Transference Vol. 3, Fall 2015
Transference Vol. 3, Fall 2015
Part of the Classical Literature
Comparative Literature Commons
East Asian Languages
Area Studies Commons
Modern Languages Commons
Modern Literature Commons
Near Eastern Languages
Follow this and additional works at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/transference
An Annual Publication of the
Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University
Volume III 2015 David Kutzko
Rainy Night in Linqing by
Spring Rain by
Evening Meditations by
Martial IX.10, VIII.19, VII.93
An Ocean of Tears by The Chest by
Between the Loss & the Delay by
How Do I Tell You I Love You? by
Twelve Tanka on Scooters by
a Na m ari
TaChTirs ...................36 ...................39
Excerpt from A Pilgrimage to Sumiyoshi by
In Jerusalem by
Ennui by Abe K?b?
First Poem for Her by
Poem for My Shadow by
I Am a Child of the Sun by FuKushi K?jir?
Something Fills the Soul by
N, y asmi
N, y asmi
N s NouNu
N s NouNu
On the Threshold of Wishing by
The Dream Vision from the Song of Songs by
Catullus 101, 48, 81
A Poet?s Eye: Poems of Princess Shikishi by
k eNT d iXoN
Time Utters It by
I Color My Name by
Whether You See Me or Not by
Life?s Fount by
The Stranger by
Flared Skirt by
Cesharl a rai
The Healds by
The Visa by
& r iNa
& r iNa
N. r oseNberG
An Autumnal Fossil by
On Skeletons by
Orpheus at the Butcher Shop by
Enduring Scars by
Winds of Betrayal: On Artaud?s Van Gogh by
A Community in the Open by
Man Out of Time: Aias 646?692 by
The Universe in Perspective by
y u k waNG
y u k waNG
The Birth of a Masterpiece by
y u k waNG
Orchards 52 by
Orchards 54 by
Orchards 57: The Doe by
Orchards 59 by
l iN ..........................98
l iN ..........................99
l iN ..........................99
The woods of Arcady are dead,
And over is their antique joy;
Of old the world on dreaming fed;
Grey Truth is now her painted toy;
Yet still she turns her restless head:
But O, sick children of the world,
Of all the many changing things
In dreary dancing past us whirled,
To the cracked tune that Chronos sings,
Words alone are certain good.
(W.B. Yeats, from ?The Song of the Happy Shepherd?)
Words? Foolishness, I know,
against the darkness coming on,
but then, what really works? So talk,
if only some private thought of elves
or if you think that way, talk facts.
Speak of amperes or chromosomes
or the molecules of hydrogen.
Soon, if your talk is right, it turns
into a kind of charm. Therefores
changing into abracadabra
against the brute descent of the sun.
Maybe this time the dark will brighten
almost as if it noticed us.
(R.M. Ryan, ?What to Say?)
Communication is everything. It is the bridge between individuals,
comprised of words. Words, of course, are not purely ?good,? as the happy shepherd of
Yeat?s poem sings. In the very next poem of Crossways, words are changed to an
?inarticulate moan? as a man tries in vain to convey his isolation and sorrow (?The
Sad Shepherd?). But words can create magic, ?a kind of charm,? where optimism
keeps despair at bay. This is the world of poetry. Even poems that are pessimistic
in tone are in fact an ?abracadabra / against the brute descent of the sun? because
in the act of using words, we attempt to make the world better. Communication, ?if
your talk is right,? leads to empathy. Translating poetry?transferring words and
ideas from one culture to another?creates, we continue to hope, a bridge around
On our website (scholarworks.wmich.edu/transference), ScholarWorks
provides a map tracking in live time the downloads for our journal. We often
sit entranced, watching the map light up all over the world, documenting the
potential of global communication and empathy. We are grateful for the referees,
translators, and general readers who make Transference a reality. We are also
excited to present our largest and most diverse collection yet.
This year?s issue of Transference opens with images of rain and a
flooding river, tied to the gathering of friends who ?will recall tonight, when scattered
across the land? (Gudgel, 9).
Although it is a risky venture to read the translations published here as
a single, long poem with many disparate parts and voices, their assemblage does
invite a kind of impressionistic reading in which the reader sees unifying elements
amidst the wide-ranging diversity. In our personal reading of this collection, we
became keenly aware of the sometimes intertwined motifs of water, separation,
and memory that recur in a number of poems.
The image of water appears as a separating force in Narni?s ?white sulfurous
river? (Held, 15) and is evoked as ?the language of the sea? (Gordon, 20). It appears
again with the figure who ?drank from a water deprived of light? and ?dreamed of
the open sea? (Tachtiris, 38). Some of these instances represent suffering, but not
all. We see ?dew?s gleam? and a spirit ?surging with the floods of spring? (Ruleman,
53). The spring snow in Bundy?s translation of Princess Shikishi is joyful (57). The
thirstless skeletons in Takano?s translation of Murano have found a measure of
?nostalgia-provoking? peace (89).
Separation occurs between lovers, between the living and the dead
(Rosenberg, 55), in communities (Ben Lazreg, 77?80), and in the fragmented self.
The power of memory to sustain and move us is portrayed in a multitude
of tonalities. We read of ?A lonely park full of children ... [that] rubs the rust of
... memory with something similar to flight? and a figure ?shredding her grief into
tiny pieces at the threshold of wishing? (Morin, Snounu, and Tabbaa, 45; 46). In
?Excerpt from A Pilgrimage to Sumiyoshi,? the poem?s narrator philosophically
states: ?I yielded to my brush and recorded my impressions of these various
places, thinking that perhaps it will be of interest to people of another time,? with a
calm recognition of personal mortality. Horesh opens with a reference to
Jerusalem?s ?old wall? which is emblematic of wholeness, separation, and memory in
complex ways (31).
