The Poetry of Translation: From Chaucer and Petrarch to Homer and Logue

Hardcover | April 3, 2014

byMatthew Reynolds

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Poetry is supposed to be untranslatable. But many poems in English are also translations: Pope's Iliad, Pound's Cathay, and Dryden's Aeneis are only the most obvious examples. The Poetry of Translation explodes this paradox, launching a new theoretical approach to translation, and developingit through readings of English poem-translations, both major and neglected, from Chaucer and Petrarch to Homer and Logue.The word "translation" includes within itself a picture: of something being carried across. This image gives a misleading idea of goes on in any translation; and poets have been quick to dislodge it with other metaphors. Poetry translation can be a process of opening; of pursuing desire, orsuccumbing to passion; of taking a view, or zooming in; of dying, metamorphosing, or bringing to life. These are the dominant metaphors that have jostled the idea of "carrying across" in the history of poetry translation into English; and they form the spine of Reynolds's discussion. Where do these metaphors originate? Wide-ranging literary historical trends play their part; but a more important factor is what goes on in the poem that is being translated. Dryden thinks of himself as "opening" Virgil's Aeneid because he thinks Virgil's Aeneid opens fate into world history; Poundtries to bring Propertius to life because death and rebirth are central to Propertius's poems. In this way, translation can continue the creativity of its originals. The Poetry of Translation puts the translation of poetry back at the heart of English literature, allowing the many great poem-translations to be read anew.

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Poetry is supposed to be untranslatable. But many poems in English are also translations: Pope's Iliad, Pound's Cathay, and Dryden's Aeneis are only the most obvious examples. The Poetry of Translation explodes this paradox, launching a new theoretical approach to translation, and developingit through readings of English poem-translati...

Matthew Reynolds is author of The Realms of Verse (2001) and of Designs for a Happy Home: A Novel in Ten Interiors (2009). He has co-edited a book of translations, Dante in English (2005), revised the translation of Manzoni's The Betrothed (1997), and for several years chaired the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. He writes frequen...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:386 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:April 3, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199687935

ISBN - 13:9780199687930

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Table of Contents

I. Translation and Metaphor1. The Scope of Translation2. Translating Within and Between Languages3. Translation and Paraphrase4. Translating the Language of Literature5. Words for Translation6. Metaphors for Translation7. The Roots of Translatorly MetaphorsII. Translation as 'Interpretation,' as 'Paraphrase,' and as 'Opening'8. Are translations interpretations? Gadamer, Lowell and some contemporary poem-translations9. Interpretation and 'Opening:' Dryden, Chapman, and early translations from the Bible10. 'Paraphrase' from Erasmus to 'Venus T----d'11. Dryden, Behn and what is 'secretly in the poet'12. Dryden's Aeneis: 'a thousand secret beauties'13. Dryden's Dido: 'somewhat I find within'III. Translation as 'Friendship,' as 'Desire,' and as 'Passion'14. Translating an Author: Denham, Katherine Philips, Dryden, Cowper15. The Author as Intimate: Roscommon, Philips, Pope, Francklin, Lucretius, Dryden, FitzGerald, Untermeyer16. Erotic Translation: Theocritus, Dryden, Ovid, Richard Duke, Tasso, Fairfax, Petrarch, Charlotte Smith, Sappho, Swinburne17. Love again: Sappho, Addison, Ambrose Philips, Dryden, Petrarch, Chaucer, Wyatt, Tasso, Fairfax, Ariosto, Harington, Byron18. Byron's Adulterous Fidelity19. Pope's Iliad: The Hurry of PassionIV. Translation and the Landscape of the Past20. Pope's Iliad: a 'comprehensive View'21. Some perspectives after Pope: Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Pound, Michael Longley22. Epic Zoom: Christopher Logue's Homer (with Anne Carson's Stesichorus and Seamus Heaney's Beowulf)V. Translation as 'Loss,' as 'Death,' as 'Resurrection,' and as 'Metamorphosis'23. Ezra Pound: 'My job was to bring a dead man to life'24. FitzGerald's Rubaiyat: 'a Thing must live'25. The Metamorphoses of Arthur Golding (which lead to some Conclusions)

Editorial Reviews

"So much of what I read is in translation ... Matthew Reynolds, in The Poetry of Translation: From Chaucer and Petrarch to Homer and Logue , shows us what is at stake in these border crossings." --Marina Warner, Best Books of 2011 in The Guardian 27/11/2011