1. Torana

    Torana Contributor Contributor

    Mar 13, 2007
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    An intersting statement on grammer

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Torana, Apr 14, 2007.

    This is something I came across today that I thought was a very interesting read indeed.
    I thought I would share this article with you all and share the interesting statement that this person has made.
    Here is the link also to where it was found.

    hope you find thi sas interesting as I did :):)

    Reflections Concerning the Translation of Poetry Thinking about various modes of translating poetry it occurs to me that a translation that respects the rules of grammar must [inevitably] be a false translation of the original [the matter of originality will be discussed below] because a poem -- a true poem -- is a poem [the repetitiousness is deliberate here] that reflects on poetry as all true poems do while pretending to say something important about life, love, nature, mankind, death, religion, reality or whatever it pretends to be saying -- a true poem -- regardless of whether it is ancient, classical, romantic, symbolic, modern, contemporary, postmodern or whatever it is or has been made to be -- a true poem cannot, must not, will not respect the rules of grammar --

    grammar is the police of poetry grammar is the IRS of poetry grammar is the CIA of poetry grammar is the Gestapo of poetry grammar is worse than a concentration camp grammar dictates and to dictate is to be dictatorial grammar is the Hitler of poetry grammar exterminates true poetry grammar forces the one who translates into submission to the rules of grammar grammar destroys true poetry the day grammar was invented poetry was enslaved only those poets who revolted against this enslavement wrote true poems -- [the readers of these reflections concerning the translation of poetry can make their own list of poets who have revolted -- mine is already made] and so to render the grammarlessness [thank you sam] of a true poem one must not -- one cannot be faithful to the original because faithfulness would by necessity [and by obligation] introduce grammar into the new version in whatever language it has been translated --

    but there lies the ambiguity, the inescapable ambiguity and the paradox of translating a true poem because a translated poem that rejects the rules of grammar can only be a falsification of the original poem -- it has to be a false translation just as a translation that respects the rules of grammar is a false translation --

    only the original can be a true poem but since poems always borrow or steal from other poems then the act of poetry is always an act of plagiarization and as such a true poem is in fact a false poem --

    this is why the act of translating poetry is a futile act just as the act of writing poetry is a futile act since one can never write a true poem -- only the first poem was true but it quickly got lost, erased, forgotten into subsequent poems --

    and so to write poetry is to lose ground [I stole this from my Roumanian friend Emile Cioran] --

    [when Cioran told me that I replied] then why kill oneself to write poetry since one always kills oneself too late -- why write to say exactly what one wanted to say in the first place or what others have tried to say in vain --

    [those who disagree with the above reflections can reflect on the subject by themselves -- I merely wanted to share these reflections with those who may not have reflected on the question of translating poetry -- or cannot do so] -- these reflections apply also to the translation of fiction -- I thank you for your attention]

    By Louis

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