transcreation II

Last week, in the post Coast to Coast, I briefly mentioned transcreation. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a portmanteau word derived from translation and creation.

Translation is seldom easy and, depending on your definition of the word, translation of poetry may be considered impossible: should you focus on form or content? on sound, on patterns of metre or rhyme, or on meaning?
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coast to coast

I’ve been travelling along the rocky Galician coastline that has seen so many shipwrecks that it has earned the name of Costa da Morte – the Coast of Death.

While I was trying to capture the effects of the light on the brightly coloured boats in the harbour at Muxía, I noticed a flock of seagulls paying close attention to a chap who was busy at the water’s edge.
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binge

Apparently Monday was Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, when the weather is lousy, the days are still too short and we are all despairing over having failed to keep our New Year resolutions.

I don’t make resolutions – which is probably the best way not to break them – but I do recognise that for me this last week has little to do with healthy eating, exercise, diets or other good habits that people tend to adopt at this time of year.
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not my idea

I reckon I started writing poetry some fifty years ago.

Since then, there have been periods when ideas have flowed thick and fast. There have also been times when I have forgotten about poetry, perhaps for years on end.

And then there have been times when I have not forgotten about poetry, but it seems to have forgotten about me.
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transcreation

Catalonia coastline
Catalonian coastline
After I posted about poetry translation last week, Ben came by and left a comment. So off I went to look at his blog, the recently started Project Poesía, an Anglo-Catalán poetry project.

I started tinkering with one of the pieces he had there, making a translation based on La Barceloneta, an original by Alexandre Plana; Ben has now added my draft translation to his blog as a guest post. (You can also read the original and Ben’s translation)

I’ve always thought that you need to feel some empathy with a poem to make a good translation. But now I’m beginning to wonder what happens if you feel too much empathy.
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