12 may. 2003

I've been reading through "Sin puertas visibles" (Jen Hofer's anthology of Mexican women poetry). The translations are excellent, and the original poetry even better. I like to retranslate poems I like, tweak the translations to make the poems my own. Here is one by Dolores Dorantes, (who also has a blog; I have a link at my other site:

Peering over into the enigma
(symbol)

Haven't you ever seen the tiger under
your bed?

Blood forever behind
the red--

either fire or
disgust

Hofer's more faithful (in some ways) translation goes like this

Approaching the enigma
(the symbol)

see the tiger
under the bed?

the blood forever
behind the red

or the fire
or the tedium

I believe in reading as many different translations as possible. My translation gets at certain things that Hofer's doesn't--and vice-versa. I tweaked the line endings to get a certain rhythm that isn't necessarily there in the original, left off some definite articles that English doesn't need in this context, interpreted the "o ... o" construction as an "either ... or."

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