Jo Shapcott enthuses about the ‘magic’ of translating Farzaneh Khojandi with Narguess Farzad. She talks about the ‘daunting’ challenges she faced coming to terms with a poet whose work ‘seemed worlds away from the modern, urban context of my own work’.
Mimi Khalvati expresses her desire to preserve, ‘The sweetness and simplicity of [Kajal’s] voice, the political and personal passion, the directness and immediacy of the address ... [together with her] sense of humour and the fable-like quality of the poems’, in the translations she made with Choman Hardi.
Martin Orwin describes his initial approach to translating Gaarriye’s poetry as ‘an intense, deep reading’. He aims to make literal versions that ‘come to rest on the page dancing to as close a tune as possible as the original’. And he discusses the significance of ‘the interaction between syntax, metre and alliteration’ in Somali poetry.
The Conference Room in Manchester Central Library was packed with eager listeners for this event with three of our poets and their translators. It provided a very grand setting, with panelled walls and high sash windows. By the time we kicked off it was standing room only and there must have been at least sixty people in the audience.
I never realised the Moon landings had such a profound and far-reaching effect. For Corsino Fortes, driving his battered Peugeot 204 from Kuito to Luanda, the moment he heard the Americans had touched down was a revelation. He stopped the car, got out, put his hands on his head and looked up at the sky.
Coach D. I’m sitting opposite two of the world’s greatest living poets. Gaarriye is pinching my salt and vinegar crisps. Farzaneh Khojandi is asking, through her friend and translator, Narguess Farzad, about Welsh place names. I am not being much help.
If we could read the poets that move huge audiences elsewhere in the world, would it wake up our own? On the Guardian’s blog Sarah Maguire prescribes a course of translation to restore the vitality of British verse.
Following the extraordinary success of the first World Poets’ Tour in 2005, the Poetry Translation Centre has organised its second World Poets’ Tour which begins on Sunday 7th September at the Bristol Poetry Festival.