In this issue of MPT

Between the Languages, Series 3 No. 4

Edited by David Constantine, Helen Constantine

'Between the Languages' focuses on poets who, by choice or by force of circumstances, move among the languages. Must a poet write in the mother tongue? Will a second language serve just as well? We look at poets who translate themselves. Others who might but won’t. Others who defend their mother tongues by refusing all translation. Highlights include the poetry of Dimitris Tsaloumas, who moves between Melbourne and Leros, and Itzik Manger (1901-69) who wrote in Yiddish in his wanderings across the world. This volume of MPT asks questions about language and identity. Also includes poems by Brecht on exile.

A poem from 'Between the Languages' was the Guardian Saturday poem on Saturday December 31st, 2005 and can be read here.


EXPLORE THIS ISSUE:   » Editorial   » Poems   » Reviews

Series 3 No.4 - Between the Languages

Table of contents

In Between the Languages

Poetry and Features

Editorial David and Helen Constantine

Kapka Kasabova Polyglot Peregrinations

Amarjit Chandan Inhabiting two Planets

Itsik Manger Four Poems, with translations and a literal version, introduced by Helen Beer from Yiddish

Michael Hamburger Afterthoughts on the Mug’s Game

Mary-Ann Constantine ‘To let in the light’: Gwyneth Lewis’s Poetry of Transition

Gwyneth Lewis Two Poems, translated by Mary-Ann Constantine and the author from Welsh

Choman Hardi ‘Switching Languages: a Hindrance or an Opportunity?’

Poet to Poet The Scotland-China Project.  Introduction by Polly Clark (poems translated from Chinese)

Antonella Anedda Five Poems, translated by Jamie McKendrick from Sardinian and Italian

Dimitris Tsaloumas Four Poems, translated, with an introduction, by Helen Constantine from Modern Greek

Extracts from Mourid Barghouti's Midnight, translated by Radwa Ashour from Arabic

‘Dear Fahimeh’, translated by Hubert Moore and Nasrin Parvaz from Farsi

Extracts from Sherko Bekes’s The Valley of Butterfly, translated by Choman Hardi from Kurdish

Ingeborg Bachmann Ten Poems, translated by Patrick Drysdale and Mike Lyons from German, with an introduction by Karen Leeder 

Rimbaud Versions of Three Poems, by Martin Bennett from French

Bertolt Brecht Ten Poems of Exile, translated by Timothy Adès from German

Ivan Radoev Three Poems, translated by Kapka Kasabova from Bulgarian

Anthony Rudolf ‘Any Ideas?’ Calling all Poetry Detectives

Josephine Balmer A Note on Reviewing Translation


Olivier Burckhardt on Claire Malroux’s Birds and Bison, translated by Marilyn Hacker

Sasha Dugdale on  Ileana Mălăncioiu’s, After the Raising of Lazarus, translated by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Shorter Reviews and Further Books Received

Issue highlights

  • From the Yiddish: Itzik Manger
  • From the Sardinian: Antonella Anedda
  • From Palestine: Mourid Barghouti
  • Smuggled out of Iran…
  • From Iraqi Kurdistan: Sherko Bekes
  • From Wales: Gwyneth Lewis
  • Michael Hamburger’s ‘Afterthoughts’ on his autobiography

Featured review

After the Raising of Lazarus

By Ileana Mălăncioiu
Translated by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Reviewed by Sasha Dugdale

Song of Joy

Translating contemporary poetry from countries which have strong lyrical and folk traditions is extremely hard. Whilst the translator wishes to preserve the lyrical nature of the poem, the same structures and traditions are not open to her in English. Somehow a freer verse structure must be found, with the appearance, rather than the presence of the often strictly metered and rhyme...

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...MPT forms a unique and invaluable service - extending the range of world-reading, and making all those who care about poetry feel grateful to be part of a larger community ...Andrew Motion

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Spring 2017

Spring 2017

No 4 / 2014

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