Poem Podcast from the Poetry Translation Centre

Listen to the 'The Lost Button' by Fatena Al-Gharra, Translated from the Arabic by Anna Murison and Sarah Maguire.

The poem is read first in English by the poet-translator Sarah Maguire and then in Arabi by the poet Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

Direct download: The_Lost_Button.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am UTC

Bejan Matur is an award-winning Kurdish-Alevi poet from Turkey writing in Turkish and Kurdish. Her poetry has been translated into
more than twenty languages. She currently lives in London.

Her poems were translated by Jen Hadfield and Canan Marasligil.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

Direct download: BEJAN_MATUR_IN_THE_TEMPLE_OF_A_PATIENT_GOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am UTC

Last week we received the sad news that the PTC's founder and Artistic Director, Sarah Maguire, had died. Over the years she produced many wonderful translations for the PTC.

This week to celebrate her work we are releasing this extended podcast featuring 11 poems by Partaw Naderi from Afghanistan, that Sarah translated with her good friend and Yama Yari. 

Each poem is read first in English translation by Sarah and then in Dari by Partaw himself.

A fuller reflection of Sarah's life and work will follow soon. If you have memories you would like to share with us please write to erica@poetrytranslation.org.

 

Direct download: Partaw_Naderi_Podcast.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

‘The Mark’ by Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is addressed directly to the men ruling of Somalia / Somaliland, urging them to find peace, to bring clans together and to raise the country up.

As with many of her poems, it begins with an intro about how Asha Lul hasn't recited for a while but now she must speak.

The main body of the poem lays out her arguments.

Finally, it ends with a summary asking God to bring about a better world that leaves the reader with a hopeful tone.

First, you will hear Clare Pollard’s English Translation and then Asha Lul reading the original Somali

This month sees the publication of her first English Language collection published by Bloodaxe Books.

The collection's title The Sea-Migrations or, Tahriib in Somali, refers to the search for a better life in another country.

You can buy The Sea-Migrations here.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

Direct download: ALMY_THE_MARK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am UTC

Beloved by Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is a passionate love poem!
It is a jiifto, one of the many Metric forms of Somali poetry made up of short lines.

First, you will hear the stunning translation by UK poet Clare Pollard who captures the alliterating Bs of the original Somali and the sense of yearning with lines like 'be my new moon / unbreakable metal'.

Afterwards, you can hear Asha reading the poem in the original Somali.

This month sees the publication of her first English Language collection published by Bloodaxe Books.

The collection's title The Sea-Migrations or, Tahriib in Somali, refers to the search for a better life in another country.

You can buy The Sea-Migrations here.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

Direct download: ALMY_BELOVED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am UTC

This week’s poem is 'With a Red Flower' by Azita Ghahreman from Iran. The poem is read first in English translation by Maura Dooley and then in Farsi by Azita. 

Next year we will be publishing a collection of Azita's poetry with Bloodaxe Books.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

 

 

Direct download: PP_Azita_With_a_Red_Flower_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am UTC

This week's poem is 'Self-Misunderstood' by Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye' from Somaliland.  The poem is read first in English translation by W N Herbert and then in Somali by Gaarriye himself.

You can now buy Gaarriye's beautiful rejacketed chapbook here: http://www.poetrytranslation.org/shop/maxamed-xaashi-dhamac-gaarriye-chapbook

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

 

Direct download: PP_Gaarriye_Self-misunderstood_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05am UTC

This week’s poem is 'Orphan' by Asha Lul Mohamad Yusuf from Somalia/Somaliland. The poem is read first in English translation by Clare Pollard and then in Somali by Asha.

Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is a powerful woman poet in a literary tradition still largely dominated by men. She is a master of the major Somali poetic forms, including the prestigious gabay which presents compelling arguments with mesmerising feats of alliteration. 

This week sees the publication of her first English Language collection published by Bloodaxe Books.

The collection's title The Sea-Migrations or, Tahriib in Somali, refers to the search for a better life in another country.

You can buy The Sea-Migrations here.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

Direct download: PTC_Caasha_Orphan_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:14pm UTC

Bejan Matur is the most illustrious poet among a bold new women’s poetry emerging from the Middle East. Her poetry engages directly and concretely with the struggles of her people, and yet there is also a mysticism in her writing, a closeness to nature, an embracing of mythology – a dialogue with God.

