Poem Podcast from the Poetry Translation Centre (poetry)

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

Yalda by Shakila Azizzada

Yalda, which means birth, is a Syriac word imported into the Persian language. It is also referred to as Shab-e Chelleh, a celebration of winter solstice on December 21--the last night of fall and the longest night of the year.

Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. During her middle school and university years in Kabul, she started writing stories and poems, many of which were published in magazines. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely addressed by women poets writing in Dari.

The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Dari by Shakila. If you enjoy this poem 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_Yalda_2.mp3
Category:poetry -- posted at: 11:29am UTC