"The translator must keep faith with the deeper need that poetry fulfills in our lives, [to] discover not what the poem says but what it does."-Tony Barnstone, in his essay "Poem Behind the Poem"
The translation of Asian poetry into Western languages has been one of the most important literary events over the past one hundred years. Readers have fallen in love with Asian poetry and writers have been greatly influenced by it.
What neither reader nor writer ever witness is
This endlessly fascinating anthology-the first of its kind-gathers essays, poems-in-translation, and worksheets from twenty-one noted translators who discuss their aspirations, methods, and the forces of imagination necessary to bring a poem from one language into another. Languages discussed include Chinese (both ancient and modern), Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Sanskrit.
"A truly apt translation of a poem may require an effort of imagination almost as great as the making of the original. The translator who wishes to enter the creative territory must make an intellectual and imaginative jump into the mind and world of the poet, and no dictionary will make this easier."-Gary Snyder on translating the Chinese poet Han-shan
Contributors include: Gary Snyder, Willis Barnstone, Jane Hirshfield, J.P. Seaton, John Balaban, Michelle Yeh, Arthur Sze, W.S. Merwin, and Sam Hamill. more >>