Thu, 25 April 2019
What is most difficult to translate, in my experience, is poetry that toys with sentimentality without ever crossing into its territory, poetry that counterbalances abstraction with precision. And that’s Víctor Terán’s poetry.
It is difficult to approach the edge of sentimentality without crossing it, and it is equally difficult to get as close to that edge as Terán has managed in Isthmus Zapotec. This funambulism is even more significant an achievement for Terán considering the state of the language: a Zapotec dialect spoken by fewer than one-hundred-thousand inhabitants of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in Oaxaca, Mexico.
This is part of our new rebranded weekly release: the Dual Poetry Podcast, one poem in two languages from the Poetry Translation Centre. As ever we will be releasing a translated poem each week.
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