Tuesday, 14 September 2010

"Behind him, the words"

Reading through Ted Hughes and Translation last night (see yesterday's posting), I was taken with one particular poem, "Out of three or four in the room" by Yehuda Amichai, translated by Ted Hughes. In the text in this book the literal, earlier translation by Stanley Burnshaw is followed line by line by the translation by Hughes and Assia Guttman. It reads like a new poem in its own right, with its strange, near echo. Maybe this could be a new poetry form. There's no room here for other than a sample:
And large stones that have been returned
And big stones put there
And remained unopened like letters that have no
And staying, closed, like letters
Address and no recipient
With no addresses; and no-one to receive them

2 comments:

battypip said...

Oh, I like this a lot - two different voices saying the same thing - can't wait to read the whole poem.

pablo said...

I liked this too. It illustrates beautifully an economy of language and the reversal of perspectives.