This poem and many others that appear in her PTC chapbook 'If This is a Lamnet' were translated by TS Elliot Award-winning poet Jen Hadfield and bridge translator Canan Marasligil.

If you enjoy this poem and would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our JustGiving Page.

Direct download: REVISED_BEJAN_MATUR_EVERY_WOMAN_KNOWS_HER_OWN_TREE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36am UTC

This week's poem is by David Huerta from Mexico.  The poem is read first in English translation by Jamie McKendrick and then in Spanish by David himself. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about David Huerta and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

Direct download: PP_David_Spell_for_September_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:21am UTC

This week's poem podcast contains three short poems by Kurdish-Turkish Poet Bejen Matur, translated by Canan Marasligil and UK poet Jen Hadfield. The poems are 'Dead Sun', 'There is no Sun' and 'Truth'.

You can buy a chapbook of Bejan's poems entitled 'If This Is a Lament' from the PTC shop.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us.

Direct download: 3_short_poems_a_dead_sun_there_is_no_spring_truth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23am UTC

This week's poem is by Partaw Naderi from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Dari by Partaw himself. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Partaw Naderi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: PP_Partaw_Desolation_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am UTC

This week's poem is by Maria Clara Sharupi Jua from Ecuador.  The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Shuar by Maria Clara herself. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Maria Clara Sharupi Jua and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our websitewww.poetrytranslation.org. #WomenInTranslation

Direct download: PP_MariaClara_MakeMeDrunkWithKisses_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

All this month we are celebrating Women In Traslation.

This poem was written and translated by women. Enjoy!

'But' is by Azita Ghahreman from Iran. The poem is read first in English translation by Maura Dooley and then in Farsi by Azita herself. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Azita and all the other poets we've translated, please visit www.poetrytranslation.org.

From 'Zuzanna Olszewska on Translating Shakila Azizzada'

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: Azita_But_2_WEB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am UTC

Featuring: Shakila Azizzada, Mimi Khalvati

I had the opportunity to meet Shakila Azizzada at her home on 6th November 2011 when I travelled to the Netherlands on other business. During this visit, it was a pleasure to get to know Shakila and her family and learn about her life and the story of her immigration to the Netherlands. This provided valuable context for understanding her creative work and inspirations, and paved the way for a warm and positive working relationship.

She gave me copies of nine previously published poems and two new ones and I annotated them as we discussed them in depth. She described the circumstances that had inspired individual poems’ composition and the people to whom they were dedicated. She also explained metaphors and phrases that were either highly personal, or rooted in the colloquial language of Kabul, whose meanings were not readily apparent to me. In a few cases, since the Persian second and third-person singular pronouns are not gender-specific, she clarified these as well. There is also a tendency for the poet to address herself in a poem in the second person, so she clarified where in certain places 'you' in fact meant 'I'

Following this very fruitful meeting, I made literal translations of these poems and three further ones, clarifying a few further points with Shakila over Skype. I then met Mimi in London on 7th December and we went over all the poems in detail, passing on Shakila’s explanations: another warm and productive meeting. I also read the poems out for Mimi in Persian, which she understands at a conversational level, to allow her to hear the rhythm and any instances of word play or double meanings, and later created recordings for her that she could listen to when necessary.

From 'Zuzanna Olszewska on Translating Shakila Azizzada'

If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: PP_Shakila_The_Bridal_Veil_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:53pm UTC

This week’s poem is 'The Bridal Veil' by Shakila Azizzada from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Dari by Shakila. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Shakila Azizzada and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Shakila_The_Bridal_Veil_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

This week's poem is by Kajal Ahmad from Kurdistan.  The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Kurdish by the poet Choman Hardi. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Kajal Ahmad and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

 If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: PP_Kajal_Directions_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42am UTC

This week's poem is by Maxamed Ibraahin Warsame 'Hadraawi' from Somalia/Somaliland. The poem is read first in English translation by WN Herbert and then in Somali by Hadraawi. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Maxamed Ibraahin Warsame 'Hadraawi' and all the other poets we've translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org. 

 If you would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: PP_Amazment_by_Hadraawi_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This poem is called 'Taste' by Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf from Somalia/Somaliland. The poem is read first in English translation by Clare Pollard and then in Somali by Asha.

Direct download: PP_Caasha_Taste_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

There is a constant struggle in Turkey between being oneself and having to fit into a mould – a mould shaped by nationalistic values and imposed by a majority – which makes daily life extremely difficult for people who come from one of the many minority communities. This state of struggle and in-betweenness is described in the poem ‘Uniform’ – from school days dressed in ‘mouse grey’ skirts all the way to adulthood.

