Somali culture has two lives. It lives both in the Somali language and in translation. It comes from Somali people writing in many different languages and making connections between Somali culture and the wider world. The Poetry Translation Centre, in collaboration with Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, The Royal African Society and Bristol Somali Festival are running two events with translated Somali Poets and Novelist Nuruddin Farah.
Like the poetry on the Poetry Translation Centre website coffee comes from all across the world. Enjoyed in different forms by people from many different cultures both coffee and poetry are loved around the world. Each culture’s poetry is recognisable as poetry yet singular and unique to that part of the world. The same goes for coffee.
What Gives Mohan Rana’s poetry its magnetic quality is that despite its philosophical profundity, his work is vividly accessible, even to those readers new to Indian philosophy and religion. His themes are universal and they are conveyed through simple, resonant images.
The Poetry Translation Centre has translated a number of poems from Hindi into English. You can find the original Hindi poems as well as the literal and final translations on our website. The Hindi poets we have translated are Mohan Rana, Gagan Gill & Amrita Bharati.
Kicking off a our new podcast series of poems from India, this week’s poem is ‘The Evening News and the Roof of the World’ by Hindi poet Mohan Rana. The poem is read first in English translation by Bernard O’Donoghue and then in Hindi by Mohan himself. Here you can read translator Lucy Rosenstein discuss Mohan’s poetry.
This week’s podcast is ‘The Poem Tree’ by Abdellatif Laabi from Morocco. The poem is read first in English translation by Andre Naffis-Sahely and then in French by Abdellatif himself.
The Poetry Translation Centre is returning to the Free Verse: The Poetry Book Fair this Saturday the 17th of September. The first 500 people to come to the fair and pick up their goody bags will find a free dual language poetry chapbook amongst the gifts donated by poetry publishers.
Listen to ‘Letter’ by Azita Ghahreman from Iran, the poem is read first in English translation by Maura Dooley and then in Farsi by Azita herself, and read BAFTA nominated producer and programmer Elhum Shakerifar’s essay on translating Azita Ghahreman for the PTC.
Afghan poet Partaw Naderi writes about his poem ‘Beauty’ and how the Poetry Translation Centre first contacted him about his work: “A very long number, unknown to me, appeared on the screen. My first reaction was panic: could this be my landlord demanding I leave this apartment?”
The Fruit-Seller’s Philosophy was originally written in Kurdish by Kajal Ahmad. It was translated into English by Mimi Khalvati and Choman Hardi. YOu can read more about this collaborative translation process in Khalvati’s Essay.