Monday, August 18, 2014

Lucienne Stassaert and the translation of Emily Dickinsons poetry

Yesterday Lucienne Stassaert dropped in and after her visit I revisited some of her translations of Emily Dickinson. It is incredibly hard to translate Emily Dickinson's work since mostly she writes sparsely, just a few words - dashes - and deep thought. The difficulty in translating Dickinson's work is that the words she uses do double and often even triple duty. incorporating the resulting layers of meaning is sheer impossible. I admire Lucienne's reckless poetry and I see some of the traits of her own poetry showing up in her translations. Her double word formations really work as an enrichment of the language of her Dutch translation. Moreover Lucienne has created a free space of creativity and freedom yet still remains true to the great original texts.

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