11 abr. 2006
What's great about that Ashbery translation is that it's both Baudelaire and Ashbery. It really does get at a particularly Baudelairean tone, as Henry eloquently explain in a comment below. Yet the poem can appear side by side with other JA poems and not be out of place. It's located at the exact point where the two styles meet. We might hypothesize what this point would look like before hand, but it's even better to have it. [Like O'Hara channeling Mayakovsky in a "A True Account of Talking to the Sun,"or Rilke in "Aus Einem April."] Schuyler's translation of a Dante sestina. Maybe Celan translating Dickinson would provide a similar pleasure (I haven't read his translations: I need someone to translate them back to English for me.) Pound and Li Po. Richard Howard doesn't do it for me. He is a poet, he is a fine translator of Roland Barthes, but I don't see that magical conjunction to two styles. It's a pretty rare event, in my view. That is, many translations are praised and read with profit, but when you really ask whether it is "poetry in English," you usually have to say no. Even Koch's Roussel doesn't do it for me. Lowell's imitations would be a good example if I liked Lowell. Since I don't appreciate his style, I can't appreciate its conjunction with the work of another poet either.