A Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Translation

Mantis 2

Date: 
01/01/2001

Poetry and Translation

Most translators' introductions begin with an apology, an elegy of sorts for what has been "lost in translation."  But when called upon to discuss their work, translators often take the opposite track, asserting the importance of our craft in the face of a world of increasing linguistic homogenization.  Translation, like poetry, is a mode of travel, a crossing of boundries: the journey of words from one language to another, the journey on meaning from one word to another.  The story we tell ourselves about translation--and it is undenieably true--is one of shy yet necessary heroism.  Translation makes possible the kind of communication that keeps us connected to each other, that breaches both personal and national boundries.