Wednesday, February 10, 2010

when poetry goes thud

I was a little put-off by the translation of the C├ęsaire poem, in the Jan 25 issue, but I didn't know quite what to say about it. I'm not sure that nomad and poet Pierre Joris does either, but he brings up some interesting points. One of his commentators puts it this way, "The complexities of communist or any political temblors in the Caribbean require exactitudes of expression from both poet and tranlator."

On the New Yorker's poetry in general, Joris' own elaborate prose made me smile: "the editors must have decided that the traditional light fare of its poetry department, which has usually been intellectually somewhat less demanding than its cartoons, needed to be upgraded for the occasion." Well, you get the idea. And it's funny.

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