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Translating poetry

Watch Dr Nicoletta Asciuto detail the process of translating poetry.

In this video, Dr Nicoletta Asciuto details the process of translating poetry: the difficulties, the joys, and what it means to her.

Translation has an interesting relationship to intertextuality. Here, one poet or translator isn’t quoting or invoking another writer, but importing them wholesale (including their own intertexts and points of reference) into another language.

Over to you

Consider these prompting questions and let us know what you think in the comments section. You may like to use these questions as a starting point for your comment, or you may choose to answer one specific question – we look forward to hearing from you!

What do you think about translating poetry – does it change the poem?

Should the translator try to be as accurate as possible in getting across the meanings of words?

Or should their focus be on poetic form and techniques (finding rhymes where the original also rhymes, for instance)?

Or is translation more about feeling, and capturing the mood and meaning of the original?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Poetry: How to Read a Poem

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