Poems

while I was with her

Notes

In our translation, we tried to maintain the slightly awkward syntax of the original. The poet rarely uses punctuation and we felt we ought to keep this slightly disruptive effect in the English version. We were keen to retain, too, the forceful repetition of the ‘se’ (‘it’) followed by an active verb to reinforce the catalogue of damage that the poem records, like someone noting the breakages on the inventory of a rental property. 

The poem divided the group into optimistic and pessimistic readers, some of the group feeling that the speaker had been so happily in love that they were prepared to neglect all trivial domestic maintenance, while they focussed on their love. However, our version of the poem focuses on what the majority of us saw as the negative and debilitating toll that the relationship took on the speaker. Leo Boix, our guest translator, suggested that the latter reading would make more sense given the poems surrounding this one in Giaganti’s collection.

Edward Doegar, Commissioning Editor

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