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poetry, in translation

Effectively, a double translation ... after the poet has extracted and presented the quintessence of the idea with all the resources his or her language affords, it's a brave reader who tries to do the same again. A deeply satisfying activity, though, and one that may widen the original poet's audience.

Bravo, then, to learnèd and daring people such as Fleur Adcock, Piet Hein and Thijs Weststrate. Mediæval Latin to English, mediæval French to English, Danish to English (starting from his own texts) and English to Dutch respectively, and while I would venture to claim a reasonable level of fluency in reading English I still value and admire Thijs' translations for encouraging me to look again and discover just how carefully the originals and his translations have been crafted.

Edward Thomas, translated by Thijs Weststrate

This corner of the farmyard I like most.
as well as any bloom upon a flower
I like the dust upon the nettles, never lost
except to prove the sweetness of a shower
Van deze hoek van het erf houd ik het meest:
van de glans op een bloem houd ik even goed
als van het stof op de netels, dat alleen verdwijnt
om te tonen wat voor weldaad een regenbui doet.

from Tall nettles

Other illustrations to follow once I've worked out how to format them more easily!