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15 April 2008


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Melissa Wolfe

If I only I had kept up those language studies.....whilst I can contemplate the value and concept of translation, I feel like I am missing out on an experience. Having said this, listening to Yang Lian read his poetry on Sunday and then hearing the translated English was an experience in itself. My concerns that poetry can not survive translation have been entirely allayed. Even in translation, his poetry blew me away.

It was fascinating to hear such powerful poetry, to be carried along by the sounds, images, rhythm - and then remember that the poem wasn't even written in these words. A small language miracle?! The skill of the translator and reader? The signs of a great writer? If it isn't the words that make poetry, what is it?

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