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Self-Portrait with a Swarm of Bees Kindle Edition
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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.Read more ›
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