Translating the Sound in Poetry: Six Propositions

Edited by Rosmarie Waldrop

in The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226657424
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226657448 | DOI:
Translating the Sound in Poetry: Six Propositions

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  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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Sound cannot be separated from the semantic dimension and sound in poetry is not a simple phonetic matter. Hence, it is impossible to translate the sound in poetry because the union of sound/sense will not be the same in any other language. It is not so delightful when the translator has a mechanical understanding of sound and form. An example of a poem given in this text helps to analyze how sound is used and, more generally, what goes on in the poem and how this relates to its language and tradition. The first step is to analyze what elements are dominant in a poem. There is no fixed rule as each poem requires its own approach and as such no translation is definitive.

Keywords: sound; semantic dimension; poetry; phonetic; translate; translator

Chapter.  1857 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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