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Translation

Rimbaud’s Last Revelation

July 26, 2011
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Ashbery’s translation is the best we have in English so far.

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Translating Horace: Ode i.5

April 12, 2011
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Horace is just too good a craftsman for a translation to do him any ultimate justice. Yet I believe translators hope for a sort of “good will” that can exist between between themselves and the poet.

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On Mimesis

March 30, 2011
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Aristotle meant that poetry was mimetic of all of things, independent of another poet’s unique perspective. It is not necessary that poets imitate other poets, but that they imitate life.

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The Wonderful Burden of Living: A Review of Milan Djordjevic’s Oranges and Snow

March 28, 2011
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Djordjevic’s history of survival through political unrest and cruel accident made an impression on me before I read his work. But I had to learn to stand in each poem as if I were on an island.

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Kenneth Burke: Do you Eros into Logos? (with a note on Tu Fu)

March 18, 2011
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Poets who write for self-expression write awful poetry. They don’t seek advice but affirmation.

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How Tu Fu Works

March 11, 2011
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We perceive a break between images and feeling. But perhaps this break is artificial. We acknowledge that images can evoke feelings, perhaps that there is an “objective correlative” that can reliably evoke feelings. But perhaps what is being suggested here is that the category break is weaker than we think. The image (object) is already interpreted: “values are the way we see things.”

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Voices of the Fourth Generation

March 8, 2011
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The translated poems seem more interested in criticizing Chinese society than aesthetic expression. In spite of these issues, the translators should be respected for their down-to-earth choice of the poems.

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Some Notes on Translations of Horace

February 7, 2011
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If you are a poet writing in English, you carry Horace in your own voice.

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