a gatekeeping role, controlling the poet's access to a wider community or even with a globalized TL a global community of readers.

    When translation does happen, however, it often confirms or enhances the poet's status at home. Communities of interest might also be trans-national—those within and outside Bosnia supporting the anti-nationalist motives of the Scar on the Stone anthology, for instance Agee Communities of interest may interact with other communities: Scar on the Stone 's reader community, for example, might interact with the wider community of UK poetry readers, and in opposition to communities within and outside Bosnia which support ethno-nationalist models of politics and culture.

    One reason might be the rich variety of problems offered by poetry translation. There are risks in over-extending theories inspired by poetry translation into genres with very different communicative rules, such as technical translation. There is room, however, to research poetry translation in its own right, perhaps as part of a wider aim to map novice and expert translation across genres.

    Our knowledge about poetry translating is, perhaps surprisingly, still fragmentary. Many studies have compared specific source and target texts, and many after-the-event reports about how poetry translators tackled specific works. However, these rarely generalize beyond the individual case, and are hard to compare.

    There have been no book-length surveys of poetry translation as a whole, at least in English, since the s Lefevere , De Beaugrande And the more rigorous research methods that have recently done much to map non-literary translation have hardly been applied to poetry.

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    Few published studies using structured translator interviews or think-alouds look at poetry apart from, say, Flynn and Jones b. And I know of no concordance studies into poetry translation, or ethnographic accounts of poetry translation projects contrast e. Buzelin and Koskinen The posthumously published Translated!

    Papers on Literary Translation and Translation Studies by James Holmes —a poetry translator and a founding father of academic translation studies—remains crucial reading. She left Oxford in and returned to Crete, teaching English while she whittled her thesis into a book. And it was here that she began, tentatively, to write the poems that would eventually appear in her first collection - though publication remained over a decade off.

    Back in London, she took a teaching post at Birkbeck and met and married Myles Burnyeat, professor of ancient philosophy at Cambridge. In , their daughter, Gwen, was born, and the event acted as an unexpected catalyst for Padel's writing.

    A life in poetry: Ruth Padel

    I know of one editor who said: 'I'd never have anything to do with a poet; they never say what they mean. As the writing took off, however, Padel returned to London with her daughter then five. The family saw one another at weekends, but distance took its toll; Burnyeat and Padel eventually separated, "although we remain very good friends". Her first full-length collection, Summer Snow, came out in , when she was 44, and the inclusion of a poem from it in a PEN anthology led to an encounter with another poet, Matthew Sweeney, that had a profound effect on her career.

    We'd meet once a month at the Lamb pub on Conduit Street, bringing a poem each and considering them anonymously. My second collection, Angel, came out of the surprisingness of that process. Matthew had a genius for diagnosing a poem: he wouldn't say how to fix it, but he'd put his finger on the sore spot.

    It was he, too, who led to the formal shift in my work that happened in [the collection] Rembrandt Would Have Loved You. I was complaining about not being able to get away from three-liners, and he said: 'Well, you're stuck on it! Do something completely different. I became obsessed with this idea of form as a means of moving through the tangle.

    Elaborate, sensual, speckled with contemporary references to Pepsodent and Aretha Franklin, the poem exhibits all the qualities of Padel's mature work, and which saw her next two collections, Voodoo Shop and The Soho Leopard, shortlisted for the Whitbread and TS Eliot prizes.

    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets) Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)
    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets) Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)
    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets) Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)
    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets) Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)
    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets) Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)
    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets) Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)
    Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets) Exactly My Own Length (Oxford Poets)

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