The recurrence of these elements invites a meditation on the eternal
present?here perceived as an instant of stillness in the ever-flowing waters of life
and time?and our constant need to look back in an attempt to find wholeness.
David Kutzko and Molly Lynde-Recchia, editors-in-chief
Rainy Night in Linqing
Yesterday our little boat set out on the river?s flood.
On the same boat were wine we brought and all the very best guests.
Autumn sounds on both banks, though the maples were still green.
At midnight, the bright moon made the river?s water white.
Wandering friends?close their whole lives?
Will recall tonight, when scattered across the land.
The Zhang River flows east while the Wen River runs clear;
In the cold rain a lonely sail gathers many sorrows.
Evening comes and the east wind ceases;
I close my book when the window goes dark.
A spring rain comes, rustling,
and the room gets a little cold.
Just then, a bird perches and the fluttering sound
admonishes me to be humble.
The ridges to the west draw down the slanting sun,
The last rays of evening are just like the dawn?s earliest light.
The window darkens in the winter sun,
And with difficulty I put down my book.
The wind along the eaves sighs;
The fallen leaves flutter on the stone steps.
A murder of crows comes and perches on the branches,
And caws repeatedly from the forest?s edge.
All things are interdependent;
Who is the host? Who is the guest?
It?s certainly foolish to chase what?s before us;
How can it be right to explore what is past?
In the darkness I raise my head and say nothing;
The cold moon is suited to the still night sky.
Yao Nai (1731?1815) was born in Tongcheng in the modern-day Anhui
Province of China. In 1763, he passed the Qing Dynasty?s highest imperial
examination and achieved the rank of Jinshi. He served in several high-level
administrative positions and was compiler of the Siku Quanshu, an encyclopedic
collection of all books in China at the time. He is considered one of the early voices
in the establishment of the Tongcheng School of Writing, which he helped spread
by teaching at various academies during the second half of his life. The Tongcheng
School stressed natural, straightforward prose and harmony between a written
work?s theme and form.
Yao Nai was an expert on ancient and classical texts and his poems abound
in allusions to earlier poems and poets; sometimes he also plays with their themes.
For example, the line ?Autumn sounds on both banks, though the maples were still
green? in the poem ?Rainy Night in Linqing? is modeled after a similar line in the
Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai?s ?Setting Off Early for Baidi City.? Yet the two poems are
mirror images. Both describe journeys by boat, but Yao sets his at night and there
is rain; Li Bai sets his at dawn with brilliant morning clouds. Though Yao?s poems
are enjoyable in and of themselves, for an audience that was familiar with these
earlier poets, the scattered literary allusions and modification of themes would
have added additional layers of meaning and emotional resonance.
In translating the poems, I tried to keep the English straightforward
and let the images speak for themselves, reflecting Yao?s simple?and sometimes
In spring, Cydonian apple trees
hand-fed by river streams
in the unspoiled orchard of the Maidens,
and vine-blossoms too,
grown fat beneath vine-shade
But for me Love scorns rest
in every season?
roiling out of its skin all over
with lightning fire
like a Thracian stormburst,
darting forth from Aphrodite
with manias to parch the tongue,
tearing up my wits feetfirst
Cicero called Ibycus of Rhegium the most ?aflame with love? of the
archaic Greek lyric poets. Indeed, little is known about Ibycus other than the fact
that he wrote poetry about love. At some point he left Rhegium for Samos, where
he likely composed poetry for wealthy patrons under the tyranny of Polycrates;
extant sources locate his floruit in the second half of the 6th century B.C. He writes
not in ?standard? Attic Greek but in the Doric dialect, stippled with Homeric
language; in the few poems we have, his subjects are myth, beauty, and love.
Otherwise our information about Ibycus? biography is as tattered as his body
of work, which survives only in quotations and fragments of papyrus.
?Fragment 286? (probably a complete poem) is stunning proof of Cicero?s
assessment. In a handful of lines Ibycus skillfully shifts his audience from the
pastoral lull of a vine-shaded orchard to the twisting, relentless grip of desire.
Capturing the rapid shift between the two is the most crucial part of my
translation. Structure-wise, Ibycus does the work for me. Halfway through the poem?
?But for me? marks the switch?the relative structure of the first stanza breaks
down; words begin to run over their line-end, and the meter of the second half does
not correspond to the first. While I have dispensed with the notoriously complex
meters of Greek lyric poetry and translated into free verse, I have sought to achieve
the same sense of restless urgency with language and line breaks.
Translating Ibycus? contrasting images is as much a challenge as a delight.
The poet packs his lines full of antithesis: the orchard is nourished by a river while
the madnesses of love are ?parching,? and the youthful idyll suggested by the first
half contrasts sharply with the adult reality of love portrayed in the second. My
efforts to translate the nuances of the Greek language attempt to convey these
contrasts. For example, the vines that are ?increased? (auxomenai) in Greek
are here ?grown fat? for a stronger sense of the contentment that the next lines
are about to disrupt; ?stormburst? preserves the sound of the Greek Boreas but
removes the problem of explaining that the mythological name represents the
traditionally fierce north wind.