The human suffering, the yearning for love and hope, portrayed in Karakaşlı’s poems is the daily reality for people in many parts of the world. Beyond specific historical and cultural contexts, Karin Karakaşlı’s poetry is a beautiful expression of the human soul: with all its darkness and light, including all the many shades of emotions and thoughts in between, seeking to build a common language through poetry.

Canan Marasligil, from her introduction to Karin's Chapbook History-Geography

If you enjoy this podcast and would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: uniform01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm UTC

Bejan Matur is the most illustrious poet among a bold new women’s poetry emerging from the Middle East. Her poetry engages directly and concretely with the struggles of her people, and yet there is also a mysticism in her writing, a closeness to nature, an embracing of mythology – a dialogue with God.

This poem and many others that appear in her PTC chapbook 'If This is a Lamnet' were translated by TS Elliot Award-winning poet Jen Hadfield and bridge translator Canan Marasligil.

If you enjoy this poem and would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our JustGiving Page.

Direct download: ceremonial_robes_weekly_poem_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am UTC

This week's poem is 'The Fruit Seller's Philosophy' by Kajal Ahmad from Kurdistan.  The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Kurdish by the poet Choman Hardi.

If you enjoy this poem and would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our JustGiving Page.

"My first reaction on receiving Choman Hardi's literal translations of Kajal Ahmed's poems was how good they were, and how little I would seemingly have to do! I think it helped enormously that Choman is such a good poet herself and, in these first versions, had already caught much of the rhythm and tone of Kajal's work. The sweetness and simplicity of the voice, the political and personal passion, the directness and immediacy of the address, were qualities that struck me most, and which I decided were the most important to preserve. I also liked Kajal's sense of humour and the fable-like quality of the poems, evoking so clearly her cultural heritage. In my translations, I also wanted to preserve some sense of the Kurdish language, while helping the poems to sit naturally in English. In considering the strengths and weaknesses of my own voice, I thought that the biggest danger for me might be in losing some of the simplicity that Choman had achieved so gracefully and, to this end, decided to stick as closely as possible to these first versions."

Mimi Khalvati on Translating Kajal Ahmad, click here to read more.

Direct download: PP_Kajal_The_Fruit_Sellers_Philosophy_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

this week's poem 'Schism' is by Al Saddiq Al Raddi from Sudan. The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Arabic by Saddiq himself.

This poem is from a book of poems by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi inspired by the Petrie Museum’s collection of material from Meroë in Sudan.

If you enjoy this poem and would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our JustGiving Page.

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Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi is one of the leading African poets writing in Arabic today. He has gained a wide audience in his native Sudan for his imaginative approach to poetry and for the delicacy and emotional frankness of his lyrics. His poetry has always been concerned with the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of Sudan and its complex history.

Saddiq was born in 1969 and grew up in Omdurman Khartoum where he lived until forced into exile in 2012. From 2006, he was the cultural editor of Al-Sudani newspaper until he was sacked from his position for political reasons (along with 22 other colleagues) in July 2012 during the uprising against the dictatorship of Omar Al-Bashir. Saddiq only escaped imprisonment because, thanks to the miraculous timing of Poetry Parnassus (the world's largest ever gathering of international poets at which Saddiq represented Sudan), he was in the UK when a series of mass arrests took place. He successfully applied for asylum and is now living in London.

Find out more about Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi 

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Direct download: PP_Schism_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week's poem is 'The Word' by Reza Mohammadi from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Nick Laird and then in Dari by Reza Mohammadi.

If you enjoy this poem and would like to support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our JustGiving Page.

"I was never convinced I was fully ‘getting' the poetry - but it became slightly easier to live with that mystification when I asked Reza to read a poem or two, in Dari, there in the office.

It was, initially, mildly awkward, but that soon faded as Reza got going. He's a great reader of his work, and it turned out it was deeply beneficial to the whole process to hear how he read. Once he began speaking, I realized I could learn a great deal just from the tone in which he read. It was almost irrelevant that I couldn't understand a word he was saying. I got the tone, the style, the import. He read in this unembarrassed, enthralled, rather grand voice, and if that was how the poet read them, that was also how they were written. Reza reads like he's a channel for something greater than himself, and I realized that rather than trying to tame or domesticate his poems into western ideas of order or neatness, I should just try to present them in a language that did its best to allow their strength and power to come through. I aimed to keep the strangeness in them that I experienced on encountering them, and decided to worry less about technique and more about voice."

