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What I Own
Versions of Holderlin & Mandelshtam
Edited by John Riley and Tim Longville
Translated by John Riley and Tim Longville
Categories: 18th Century, 20th Century, German, Russian
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (128 pages)
(Pub. Jul 1998)
Out of Stock
The lines of life are various as roads or as
The limits of the mountains are, and what we are
Down here, in harmonies, in recompense,
In peace for ever, a god will finish there.
Holderlin, `To Zimmer'
These translations were completed in the 1960s and 1970s. `We were trying to make poems in English which, to whatever extent in different cases proved possible, would provide equivalents to the effects of the Russian and German originals. I emphasize equivalents because we were sufficiently Pound's disciples to feel that sometimes the truth of the original poem could best be rendered by what a literalist might read as a lie.'
Why these poets, these poems? Perhaps, Tim Longville suggests, because he and John Riley were attracted by 'the way in which... varieties of "excessive" emotion were meshed with varieties of "excessive" formal structure.' Of the original Grosseteste Press publication of the Holderlin versions, David Miller wrote in Poetry Information: `The translations... are easily comparable to those of Gascoyne, Middleton and Hamburger, and they have a freshness, an original and singular quality, while remaining faithful to Holderlin.'
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