Indeed, mythological names often pose a problem for the modern
translator. For example, some commentators (e.g. Campbell, 1982) propose that the
mysterious ?Maidens? of the first stanza are nymphs, but admit there is no definite
parallel for the Greek parthenoi used by itself as a title. One recent commentary
(Wilkinson, 2012) suggests the word refers simply to young women. Another
(Tortorelli, 2004) makes the argument that the maidens are, perhaps, not nymphs but
Muses, which invites tempting parallels between love and poetic inspiration. In
light of this latter argument, I have chosen to capitalize ?Maidens? to suggest that
the word is a title; whatever their specific identity, the reference to maiden
divinities (in their ?unspoiled? orchard) in the poem?s first half and then to Aphrodite,
the goddess of desire, in its second makes for another elegant contrast.
The fragmented state of the poem only compounds its difficulty. Our
readings of this papyrus are not stable; in particular, scholars have suggested many
substitutions for the verb in the last line of the poem, from ?guards? (phulassei) to
?shakes? (tinassei). A translator must choose from the variety. In this case, not
only is there a comparandum for the latter in the erotic poetry of Sappho, who
likewise compares love to a wind that shakes the heart like a gale on mountain
trees, but it is also a far superior fit for the poem.
After all, Ibycus? view of love, at least in the fragments we have, is a fervent
and chaotic one. In the next of Ibycus? fragments (287), Eros looks up at our poet
from beneath dark eyelids; his gaze, the poet tells us, is melting. I have tried, in
my translation, to reflect the portrayal of love that Ibycus crafts so masterfully:
personified, restless, and physical (?roiling out of its skin?), love darts and parches,
is violent, consumes like fire.
You want to wed Priscus.
No wonder, Paula. And wise.
Priscus doesn?t want to wed
You. Also wise.
Cinna wants to look like a pauper.
And he is a pauper.
Narni, encircled by the flood of your white sulfurous river,
Hard to reach on your twin peaks,
Why do you so often seduce my noble Quintus
And detain him so long?
Why ruin the purpose of my little place at Nomentum,
On which I splurged only because of my neighbor?
So be frugal, Narni, and don?t devalue Quintus? worth:
Thus may you freely delight in your bridge forever.
Marcus Valerius Martialis (40?104), or Martial, was born in Spain and
flourished in Rome. His greatest achievement remains his 1500 epigrams in which
he depicts, often satirically, the behavior of his fellow Romans and perfects the
form in Latin. His influence appears in the work of virtually every epigrammatist
A helpful element in translating Martial is that his epigrams contain many
formal cues that can, and should, be carried over into English versions of them.
Foremost, perhaps, is the poet?s intention to provide what he called a ?sting? at the
end of every poem. Readers, including translators, usually enjoy a pithy, cutting
end-line, especially in satire such as Martial?s. This can be seen even in a two-line
poem like VIII.19. The first line makes an observation, ?Cinna wants to look like
a pauper,? and the second line offers another take on that observation, ?And he is
a pauper,? but shifts the tone from neutral to sardonic. While the first line sounds
slightly sympathetic to Cinna?s desire to appear poor and seems to imply that he
is wealthy, the second line undercuts his desire as fatuous because of his actual
poverty. In the Latin, Martial uses ?pauper? as the first and last word of his
epigram, creating a remarkable balance, but English syntax is better served with
?pauper? at the end of each clause and line. My translation amounts to a rhymed
couplet, and though Martial did not use end-rhyme, he was alert to repeating
internal sounds in his lines. Moreover, many centuries of translators have made rhyme
and meter traditional for Martial.
IX.10 exemplifies Martial?s formal skills as comparable to a watchmaker?s.
His two lines are balanced with infinitives at the head of each and forms of the
verb sapio (?to be wise?) at the end. Nubere and ducere, the infinitives, create
initial rhyme, and in the first line the sound is?vis, Priscus, sapisti?occurs three
times as internal rhyme. In the second line, non, Prisco, and sapit repeat or
partially repeat words from line 1, and the e sound?in ducere, te, et, ille?repeats
as internal rhyme, for the sake of aural coherence. This marvel of compression
well illustrates its maker?s attention to poetic form, not to mention his wit, which
here is both formal and linguistic. In my translation I have tried to follow suit.
In longer poems, like VII.93, I sometimes break Martial?s traditional block
form into stanzas; in this case, two quatrains. The translator must also find a way
to transfer Martial?s themes, as carried in his language, into the English version.
In VII.93, for example, the second stanza suggests an underlying economic theme.
An important part of the speaker?s reason for seeking to protect the value of his
property at Narni, a town in Umbria, besides gaining access to his attractive
neighbor, is the sum he spent on it: divert Quintus too often and you wear him out for
me, thus reducing the value of my ?little place.? By addressing Narni as though
it were a rival ?seducing? Quintus, Martial amusingly implies a sexual struggle
between speaker and town. The final line delivers Martial?s subversive point.
Instead of expressing conventional resentment over Narni?s distracting the object
of desire, he instead shows the speaker satisfied to compromise over the matter by
sharing the charming Quintus with the charms of the town, such as its twin peaks
and bridge. Does Quintus then end up a metaphorical bridge between speaker and
An Ocean of Tears
Between my blame for you
And my desire to see your eyes
Lies an ocean of tears
In vain, I try to forge a way
But can only live, drowning every day
I kept the treasure of the past
Inside a purple chest
The days and years whiled
I overcame every trial
And I am convinced that my chest was the champion of my victories
Then one stubborn, harsh, rebellious year
A tsunami swept away all that was mine
But the chest was left behind
The legacy of my love
I hastened to it
I began to contemplate it
With the love I held for my homeland
I wiped the dust from it
Showered it with kisses
Held it close
This chest of joy
Treasure of life
Love of the years
Friendship of childhood
Sweetness and perfume of days?
