For his guest blogging week in September, Joshua Mehigan invited 19 translators to share their views on the qualities that readers should consider when seeking to read translations of verse in languages they don’t know. His posts were so popular that they're worth highlighting again, especially since Joshua has added new material that was unavailable in September.
For Part I, Joshua asked contributors to list up to five things readers should consider before reading a collection of poetry in translation. Read the answers here.
For Part II, Joshua asked contributors to list up to five contemporary translations of poetry that they think work as English-language poetry while also faithfully conveying the semantic content and something of the original’s greatness or importance. He also asked them to cite the most successful translation they've done. Read the responses here.
We are grateful to the following poets and translators who generously contributed to Joshua's posts: Geoffrey Brock, Bill Coyle, Dick Davis, Rhina Espaillat, David Ferry, Christophe Fricker, Jonathan Galassi, Rachel Hadas, Len Krisak, David Lehman, Charles Martin, Robert Mezey, Michael Palma, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody, Roger Sedarat, Alicia Stallings, Rimas Uzgiris, and Philip White.
Daniel Nester's Incredible Sestina Anthology is out and to go along with it, he's posting a series of interviews with contributors to the volume. They discuss their own introduction to the form along with the spark that inspired their poem. If you've never attempted a sestina, reading these interviews just might motivate you to pick six and get going.
I love Joy Katz's essay on poetry and grief over at the Poetry Foundation website. It's lovely and moving both for her observations and her elegant language.