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Poetry & TranslationThe Art of the Impossible$
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Peter Robinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312182

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315534

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What is Lost?

What is Lost?

(p.23) Chapter 2 What is Lost?
Poetry & Translation
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the validity of American poet Robert Frost's aphorism that poetry is what gets lost or left out in poem translation. It discusses the view that the effects of form, structure and meaning in the original poem cannot reconstituted in the translated poem using the materials of another set of interrelations from a different culture and suggests that the poetic quality of the translation would be something created entirely in the terms of the translating poet's skills as a composer of verse in the receiver language. This chapter also considers the views of Robert Lowell on poetry translation and his critic Vladimir Nabokov who claims that poetry translation is morally wrong and a cruel disrespect for the readers.

Keywords:   poetry translation, Robert Frost, poetic quality, translated poem, Robert Lowell, Vladimir Nabokov, morally wrong, disrespect for readers

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