From Nick Laird on Translating Reza Mohammadi

 

 

Direct download: PP_Reza_The_Word_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week’s poem is 'This Prisoner Breathes' by Noshi Gillani from Pakistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Lavinia Greenlaw and then in Urdu by UK authorKamila Shamsie.

Noshi Gillani was born in Pakistan in 1964. Her fifth collection of poems: Ay Meeray Shureek-E-Risal-E-Jaan, Hum Tera Intezaar Kurtay Rahey (O My Beloved, I Kept Waiting for You) was published in Pakistan in 2008.

The candour and frankness of her highly-charged poems is unusual for a woman writing in Urdu and she has gained a committed international audience, performing regularly at large poetry gatherings in Pakistan, Australia, Canada and the US. Unknown outside the Pakistani community, the translations here mark her introduction to an English-speaking audience.

If you enjoyed this podcast you can support the PTC by going to our JustGiving Page and making a donation.

Direct download: PTC_Noshi_This_Prisoner_Breathes_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week’s poem is 'Birds' by Kajal Ahmad from Kurdistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Kurdish by Kajal Ahmad.

In her essay on translating Kajal Ahmad Mimi Khalvati says "The sweetness and simplicity of the voice, the political and personal passion, the directness and immediacy of the address, were qualities that struck me most, and which I decided were the most important to preserve. I also liked Kajal's sense of humour and the fable-like quality of the poems, evoking so clearly her cultural heritage. In my translations, I also wanted to preserve some sense of the Kurdish language, while helping the poems to sit naturally in English. In considering the strengths and weaknesses of my own voice, I thought that the biggest danger for me might be in losing some of the simplicity that Choman had achieved so gracefully and, to this end, decided to stick as closely as possible to these first versions."

If you enjoyed this podcast you can support the PTC by going to our JustGiving Page and making a donation.

Direct download: PTC_Kajal_Birds_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week's poem is 'When Morning Breaks ' by Corsino Fortes from Cape Verde.  The poem is read first in English translation by Sean O'Brien and then in Portuguese by Corsino himself.

Born and brought up on the Cape Verdean island of São Vicente, Corsino Fortes studied in Portugal and spent much of his working life abroad, so while his work is concerned with giving voice to the life of his own country, his perspective is often that of an exile, and exile and redemptive return are among his recurring themes. Significantly he uses the oral language Cape Verdean Creole, as well as standard Portuguese (sometimes one or other, sometimes the two blended together) - itself a powerful statement reinforcing the idea of the islands' distinctive African nature. Fortes's began writing in the dying days of colonial rule, and he uses his work to reclaim, almost to recreate, his newly reborn country. But while the islands' post-colonial nature is constantly conspicuous, these are not obviously political poems, or at least not as we usually understand that term; they do not deal with the country's governments, leaders or freedom-fighting heroes, but present the islands almost mythically - a living place imbued with creative, regenerative forces. 

If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out how you can support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our website.

 

Direct download: PP_Corsino_When_Morning_Breaks_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week's poem is by Shakila Azizzada from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Dari by Shakila herself. 

Shakila has spent many years in the Netherlands and her poetry reflects both her Afghan heritage and her European influences. She also writes in Dutch and translates her own poetry both ways.  She is a very musical poet,  tender and intimate, but also uncompromising in her political poems, and sometimes surreal – a poet of range and courage.  Many of the poems, or parts of them, were relatively straightforward to translate and, perhaps because of the European influence, seemed to slip happpily into English.  Shakila’s voice is not as adorned as some poetry in Farsi that I have read, and is idiomatic and sometimes humourous or satiric.  I speak colloquial Farsi and this of course was a great help as, with Zuzanna’s help, I could understand most of the original.  Zuzanna also recorded a tape for me of the poems we were working on and this, more than anything else, helped me to try and find equivalent idioms while replicating the musical phrases.

If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out how you can support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our website.

 

Direct download: PP_Shakila_A_Feather_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week's poem is by David Huerta from Mexico.  The poem is read first in English translation by Jamie McKendrick and then in Spanish by David himself.

If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out how you can support the Poetry Translation Centre please visit our website.