Gleefully, I danced upon it
Barefoot for hours
One of my daily rituals
And for the first time I resolved to open it
It was my one chance to live again
I opened it carefully, with great longing
As a lover longs for life
But the chest resisted me a little,
Concerned for my bliss upon feeling the shock
Its screeching shook me to my core
As though it wept for my inevitable misfortune
I did not yield to it
For my dreams slumbered inside
I fought back, opened it, and with it a great grave
My chest was empty...
I regarded it a while
A long while
I left it open
For the bats of time
Then softly, I turned my back and departed,
Stripped of everything, even my soul
Whenever I pass by the veil-like rank
Of fat masses of meat facing this street
My soul thaws, oddly
Each of these faceless torsos
Lines up with uncanny politeness
While showing one another intimately
Their own selves injured all over, as if
They are the very worst wounds imaginable
They are interwoven like a parallel-striped pattern
And seen now like the vast expanse of numbness
Call this neither the illusion of death
Nor the dizziness lasting forever
Rather, this is something more condensed
Or something you may call the sunset of existence
Looming out of this reddish-brown trail
Is a chain of small bloodless hooves
Kicking the air obstinately yet, which
Now remains weathered on this street
With now-or-never wretchedness
The four poems I chose for my translation are originally included in On
Lost Sheep (Boyo-ki or ???) by Shiro Murano (????, 1901?1975).
Murano is one of the influential poets you can never disregard in
surveying the history of the modern poetry in Showa-era Japan (1926?1989). On
Lost Sheep was Murano?s ninth poetry collection in his roughly fifty-year
poetrywriting career and was awarded the prestigious Yomiuri Prize for Literature in
1960. While his early poetics were deeply affected by surrealism, imagism, and
German objectivism, Murano?s later years were strongly influenced by
One of the difficulties I had to face in translating the first poem ?A
Community in the Open,? was which English word to choose for the word ??
(?community?) in the original title. There were several other options for this Japanese
word such as ?colony? or ?stock,? but I ended up picking the word ?community?
because the chrysanthemums in the original poem seemed almost like an
independent, self-governing ?community? of people.
The eighth line of the second stanza in the original of the second poem,
?An Autumnal Fossil,? was a difficult puzzle for me to solve. ???????
was the original sentence, and, although Japanese is my native language, it was
difficult for me to grasp its nuance accurately. This line could even be translated
as, say, ?It is alright even if that?s the case? or ?Let it be so then,? but, eventually, I
chose the expression ?That may be the way it goes.? I?m still wondering, though,
whether or not it was the very best choice for the original.
Some people may argue that putting the phrase ?Mind you? at the top of
the last stanza in the third poem, ?On Skeletons,? might be too audacious an act.
There is certainly no precise counterpart in the original?s same stanza, but I felt the
entire stanza in the Japanese was somehow warning the reader implicitly of the
skeleton?s vagrancy. I still believe that the use of the phrase ?mind you? for this
translation is a nice idea.
The most difficult part in the whole translation process of the fourth poem,
?Orpheus at the Butcher Shop,? was how to treat its second stanza. Its syntactic
structure in the original seems peculiarly complex, and I had to paraphrase the
whole stanza in my translation to better its readability. I hope here that my own
interpretation of this stanza, which soaked inevitably into this act of paraphrasing,
suits Murano?s original intention.
In jail I feared if freed
I?d never be at peace
And madness would precede
The day of my release
So on the day I left
My faithful cell to gain
My freedom, it just felt
Like being jailed again
Ahmad al-Safi al-Najafi
Ahmad al-Safi al-Najafi (1897?1977) was an Iraqi poet who travelled
throughout the Middle East. I met him when I was a child in Lebanon during some
of his visits to my maternal grandfather. I was too young to appreciate the
specifics of poetry, but old enough to be awed by it and wise enough to recognize that
poets are a cut above all others. In the case of al-Najafi, the cut was literal. He slit
his dishdasha from ankle to knee to gain more freedom of movement. Freedom to
him, in every respect, was more than a state of mind; it was life itself. So the image
of that slit in his dishdasha stayed with me all this time as a simple, Diogenesque
manifestation of how a person can choose to exercise his personal freedom in
defiance of all societal norms. In other words, he lived his life in poetry and, as I was to
discover later, in poverty. As I got older (that is, by the 5th grade), I became
enamoured with poetry and poetics. So it was only natural that I allayed my early poetic
affliction with a good dose of al-Najafi?s poetry. Its ease of flow was remarkable, as
was its conciseness. And the wit it delivered in an unrelenting tempo was enough
to ensure its mnemonic quality.
He was jailed a number of times for doing what a conscientious poet
does?agitating against an oppressive occupier. The chosen poem was written in
1941 when he was imprisoned in Lebanon by the French at the behest of the British
for participating in a demonstration against the British. It appears in his diwan,
Hassad al-Sijin (The Prison Harvest)?the fortunate, unintended outcome of his
imprisonment?the undeniable failure of the oppressor?s attempt to silence him.
This short poem is reminiscent of Byron?s closing lines in ?Prisoner of
Chillon,? where the prisoner confesses that ?My very chains and I grew friends,?
and shocks us with ?even I / Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.? The poem is
written in al-bahr al-khafif (light meter), which has no exact equivalent in English.
The translation is presented in two iambic trimeter quatrains. It is felt that the
trimeter captures, to the extent possible, the rhythm of the original poem.
