ASYNCHRONOUS with LIVE ELEMENTS
Has it been hard for you to write in the past year or so? Me too—the blank page has gotten even more daunting than before. Let’s get to new poems another way. Many of us read translations or, ourselves, translate, because we love the original, and want to spread the word about a writer in another language. Or we translate because we think a writer hasn’t been served well by previous translators. But what if also serve ourselves and our own creative practice by borrowing, by adapting from other languages? In this course we’ll consider the basic translation issues (what do we care about most as we create a good poem in English out of a poem in another language? tone? imagery? meter and rhyme? diction? structure? thematic content? and what do we jettison to make a good poem in English?) But our main goal will be to create dynamic versions of old work that reflect our own 21st Century values, emotions, troubles, joys and idiom. You’ll leave class with 3-4 drafts of your own poem-adaptations—and perhaps with a way forward in hard times. You do not need to know another language. Literal and other translations will be supplied to those who want them; Google translate and a dictionary are central tools.
OPTIONAL LIVE ELEMENTS: We will hold an optional meet & greet at the beginning of class, and I’ll schedule zoom one-on-ones at the end of the session.
Daisy Fried’s book of “versions and aversions” of the 19th C. French poet, Charles Baudelaire, will be published by Flood Editions in 2022. She is also the author of three other books of poems: My Brother is Getting Arrested Again, Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It. A past Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellow in poetry, she is a member of the faculty of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for writers, and at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she lives.