David Huerta's poems frequently turn on images that are experiences in themselves. In an eerie piece, he describes a poem by Gottfried Benn:

A flower fell apart in the middle of an autopsy
and the doctor who'd cut open the corpse
saw how those petals landed among the inner organs.

This may only be a poem, but it takes hold of the speaker, removing him from his daily obligations. It is ‘something I must / come to terms with it won't be easy but I have to do it'.

If ‘Poem by Gottfried Benn' recalls the violence of ‘Nine Years Later', it also revisits the earlier poem's cathartic purpose. Huerta turns away from questionable generalizations about history to concentrate on the experience of the individual. But he doesn't stop there; he casts a steady gaze back on the self that is the repository of that experience. This is not confessional poetry and he pokes fun at the autobiographical figure with his ‘imperious solipsistic moustache, / the hirsute landscape of minor characters'.

From Three Mexican Poets by Tom Boll

Direct download: PP_David_Poem_by_Gottfried_Benn_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week's poem is by Coral Bracho from Mexico.  The poem is read first in English translation by Katherine Pierpoint and then in Spanish by Coral herself. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Coral Bracho and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Coral_Of_Their_Eyes_Adorned_with_Crystal_Sands_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week's poem is by Saado Cabdi Amarre from Somaliland.  The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Somali by Saado herself. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Saado Cabdi Amarre and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Saado_Never_Forget_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week’s poem is by Kajal Ahmad from Kurdistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Kurdish by Kajal. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Kajal Ahmad on our website.

Direct download: PTC_Kajal_Pregnancy_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm UTC

This week’s poem is by Reza Mohammadi from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Nick Laird and then in Dari by Reza. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Reza Mohammadi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website. www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Reza_To_Love_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week’s poem is by Abdellatif Laabi from Morocco. The poem is read first in English translation by Andre Naffis-Sahely and then in French by Abdellatif. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Abdellatif Laabi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PTC_My_Mothers_Language_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am UTC

This week's poem is by Kajal Ahmad from Kurdistan.  The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Kurdish by the poet Choman Hardi. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Kajal Ahmad and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Kajal_The_Lonely_Earth_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05am UTC

This week's poem is by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi from Sudan.  The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Arabic by Saddiq himself.

'He Tells Tales of Meroe' is from a new book of poems by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi inspired by the Petrie Museum’s collection of material from Meroe in Sudan.

You can buy 'He Tells Tales of Meroe' here.

Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi will be giving a free reading at The Mosaic Rooms on the 22nd of March 2017. Book your place here.

If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website.

www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: He_Tells_Tales_of_Meroe_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:04am UTC

This week's poem is by Mohan Rana from India.  The poem is read first in English translation by Bernard O'Donoghue and then in Hindi by Mohan himself. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Mohan Rana and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our websitewww.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Mohan_Another_Word_For_It_3.mp3
Category:poetry -- posted at: 1:07am UTC

Some of Azita’s poetry is also quite challenging to understand for a Persian speaking audience – although the inherent mood and rhythm of poetry can allow you to forgive and gloss over the fact that sometimes expressions or images doesn’t make complete logical sense. For the translations, however, all three of us felt it was important to give some additional pointers to the English speaking audience, so that they can understand at least one of the layered meanings – whether cultural or personal – and so that misunderstandings were not thought to be a product of the translation. Azita, who is currently also translating all her work into Swedish with a Swedish translator, told me that she was aware of the difficulty her work poses for translators, as every single word can have a hidden meaning.

At this stage, Maura and I decided to change some of the initial choices made, and swap one of the newer and longer poems for two shorter poems that referenced the theme of exile, which up till now hadn’t been valorised through the choice of poems – 'When Winter Comes' and 'The Boat That Brought Me'. Azita wasn’t very pleased with this decision at first, as they have already been translated elsewhere, but in the end, she thinks that 'When Winter Comes' is one of the strongest translations of all, so she’s happy with the choice.

Azita was very helpful to work with, and as the poems got closer and closer to their final translations, she made time to read, and speak to me about them all. She was happy for certain elements to be changed to make more sense for an English speaking audience (e.g. the poppy in with a red flower, which could have been translated as simply ‘flower’ or ‘rose’ but we chose to make closer to the meaningful red flowers in English) and was very happy to feel that a real sense of musicality had been carried across in Maura’s writing.