Long and uncountable Time makes manifest
The hidden and obscure and hides the rest.
No thing is unexpected. All?s ensnared,
The rigid mind and each dread oath declared.
Thus I who once endured like tempered steel
Am softened by the force of her appeal.
With pity for this woman and my child,
I dread to leave her widowed, him reviled.
In going to the shore at meadow?s end
To cleanse these stains, I know I will defend
Myself against the dread Athena?s wrath.
I?ll go where human foot has made no path,
That I may dig a hole and hide this blade,
Most hateful and despised of weapons made,
Where none will see but Hades down below.
This gift received from Hector, my worst foe,
Has never won me prizes from the Greeks.
And I perceive the truth the adage speaks:
Of enemies no gifts are gifts, nor gains.
Thus I will learn for all that now remains
To mighty gods and fate perforce to yield,
Yet worship power mortal monarchs wield.
It seems one must obey, and this is why:
As winter storms make way for summer sky
So all that?s dread and strong must yield to worth,
As snow subsides while fruits bedeck the earth.
And changing place the circle of drear night
Gives white-horsed day the space to shine its light.
The blast of dreadful winds has caused to cease
The groaning of the sea and brought it peace,
While always-present, all-controlling Sleep
Despite his power chooses not to keep
Us always shackled, fettered, ever-bound.
Then how will we not know discretion sound?
For I myself have just now come to learn
An enemy is one whom we must spurn
Insofar as soon he?ll be our friend.
And he to whom my love I shall extend
I?ll wish to aid and profit and maintain
Just as the friend he never will remain.
For friendship offers mortals but defeat,
And faithless is its harbor and retreat.
Still, things are sure to turn out well today.
And you, my woman, go inside and pray
That all my heart?s desire come to be.
And you, companions, with her honor me.
When Teucer comes his tasks must be disclosed:
To care for me, to you be well-disposed.
But I am going there where one must go.
And you, do as I say and soon may know,
Although by Fate I now have been ill-served,
That yet, perhaps, I still have been preserved.
Sophocles? Aias (or Ajax, in most modern translations) re-interprets an
ancient tale of a mythical injustice. According to tradition, after Achilles died
at Troy, his immortal armor was to be the prize of the best Greek warrior still
living. That was Ajax. Everyone knew it. But a tribunal awarded the armor to
Odysseus instead. No one, not even Odysseus, ever denies that Ajax deserved
Achilles? armor. Sophocles anachronistically likens the tribunal to a 5th-century
Athenian jury trial, and his portrayal of the mythical injustice reveals a
fundamental opposition between archaic values and democratic procedures.
Ajax embodies the inflexible and uncompromising archaic value system.
He has always pursued traditional goals familiar to Homer?s world and to many
places in ours: help friends, harm enemies, earn honor for success in battle.
Enraged by the tribunal?s failure to acknowledge his supreme martial skill, Ajax
tries to murder all of the Greek leaders. Athena distorts his vision so that he
attacks sheep and cattle instead of men. After regaining his senses, Ajax makes
this speech, which is sometimes called the ?deception speech? because it has the
effect of misleading listeners (Ajax?s spear-won concubine Tecmessa, the Chorus,
and perhaps the audience as well) into thinking that Ajax intends to soften and
accept the tribunal?s decision. Hearers may misunderstand, but Ajax speaks only
the truth. He cannot give up his anger and never states that he will. (For
selfpreservation, he should reverence the gods and yield to the Greek leaders, but Ajax
emphasizes the impossibility by reversing the verbs: ?To mighty gods and fate
perforce to yield, / Yet worship power mortal monarchs wield.?) He will indeed
bury his sword in the earth. Only later do we learn why.
Unable to change, Ajax cannot adapt to the new realities of his day. This
speech expresses his realization that his traditional talents and priorities no
longer suit a society that uses group consensus, not fact, to identify and reward the
?best? individual. Ajax defended the Greeks against the Trojans, but the tribunal?s
unfair decision has made the Greeks his enemies. Understanding now that human
loyalties alternate like the seasons, Ajax can no longer help his friends and harm
his enemies. He wants no part of a world that cannot recognize and justly reward
talent, merit, loyalty, and integrity. Ajax would rather die. And he does, falling on
the sword whose hilt he has buried in the ground. Ajax kills himself not out of
frustration or shame (as readers of English translations of the play tend to conclude)
but in absolute rejection of life itself and the changes that time causes in nature
and in human relationships. For this understanding of the play, see further B.
Knox?s interpretation in ?The Ajax of Sophocles? in Word and Action: Essays on
the Ancient Theater (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), pp. 125?160.
The tribunal?s ?democratic? decision thus robs the community of its best
defender. Ajax?s example suggests, perhaps, that modern efforts to cultivate
democratic institutions in traditionally undemocratic societies must somehow
recognize and address this incompatibility between an absolute, unchanging
conception of loyalties and enmities and the democratic emphasis on flexibility and
group consensus. Sophocles? Aias warns against over-confidence in the value of
the procedures alone. Unjust democratic decisions can violate individuals? rights
and fracture communities. They may produce rather than prevent injustice and
In Greek, the meter is (non-rhyming) iambic trimeter. In English, heroic
couplets in iambic pentameter seemed appropriately anachronistic for a
translation of this powerful monologue uttered by a character defined by the ethos of an
age earlier than his own.
1. The Universe from A Fly?s Perspective
On a turning spindle
a fly sings,
?Look! Look! The whole universe
is spinning around me!?
In the Roman church, a philosopher
instructs a swarm of flies,
?Yes, I concur that the sun outside the window
does spin around us in flight!?
