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Lost in Translation

  • Illini Union - Espresso Royale 1401 W Gr E Green St Urbana, IL, 61802 United States (map)

It's Thanksgiving break for students - I think it will be open but please let me know if the union will be closed and we will find a new location

This week we will discuss poetry in translation - nay not chaucer and shakespeare - but from cultures and languages - gasp - not english.  Unlike Europeans who are often bi, tri and more lingual - americans are - how shall we say it - a little provincial. How do we overcome this weakness to explore world poetry in translation? Aside from finding existing translations? Our members have a couple of suggestions and if you have other ideas please let us know. 

1- Create a "translation" using only the line length and sounds as guidelines. And then for fun - after you have written the "translation" find an english translation on line to compare. 

2- Use an online translator, but then capture the spirit of the poem in english

3- Okay, find a translation of a poem that really moves you and share it with the group. We all want to find new voices that inspire us. For example: the last nobel laureate writing poetry - Tomas Tranströmer - Swedish, While visiting Austria I learned about Georg Trakl, how about the middle east, or India, the whole continent of Africa, let's push boundaries this week there is a whole world of poetry to explore...

And if you have the time write your own poem inspired by your new favorite non - english speaking poet. Or just bring in your latest creation to share with the group. Remember to bring in 6-8 copies to share with the group. 

Hope to see you there!

Earlier Event: November 15
Submission Saturday