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Self-Portrait with a Swarm of Bees by [Wagner, Jan]
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Self-Portrait with a Swarm of Bees Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 144 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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About the Author

Born in Hamburg in 1971, Jan Wagner studied English in Hamburg, Dublin and Berlin, where he has lived since 1995. A poet, essayist and translator of British and American poetry (Charles Simic, Simon Armitage, Mathew Sweeney, Robin Robertson), he was also, until 2003, co-publisher of The Outside of the Element, a boxed loose-leaf periodical based on an idea by Marcel Duchamps. He has published six volumes of poetry and has received numerous awards, including the Mondsee Poetry Award (2004), the Ernst Meister Prize for Poetry (2005), the Wilhelm Lehmann Prize (2009) and the Friedrich Holderlin Prize (2011).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2362 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Arc Publications (12 Nov. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B017Y973BI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #486,551 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
In his introduction to this collection, Iain Galbraith notes that “a poem, we might hazard, is a highly sophisticated instrument for the measurement of, and ingress to, the real in all its dimensions.” This maxim exudes aptness, especially when applied to the wonderful variety of poems he has translated from the German language of the humorously engaging and bitingly perceptive pen of Jan Wagner – also an award-winning poet and poetry translator like Galbraith – who won the 2014 Stephen Spender prize for poetry in translation for “Quince Jelly”, contained herein.

Here are sonnets, sestinas, syllabics and haikus, amongst others – surely a challenging mix for even the seasoned translator. Clearly, seven syllables in one language will not automatically equate to seven syllables in another. As the highly respected translation editor at Arc, Jean Boase-Beier says in her Series Editor’s Note, “the translation of poetry is a creative act, and translated poetry stands or falls on the strength of the poet-translator’s art.”

The variety of subject matter in these poems is wide, and is drawn from popular culture to historical scientific research, from French cuisine to historical legends of Greece, but the natural world is ever-present. The titular poem, “Self-portrait with a swarm of bees” links back to another poem in the collection, which alludes to the story (from Cypriot history) of Onesilos, whose head was impaled on the city gate, where bees built a hive in his skull; Galbraith includes a fascinating explanation of the translation of the German “Bienenstaat” in his introduction.
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