Sunday, 25 April 2010

When contemporary idioms are admissible in translation.

I don't normally like translations that employ contemporary idioms, agendas or controversies to 'sex up' translations of classic poems. However, there are moments in history- apocalyptic moments- when the distinction between eras is erased and all literature becomes urgently contemporary and passionately engaged.
At times like these I think a couplet like the following is permissible-
I've become the freed slave of my own Shiloh's honest Abe
Incessantly butt fucked in her Indifference's Abu Ghraib

There is scarcely a ghazal in the canon into which this couplet could not be profitably interpolated.

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