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Poetry; what? me poet?
Topic Started: Dec 20 2006, 06:59 AM (42,325 Views)
onefatman
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Do you guys read poetry at all? And if so, which sort? The beat-ish kind? longpoems? the cantos? newer poetry? o'hara? merrill? gunslinger?olson/creeley? robert hass/louise gluck? clampitt? jorie graham?

but this community seems very prose-ish. =)
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suzannahhh
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hmmm
well I have about 39
running feet
of shelf space
devoted to poetry
all kinds

a collection of epic poems
(who knew there were so many_
from Homer forward;
from Provence;
Alice Notley;
Anne Waldman;
Chas. Olson

yes even ole Ezra
(whom I am not all that fond of)

chapbooks abounding
of contemporary poets
collected works
my favorite being Octavio Paz

when I started writing poetry again
10 years ago
after a break of several decades
I read no poetry
other than my own
and that of a far-Northern berserkerpoet friend
as I didn't want to write
under the "influence"

but a couple of years ago
I started reading
because beyond
being concerned about influence
any longer

I'm just about to post up
today's efforts
in Your Writing




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orlando
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I find I am reading more and more poetry having started to write it in recent years. Current and recent reads include anne michaels, craig raine, ted hughes, sylvia plath, phillip Larkin (these latter three being my favourites), thomas hardy, Blake and Shakespeare's sonnets. I'm slowly acquainting myself with the classics and also want to read a lot more contemporary poetry.
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WilliamTwellman
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skull-walker
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Coleridge. LAUTREMONT
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onefatman
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@tonyH: very (good but) british taste. good (not as good as hughes or the almighty larkin though) contemporary british poet: michael hulse.
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orlando
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onefatman
Dec 20 2006, 06:38 PM
@tonyH: very (good but) british taste. good (not as good as hughes or the almighty larkin though) contemporary british poet: michael hulse.

Yes very british of me - also very newish to poetry of me too I think. I haven't heard of Hulse so will keep an eye out now. I was thinking of breaking out of my island bonds with some Rimbaud and Baudelaire but will have to read them in translation due to my poor French -- or is that sacrilege?
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laszlopaniflex
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A couple years ago, the poetry light went on suddenly and brightly.

I like Ashbery, James Tate, Cummings, Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Olson, Creeley, Charles Simic, Russell Edson, Tom Raworth, J. H. Prynne, etc.

My favorite is A. R. Ammons.

-matt
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onefatman
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sacrilege. no but try to read them in a prose translation. you'll lose the music but the beauty of the words you'll keep. for rimbaud the only great english translation i know is by beckett.
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suzannahhh
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since I've been collecting epics
I admit I have three or four different translations
of the Odyssey

the whole "THING" about translation
is fascinating to me

manyh books of poetry
PAz, Rilke, Neruda, Borges
are bi-lingual editions

matter of fact the Spanish I can read(haltingly)
derives
from my Latin French, English
and Paz's bcoolected of bi-lingual . . .

I'd really like to get really proficient
in several languages

there's a great book written in the 40's
called The Loom of LAnguage
and I'm certain if I were to go through it
assiduously
I'd come out the other end
well versed in about eight llanguages

the teutonic and romance ones
I have everything I need here
to get my Latin back up to speed
along with French, Italian, Spanish and German

currently so busy reading and writing in English
though
that I haven't inserted this particular
project into steady daily attention






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onefatman
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since I've been collecting epics
I admit I have three or four different translations
of the Odyssey


I own a chinese version of the odyssee. can't read it though. looks incredibly strange.


i have great difficulties reading translated poetry since i compared for example walter benjamins translations of baudelaire with the magnificent original poems and was shocked at the injustice the translation did to the poems. its always difficult to translate literature well. with poetry it is nearly impossible.
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suzannahhh
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on one of the wake lists
a man recently allowed as to how
he'd spent seven years translating the wake
into Dutch!

seems a task more than herculean
more like sisyphisean
to translate the wake
any further than it's already resemblance to
the idiosyncratic language it's oringianally writ in
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onefatman
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I am usually amazed that people translate the Jabberwocky into German. And sell it under its original author's name. as if the two texts had anything in common. that is one of the most untranslatable texts i know. far worse than wake
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orlando
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onefatman
Dec 21 2006, 10:55 AM
sacrilege. no but try to read them in a prose translation. you'll lose the music but the beauty of the words you'll keep. for rimbaud the only great english translation i know is by beckett.

