The Heart’s Fifth Chamber


The title poem of Angkarn's prize-winning collection, 'The Heart's Fifth Chamber' was a delight to translate. As you'll see if you compare Tracey's literal version with our final translation, we merely tweaked some details, such as describing the clouds as 'blanketing' the mountains (once we'd realised they lay below the mountain peaks) which we then described as 'hugging' the earth.

Throughout the poem, Angkarn appears to be using the surrounding mountains as a metaphor for the heart itself with its 'valleys' and 'mountains'. The idea of the heart having a fifth chamber is very beguiling. For Angkarn, it seems to harbour the spiritual nature of the self.

Sarah Maguire, Workshop Facilitator