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Its Very Own Breath

In the literary or “free” translation (I am more comfortable with calling it adaptation) of poetry, occasionally the Fates or, when one is very lucky, Erato smiles on the whole endeavor and sense and sound magically align in the into-language … Continue reading

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How Absolute a Knave

I stumbled on a poem recently by the Italian poet Sergio Solmi (1899-1981), “Entro la densa lente dell’estate,” whose first line, which also serves as the poem’s title, is a beauty—and a heartbreaker for the English translator, as any wonderful … Continue reading

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Imperfect Constancy

A scholar and friend of mine, a native French speaker whose love of English has left him with a sure mastery of the language and a long familiarity with its literature, had a translation problem that had been nagging him … Continue reading

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