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Creating a poetry anthology


The process of translation
Richard Wilbur Poet
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My notion of translation is that you try to bring it back alive, as Frank Buck used to say. If you take on a text which is somehow appropriate to you and which, if you know the language, you may already love, what you want to do I think is to be perfectly the slave of it, as perfectly the slave of it as you can be, and if you can't bring it across with the same sense, with an analogous form, I think it's not at all worth doing, and it amounts to an actionable crime.

Acclaimed US poet Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) published many books and was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He was less well known for creating a musical version of Voltaire's “Candide” with Bernstein and Hellman which is still produced throughout the world today.

Listeners: David Sofield

David Sofield is the Samuel Williston Professor of English at Amherst College, where he has taught the reading and writing of poetry since 1965. He is the co-editor and a contributor to Under Criticism (1998) and the author of a book of poems, Light Disguise (2003).

Tags: Frank Buck

Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008