Date of Award

2001

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

Constance Hunting

Second Committee Member

Richard T. Brucher

Third Committee Member

T. Jeff Evans

Abstract

In this collection of poetry, the scope and mode of every poem is translation. All three sections, 'Wildernesses", "Silences", and 'Translations" each bear id their creation, the sense of translating one world into another. Yet, it is only in the Last section, appropriately named 'Translationsn, where the general resemblance to any method of the usual sense of translating appears. For the first two sections, all the poems found their creation in the attempt to put into poetry a vision and emotion that had yet to be contained by language: a way of interpreting the language of the natural and physiological realms and reconfiguring them into poetry, which is, for me, an integral method of inquiry at gaining knowledge and wisdom in composing poetry. And though the first two sections generally exist as linguistic re-creations, or translations, of "being" (that is to say, life), it is the larger 'Translations" section where the main scope and focus of this collection takes shape. As far as the general definition of the verb "translaie" (to put into another language) takes us, most assume the word connotes a literal sense. That is, if I were to translate a poem, I would write the same poem in another language, taking efforts to find the closest fit, word for word, of an original text. But, if I apply a less strict method of translating, "loose translation", I can fnx myself of the boundaries put in front of me as translator of word for word, in so doing, bringing ideas and emotions into English from other languages, letting not the exactness of language convey the original text's power, but the exactness of emotion. This exactness of emotion frees itself of language in the spaces between them. For instance, in his essay 'The Task of the Translator"', Walter Benjamin writes that "[i)n translation the original rises into a higher and purer ... air, to be sure. It cannot live there permanendy" (it comes into another language). By this he intimates at a mote ethereal existence of language, and it is from this ethereal existence that I translate. In this collection, I have chosen translation as a mode. In the titles that have a name beneath them, there was an original text (both French and Ancient Greek have been translated in this collection). For these poems, I give thanks to the translators Brooks Haxton (Greek) and Wallace Fowlie (French) of whose work I consulted aff and on in my efforts. But in the titles where no name follows, there has been no original text. These poems have come been written as if they were plucked out of the higher ether of being wbich Benjamin illustrates. They simply had never been created in another language, but they still exist as if they were translated into Eaglish. Of these poems, a sense of the Chinese poetry of Id Po and Tu Fu are essential to a wder's understanding. To be sure, the following poems cannot be considered translations of meaning, and they do not wish to be. Rather, they are translations of emotion and physiological spaces, and in that medium, attain an authenticity that direct translations lose in the crossing.

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