From Elhum Shakerifar on Translating Azita Ghahreman

Direct download: PTC_Azita_The_Boat_That_Brought_Me_4.mp3
Category:poetry -- posted at: 9:46am UTC

Víctor Terán inhabits a different cultural tradition to the other Mexican poets translated by the PTC. He writes in a dialect of Zapotec spoken by a mere 100,000 people living on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca province. In spite of its limited extent, this region has produced a succession of notable writers. According to Carlos Montemayor, whose Los escritores indígenas actuales (Indigenous Writers Today) (1992) marks a key moment in the promotion of Mexico's native languages, Isthmus Zapotec can claim to be the most vibrant modern example of the country's indigenous literature.

The aspect of indigenous culture that has most commonly appealed to the literary mainstream in Latin America is its cosmogony, or vision of the universe. Readers looking for these forms of collective myth in Víctor Terán, however, will be surprised. In ‘The North Wind Whips' the speaker muses,

Someone unthinkingly
smoked cigarettes in heaven,
left it overcast, listless.

The image is witty, urbane, a projection of the poet's inner frustration onto the world outside rather than a communally sanctioned vision.

Carlos Montemayor has described Terán as the most ‘personal' poet writing in Isthmus Zapotec. That is a significant claim for somebody writing in a tradition for which the concept of the individual author is a relatively recent invention. Terán's poems frequently trace the to-and-fro of the speaker's feelings. As his translator David Shook points out, he ‘toys with sentimentality without ever crossing into its territory'. In ‘Six Variations on Love':

Love
is wild honey that seeps from a tree,
sap of tender maize-cob generous at dawn,
sap that runs
through the intimate garden of a woman.

The abstraction of ‘love' is grounded  in precise physical observation ( maize-cob ‘at dawn' rather than at any other time) which guides the sequence towards a particularly sexual desire. This association of sexual desire and physical environment can take startling forms. In ‘Whirlwind', ‘My heart stretched across the bed, waiting for you' while ‘the pigs make known / that they attack the boy squatting to do his business.' Not only is this an unsentimental view of erotic relations, it is also a blunt portrait of rural culture.

From Three Mexican Poets by Tom Boll

Read more about Víctor Terán.

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Direct download: PP_Victor_You_Will_Not_Manage_to_Hurt_Me_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week's poem is by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi from Sudan. The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Arabic by Saddiq himself. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Saddiq_Bar_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am UTC

This week's poem is 'Cat Lying in Wait' by Shakila Azizzada from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Dari by Shakila herself. If you enjoyed this recording and would like to find out more about Shakila and all the other poets we've translated, please visit our website at www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: Shakila_Cat_Lying_in_Wait_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12pm UTC

This week's poem is by Saado Cabdi Amarre from Somaliland. The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Somali by Saado herself. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Saado Cabdi Amarre and all the other poets we've translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Saado_You_Understand_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am UTC

This week’s poem is by Abdellatif Laabi from Morocco. The poem is read first in English translation by Andre Naffis-Sahely and then in French by Abdellatif.

Abdellatif Laâbi is virtually unknown in the English-speaking world, yet is considered by many to be not only Morocco’s foremost contemporary poet but one of the most important poets writing today. In 2010 he was awarded the Goncourt Prize for Poetry, France’s highest literary award. When Lawrence Ferlinghetti visited Paul Bowles in Morocco in search of poetry talent for his City Lights press and bookshop, the expatriate composer, author, translator and long-time Tangier resident told him to look up Abdellatif Laâbi.

Abdellatif Laâbi has a wonderful low voice, sonorous, light, delicately poised, with just an edgy hint of a Maghreb accent. It’s a real joy to hear a poet read their own work.

If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Abdellatif Laabi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: One_Hand_isnt_Enough_to_Write_With__intro_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52pm UTC

This week’s poem is by Noshi Gillani from Pakistan.  The poem is read first in English translation by Lavinia Greenlaw and then in Urdu by Noshi. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Noshi Gillani and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Noshi_The_Wind_Too_Can_Change_Direction_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am UTC

This week’s poem is by Victor Terán from Mexico. The poem is read first in English translation by David Shook and then in Zapotec by David.

If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about David Shook and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Victor__The_North_Wind_Whips_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37am UTC

This week's poem is by Mohan Rana from India.  The poem is read first in English translation by Bernard O'Donoghue and then in Hindi by Mohan himself. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Mohan Rana and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.

Direct download: PP_Mohan_After_Midnight_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am UTC