Thanks for the tip about Beckett's translation. My french might be up to bilingual editions of the poetry, it might even improve as a result (soemthign I thought impossible since school, but I suppose theres no reason why not).
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onefatman
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some favorite english-language poets of mine

Pound (of the cantos)
James merrill
ted hughes
john berryman
robert lowell
edward dorn
amy clampitt
jorie graham
sylvia plath
philip larkin
rita dove
wallace stevens
delmore schwartz
john wheelwright
jean valentine

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Bleak
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onefatman
Dec 21 2006, 11:29 AM
its always difficult to translate literature well. with poetry it is nearly impossible.

yes but as Eco says, "despite the impossibility of translation, translation nevertheless happens." (paraphrase)

Onefat, I agree 100% that prose/literal translations of poetry are superior to translations that attempt to capture the music as well. You want the music? Learn the language. I hate the idea of a translator sacrificing literal meaning so that the translation rhymes like the original.

I read little poetry. Some Rilke (Der Knabe is my all-time favorite poem), Coleridge, Blake, Eliot, Rimbaud & Baudelaire... Unlike the classics of literature, poetry often ages badly, IMO.

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WilliamTwellman
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thanks for the list onefat! You never cease to provide me with some crucial names to investigate and for that I thank you. Any other list inclined folks wanna drop their poetic preferences?
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suzannahhh
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Octavio Paz
Alice Notley
Rachel Blau Duplessis
e.e. cummings
Dylan Thomas
earlier (more lyrical) Eliot
Anne Waldman
Shakespeare (especially various passages in the plays)
Coleridge
William Carlos Williams
Holderin
Sappho (Anne Carson translations)
Rilke
Homer
Virgil
Ovid
Wallace Stevens
Sor Juana
Nathaniel Mackey
Derek Walcott
Kamu Brathwaite

for starters

William -
I especially recommend Nathaniel Mackey to you
since he is also a musician (jazz)
(he just won a prize too
I can't remember offhand which: Pulitzer I think . . . )
for his latest book of poetry
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onefatman
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Derek Walcott is indeed amazing.
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onefatman
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I have difficulties seeing these written down:

Octavio Paz
Holderin (You meant Hölderlin, right?)
Rilke
Homer
Virgil
Ovid
Sor Juana

because this depends heavily from the translation, doesn't it?
I'm starting to read Mandelstam in russian and I slowly get a glimpse of the true poetical powers of this masterful poet.

Btw, I like the late Rilke more than the early Rilke, The Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies stand out from the mediocrity of his other work.

God I love Hölderlin. Oh I'll make a list of my favorite german poets:


Thomas Bernhard
Hölderlin
Peter Huchel
Heinrich Heine
Günther Eich
Ilse Aichinger
Volker Braun
Thomas Kling
Robert Gernhardt
Sarah Kirsch
Peter Rühmkorf
Heiner Müller
Inge Müller
Stefan George
Georg Trakl
Gottfried Benn

I think that's most of 'em.
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suzannahhh
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Quote:
 
I have difficulties seeing these written down:

Octavio Paz
Holderin (You meant Hölderlin, right?)
Rilke
Homer
Virgil
Ovid
Sor Juana

because this depends heavily from the translation, doesn't it?


LAaa yesss HEAVILY
however
Homer - the full extent of my Greek reading ability
is knowing the alphabet well enough to be able to phoenetiify the words
anad make guess from cognates
and a smattering of Greek terms
picked up in the sciences
and literature
u.s.w.

so here's what I have done
I have now
four renderings of Homer into English
both the Iliad and the Odessey

several of the Aeniad
and of Ovid
at least 2 of The Divine Comedy

and you see
it gives me a better idea
of what the original is probably like
mind you even if I could read the Greek
I expect my reading would be less
than what what writ . . .

Paz - I have a bilingual edition
he was fluent in English
he selected Eliot Weinburger to translate
and did much of it
with him

my Spanish is better comprehension wise
than my Greek and I have in fact
learned a heap of spanish
reading the Paz poems in Spanish
as I read them in English

and yess
I meant Hölderlin
(I had to steal/copy your umlaut'd o)
deliciously Pannish

some of them
I can smell the earth
falling off the words . . .

I agree about Rilke


Quote:
 
I'm starting to read Mandelstam in russian and I slowly get a glimpse of the true poetical powers of this masterful poet.


onefat -
you might want to search on
HGPoetics
a poet with a blog
who has written largely
(in his archives)
about Mandelstam




Btw, I like the late Rilke more than the early Rilke, The Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies stand out from the mediocrity of his other work.
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