2. The Universe from A Mosquito?s Perspective
Sir Newton stands on the podium
lecturing to his students,
?All the apples on Earth?s surface and everything else
succumb to the gravitational pull.?
A mosquito listening to the lecture from underneath a desk
is not at all persuaded;
he flies across Newton?s face, challenging him:
?Where is the pull??
3. The Universe from A Lover?s Perspective
The universe is merely a frame,
within it your portrait lies.
The rest is but a backdrop
despite the stars and sun.
When the end of the universe finally arrives,
starlight will vanish in the blink of an eye;
you and I will cling to each other in the dark,
in the long night of God?s power failure.
They say a commentator is like a barber:
He trims the excess,
evens out the rest,
and applies gloss to it all.
This was probably true
in the times of St. Augustine and the Tang Dynasty.
Yet I sympathize with barbers
if their clients are mostly bald.
The Birth of a Masterpiece
Fate is a dogged blacksmith
swinging a giant, tormented hammer
and smashing a genius? heart day and night
till it?s broken to pieces.
Yet a genius? heart is an anvil,
made robust by constant blows;
in the dark it never darts away in fear
but bears the spark of revolts.
One after another,
hammers are shattered and replaced.
When the worn-out blacksmith drops to the ground,
A masterpiece has been cast.
Yu Kwang-Chung (1928?) is a major figure in modern Sinophone
literature and culture. He is a poet, essayist, and translator who was born in China and
relocated to Taiwan. By the time he graduated from National Taiwan University
in 1952, Yu had acquired mastery of Mandarin, English, German, and Spanish. He
has translated numerous literary works from English to Mandarin, among them
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and ?Bartleby the Scrivener? by
Herman Melville. Night Market in Heaven (?????), from which I have
translated the present poems, showcases a particular phase of Yu?s poetry writing which
is imbued with witticism, sarcasm, elegance resulting from his training in Chinese
classical poetry, and the poetico-oratorical force influenced by modern poetry in
In ?The Universe in Perspective,? I attempt in the first two parts to
represent the light-hearted, whimsical, and elegant tone in the Chinese original by
using simple, childlike diction, depicting the anti-civilization points of view of a fly
and a mosquito. The contrast between a learned philosopher and a fly, between
Newton and a mosquito, serves to generate an outsider vision of the Universe that is
conventionally considered human-centric. On the other hand, the universe
between lovers is of a smaller scale. Yu depicts the power of love as altering lovers?
vision and sense of the world and as making it smaller because, when in love, the
lovers become the embodiment of each other?s world. In the last line of this poem,
I play with the pun ?power failure,? which suggests the literal blackout and God?s
failing to save the universe that is about to end. This pun works perfectly in both
Chinese and English.
The last two poems, ?Commentator? and ?The Birth of a Masterpiece,? use
figures such as a barber and a blacksmith as metaphors to portray the relationship
between critics/commentators and writers. A barber?s job is to trim the
excessive hair and make it shine and look nice while a commentator?s job is to edit out
words and refine each piece of writing to make it publishable. In my translation,
I try to stick to the terminologies used in barbering and metal-forging industries
to make the metaphors work efficiently in English. I did not encounter difficulty
translating and representing the metaphors and their implications from Chinese
to English because both lines of work are common and familiar to people in both
Chinese- and English-speaking cultures.
The long life of the landscape, the bell,
the pure deliverance of evening?
all this prepares us for the approach
of a kindly, unfamiliar figure?
Our life goes on, strangely suspended
between the faraway bow and the stab of the arrow,
between a world that hesitates to seize the angel
and She whose powerful hand prevents it.
In the eyes of animals, I?ve seen
lasting peace, the impartial
calm of nature
that cannot be shaken.
Every animal knows what fear is;
nevertheless, it moves along,
and on its field of plenty
grazes a presence
that has no taste for elsewhere.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke
Doe, the deep, ancient beauty
of forests flows from your eyes,
circles of trust shot through
with utter fear.
The lively grace of your leaping
expresses all these things,
yet nothing can shake
the calm insouciance
on your face.
I?ve said my goodbyes. Since childhood
countless departures have gradually honed me.
But I return, I begin again,
which is what sets my attention free.
All I can do now is fill my gaze.
All I can do, without holding back,
is feel the joy of having loved what reminds me
of all the losses that move us.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The series of fifty-nine poems called Orchards (Vergers) was composed in
1924?1925. It was Rainer Maria Rilke?s first literary production written originally
in French, published by Gallimard in 1926, the year of his death. Rilke particularly
loved a handful of French words he considered untranslatable, at least in sound,
rhythm, and spirit. One of them was verger, ?orchard.? The title poem of the
series begins thus:
Perhaps, dear borrowed language, I?ve been
so bold as to write you because
of the rustic name whose unique domain
has taunted me forever: Verger.
The title poem, ?29: Orchard,? occurs in the middle of the series, like
the fountain at the orchard?s center from which all else flows. In this series, the
poet contemplates aspects of nature as well as those of his personal environment
demonstrating that, more than being mere symbols for humanity, these represent
actual indifferent projections of our being. We can look into them as into a mirror.
The last two lines of poem #21 inform us that ??orchard and road are no different
/ from anything that we are.? The orchard is a container, a kind of hologram for
all of life and its seasons, most especially the poignant decline at the turning from
summer to autumn. The joy, magic, and perfection of ripe fruit brings
immediately to the poet?s mind the end of a happy season. Summer, by definition, betrays
us with its bright promises.
