252nd Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 252nd Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2014 Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge because there are several levels of participation for your comfort level.

Today’s poem is from The Eight Stages of Translation by Robert Bly:

Old Winter by Salvatore Quasimodo,
translated by Robert Bly (pg. 76-7)

Desire of your hands I see through
in the darkness around the candle flame:
the had the odor of oak and of roses;
odor of death. Old winter.

The birds were looking for millet seeds
and suddenly they turned to snow;
words are like that:
a glimpse of sun, an instant of an angel,
and then the fog; and the trees
and us turned to air by morning.
Antico Inverno by Salvatore Quasimodo

Desiderio delle tue mani chiare
nella penombra della fiamma:
sapevano di rovere e di rose;
di morte. Antico inverno.

Cercavano il miglio gli uccelli
ed erano subito di neve;
cosi le parole:
un po' di sole, una raggiera d'angelo,
e poi la nebbia; e gli ableri,
e noi fatti d'aria al mattino.

What do you think?

The Eight Stages of Translation by Robert Bly

Source: Purchased
Paperback, 107 pages
I am an Amazon Affiliate

The Eight Stages of Translation by Robert Bly is a slim how-to manual for amateur translators or those just beginning to dip their toes into poetry translation.  He breaks down the process into eight stages, which he illustrates using a René Maria Rilke poem, XXI.  He translates the poem in several drafts from the German into American English.  The eight stages he talks about and provides examples for through his drafts are:

  1. Setting down the literal translation
  2. Get a handle on the concepts and beliefs presented in the original poem; abandon the poem if the translator does not feel a connection with them.
  3. Rewrite the literal translation to ensure the meanings of the poem are not lost.
  4. Translate the latest draft into spoken English, using phrases that have been heard in natural conversation.
  5. Examine the translation in terms of tone to ensure that it carries over from the original (whether happy, sad, etc.)
  6. Listen to the original for sound and carry those same sounds over to the translation, such as the use of open vowel sounds.
  7. Speak with a native speaker to go over the translation to ensure meanings and tone are maintained.
  8. The final stage is completing the translation with all of the advice given and paying close attention to the original poem’s rhythm and rhymes (which are often less about end rhymes than internal rhymes).

The thought process through which Bly guides the reader through translation can be easily understood in the example given and the drafts presented, but even for those with no interest in translating poems themselves, the book includes some breathtaking translations done by Bly himself.  Although I am not fluent in any language, other than English, reading translations is always a peek inside another culture and world.  These translations are no different.  Bly has taken great care with them, and it shows.  Read The Eight Stages of Translation by Robert Bly not for the how-to, but for the poetry.

About the Poet:

Robert Bly is an American poet, author, activist and leader of the mythopoetic men’s movement. His most commercially successful book to date was Iron John: A Book About Men (1990),[1] a key text of the mythopoetic men’s movement, which spent 62 weeks on the The New York Times Best Seller list.[2] He won the 1968 National Book Award for Poetry for his book The Light Around the Body.


Book 13 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.




19th book for 2014 New Author Challenge.







For today’s 2014 National Poetry Month: Reach for the Horizon tour stop, click the image below:

Mailbox Monday #240

Mailbox Monday (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  September’s host is Book Dragon’s Lair.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what we got at the library sale for the little one:

1.  Bible Friends: Who’s Hiding?

2.  It’s Tigger Time!

3.  The Best Halloween Hunt Ever by John Speirs

4.  My World: A First Look at the World illustrated by Prue Greener

5.  Tarzan: Jungle Adventure

6.  Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford

7.  Sinbad dvd

These are the ones I found for me:

8.  A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz

Before Jane Austen, William Deresiewicz was a very different young man. A sullen and arrogant graduate student, he never thought Austen would have anything to offer him. Then he read Emma—and everything changed.

In this unique and lyrical book, Deresiewicz weaves the misadventures of Austen’s characters with his own youthful follies, demonstrating the power of the great novelist’s teachings—and how, for Austen, growing up and making mistakes are one and the same. Honest, erudite, and deeply moving, A Jane Austen Education is the story of one man’s discovery of the world outside himself.

9.  Wilderness: Volume 1 by Jim Morrison

Compiled from the literary estate of the singer who brought a wildly lyrical poetry of the damned to the world of rock ‘n’ roll. Includes unpublished poems, drawings, photos, and a candid self-interview.



10.  World War Z by Max Brooks

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.



11.  The Eight Stages of Translation by Robert Bly




12.  Audition by Barbara Walters, which is really a gift for my mom.

Barbara Walters, arguably the most important woman in the history of television, has had an amazingly full life. In the bestselling Audition, she describes her extraordinary public and private journey.

What did you receive?