BCLT Summer School

From the 24th until the 29th of July I had the pleasure of attending this year's BCLT Summer School: http://www.bclt.org.uk/summer-school/programme/

I was one of the participants of the poetry translation workshop, a group of six translators working from different languages into English. Among us, we covered Spanish, Italian, Georgian, German and Dutch. Led by Cecilia Rossi and Peter Hughes, we spent most of our sessions exploring English-to-English translations of a range of poems, including Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and (via a literal translation), Italian poet Ungaretti. Add the creative writing workshops we did in the morning (a first for me), I feel I've been thoroughly challenged!

The Ungaretti poem 'Soldati' was a particular inspiration to me and led to the following efforts (the original reads: Si sta come / d'autunno / sugli alberi / le foglie):


Soldiers


In the fall

     the trees

            leaves

                   falling

 

And since it reminded me of the Ezra Pound poem In a station of the metro / The apparition of these faces in the crowd / Petals on a wet, black bough, also the following, more liberal version:


Going over the top

 

The souls of soldiers going into battle

Leaves on a tree in the fall.

 

 Most importantly, I now feel inspired to have a go at translating Dutch and Flemish poetry, so watch this space!