I selected this group of four poems from the very end of Orchards to
emphasize this poignancy. As the end of the series approaches, it becomes
more and more obvious that these poems comprise Rilke?s poetic farewell to
his beloved world. ?I?ve said my goodbyes,? he declares in the last entry. In
?Orchards 52,? the poet tells us that the angel of death is both welcoming and
firm and that often we feel ambivalent about continuing to struggle through life.
A careful reading of ?Orchards 54? and ?Orchards 57? reveals that true beauty and
peace are not possible without darkness and shadow. Over and over an archetypal
paradox is shown to us, the fact that growth lies within ?the deep, ancient beauty
/ of forests? seen in the eyes of the doe, and in the push-pull between the fear and
peace of a cow or horse grazing in a pasture. Life for Rilke, as he looked back, was
a series of ?losses that move us? forward.
The difficulty of translating Rilke will cause the heart of any Rilke
translator?and there are many, though not of the French poems?to lurch with
familiarity, affection, and dread. Rilke in German is notoriously labyrinthine; whether
by choice or by inclination, or in the name of lyricism, Rilke sometimes turns the
syntactically simpler French language into a Germanic tangle. Still, most of these
poems are more straightforward than the German ones, thank goodness. That?s
not to say they are easy to translate. They simply present a less ornate doorway
into the same complex, paradoxical ideas as those in Rilke?s German poems.
The French language obviously offers a different set of cognates and
similarities to English than does German. At times in my translation process, the
seemingly simplest word choices did not offer the most poetic translation, nor
did they result in a translation I myself could enjoy. To give a specific example,
?Orchards 57: The Doe [La Biche]?, begins, in French:
? la biche: quel bel int?rieur
d?anciennes for?ts dans tes yeux abonde;
combien de confiance ronde
m?l?e ? combien de peur.
Literally: ?Oh, the doe: what a beautiful interior / of ancient forests in your eyes
abounds; / what round confidence / mixed with such fear.? To begin with, there
is the ? and the quel, followed by two occurrences of combien, all of which lend
a tone of breathless drama. I acknowledge the romantic style of Rilke?s poetic
heritage, but there are other ways to convey the urgency of this poem. Personally, I
am far more interested in the fact that this poet sees a deer and has instant, serious
respect for this being.
Gary Miranda, a translator I admire, gave us a marvelous new version of
Rilke?s Duino Elegies (Tavern Books, Portland, 2013). In his afterword, he says
this on the pesky subject of ?: ??a modern American reader has far less tolerance
for ?O? than a European reader of Rilke?s day, and one has to assume that Rilke
would have been sensitive to that fact had he been writing for a modern American
audience. So, if you?re aiming to approximate the original experience for a modern
audience, you?re going to have to jettison some of those Os. This is just one reason
that it?s always seemed silly to me to talk about a definitive translation. Definitive
for whom?? (pp. 66?67)
There is another ?false friend? in Rilke?s word int?rieur which is a simple
matter of ?interior? or ?inside.? However, here, as in many of the French poems, I
have taken the risk of assuming that the poet used that particular word in service of
his rhyme scheme. I do pay attention to rhythm, but attempting to replicate Rilke?s
rhymes has never been my goal; I am satisfied with resonances such as those
between ?doe? and ?deep,? and ?forests? and ?flows.? The more I studied this poem,
the more I felt that Rilke was referring to the fearful and beautiful darkness of a
Grimms? fairy tale forest, seen reflected in the black eyes of the doe. So, I chose to
rearrange these lines a bit, and render the idea of ?interior? in the adjective ?deep.?
My hope is that I have transferred the drama of the original to the third and fourth
lines of the verse, using the short and emphatic ?shot through? and ?utter fear.?
Rilke wrote more than 300 poems in French in the last four years of his life
while living in an ancient tower in Switzerland, his physical condition
deteriorating. These poems reveal his intuition that he was seriously ill; doctors diagnosed
leukemia only days before his death on December 27, 1926. He was just 51 years
old. Many of the French poems were found among his papers and published
Emily Katz Anhalt teaches classical languages and literature at Sarah Lawrence
College. She holds an AB from Dartmouth College and a PhD in classical
philology from Yale University. Her publications include Solon the Singer: Politics and
Poetics (Rowman & Littlefield, 1993) as well as articles on the poetics of metaphor
in Homeric epic poetry. Her new book on the critique of rage in ancient Greek
myth is forthcoming from Yale University Press. For their suggestions and
advice regarding this translation, she is extremely grateful to Ann Lauinger of Sarah
Lawrence College and to Transference?s editor David Kutzko and the anonymous
Jane Beal, PhD, is an associate researcher in the Department of English at the
University of California, Davis. She is the author of John Trevisa and the English
Polychronicon, editor of Illuminating Moses: A History of Reception from Exodus
to the Renaissance, and co-editor of Translating the Past: Essays on Medieval
Literature and Approaches to Teaching the Middle English Pearl (MLA,
forthcoming). She has published on John Trevisa, the Pearl poet, and the early English
women writers Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Queen
Elizabeth I, and Aemilia Lanyer as well as Jonathan Edwards, an American preacher
of the Great Awakening, and J.R.R. Tolkien, the father of modern fantasy. She is
the creator of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction as well
as new work in translation. To learn more, please visit http://sanctuarypoet.net.
Houssem Ben Lazreg is currently a PhD student and a teaching assistant for
Arabic/French in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at
the University of Alberta in Canada. He was a Fulbright Foreign Language
Teaching Assistant of Arabic at Michigan State University from 2010?2011. He holds a
Master of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from
Nazareth College of Rochester. Houssem has also taught Arabic, French, and English
at different American institutions such as West Virginia University and Indiana
University in Bloomington. In addition to teaching foreign languages, Houssem
has been working as a freelance translator. His latest publication is ?The Abbasid
Translation Movement: Al Jahiz as a Pioneer? published in Studia o Przek?adzie
pod redakcj?. He is currently working on the Arab Spring and notably the role of
translators and interpreters within the social movements.
Dean A. Brink (Bao De-le) is an associate professor in the Department of
Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu,
Taiwan. His current research ranges from studies of Taiwanese poetry in Japanese
and Chinese to contemporary American poetry and French experimental writing
and appears in Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies; Canadian
Review of American Studies; Textual Practice; CLCWeb; and elsewhere.
Original poetry has appeared in Columbia Poetry Review; Cordite Poetry Review;
Exquisite Corpse; Going Down Swinging; New Writing; Portland Review
(online); and elsewhere, including the anthology In Protest (2013). He maintains two
blogs: Taiwan Scooter Poet and Broken Traffic: English Translations from
Japanese, Chinese, and French.
Roselee Bundy is Professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Kalamazoo
College. She has published a number of studies on the poet Fujiwara Teika and
the poetry of the Shinkokin period, including ?Solo Poetry Contest as Poetic Self
Portrait: The One-Hundred-Rounds of Lord Teika?s Own Poems,? in Monumenta
Nipponica (2006). More recently, she has turned to issues of gender in Heian
utaawase and other texts and has published several pieces related to this topic in
the U.S. Japan Women?s Journal (2007, 2009), Japanese Language and
Literature (2012), and Monumenta Nipponica (2012).
Kent H. Dixon is primarily a fiction and non-fiction writer?published in
TriQuarterly; Carolina Quarterly; Iowa Review; Georgia Review; Shenandoah;
Gettysburg Review; Antioch Review; Kansas Quarterly; Florida Review; Energy
Review; and American Prospect. Awards include first prize at Story?s Love Story
Competition, and several Ohio Arts Council awards. He has translations of
Rilke, Baudelaire, Mallarm?, and Sappho online, and Japanese hibakushu poetry in
Luna. Forthcoming is a full graphic novel rendition of the Epic of Gilgamesh in
collaboration with his artist son Kevin. He teaches literature and creative writing
at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he lives with his writer wife
and four kayaks.
B. N. Faraj is a writer and poet who lives in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. He holds a
bachelor?s degree from the University of Detroit and a master?s from the University
of Michigan. He?s finalizing a translation of a collection of classical Arabic poems.
Darcy L. Gauthier is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto?s Centre for
Comparative Literature. He is presently writing his dissertation on ?The Politics
of Fantasy in Post-War Japan.? He spent the 2013?2014 academic year in
Yokohama as a recipient of the Japan Foundation Fellowship, during which time he
translated many of Abe K?b??s early works into English. Though he has published
articles in the East Asia Forum and The University of Toronto Quarterly, this is
his first published translation.
Jake Gordon is a translator from London. He recently graduated from an MA
course in the theory and practice of translation at University College London,
where he focused on the performative aspects of modern Arabic poetry for his
dissertation. When he is not translating the work of contemporary Lebanese poet
Mariam Michtawi, he works in television production.
Ana Maria Guay received her BA from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Andrew Gudgel received a BA in Chinese from The Ohio State University and
an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John?s College, Annapolis. He spent a
decadeplus working for the U.S. government, mostly in U.S. embassies overseas, before
becoming a freelance writer and translator. He currently lives in Maryland.
Carol Hayes is a senior lecturer in Japanese language and Japanese studies at the
Australian National University, Australia. She has a PhD in modern Japanese
literature from the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on modern and
contemporary Japanese cultural studies, literature, and film. Past work has
focused on Hagiwara Sakutar? and other modern poets, the portrayals of the
Pacific War in Japanese film, and zainichi cultural identity in literature. Recent
translations co-authored with Rina Kikuchi have appeared in the 2015 edition of
George Held has translated more than 100 of Martial?s epigrams and published
many of these translations in such journals as Circumference; Ezra; 5 AM;
International Poetry Review; and Notre Dame Review, as well as in Martial
Artist (Toad Press Translation Series, 2005). An eight-time Pushcart Prize nominee,
he has published eighteen collections of his own poems, most recently in the
chapbook Bleak Splendor (Muddy River Books, forthcoming 2016).
Uri Horesh holds a PhD in sociolinguistics from the University of Essex. His
research focuses on language variation and change in the Middle East, and
especially on language contact between Arabic and Hebrew in Palestine. He has
published research articles in Journal of Sociolinguistics; Journal of Jewish
Languages; Zeitschrift f?r arabische Linguistik; and in edited volumes, most
recently in Semitic Languages in Contact, edited by Aaron M. Butts, as well as
entries for The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. He has taught
courses in Arabic language and linguistics at Georgetown University and the
University of Texas at Austin. He was the founding director of the Arabic
Language Program at Franklin & Marshall College and has just finished a two-year
term as Language Coordinator in the Program in Middle East and North African
Studies at Northwestern University.
Rina Kikuchi is an associate professor at Shiga University, Japan, where she has
been teaching English language, literature, and cultural studies since 2003. She
has a PhD in contemporary Irish poetry from Chiba University, which included a
Steve Light, a basketball point-guard following upon Nate Archibald, Pete
Maravich, and Willie Somerset?and akin as well to Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Stephen
Curry, and Earl Boykins?is also a philosopher and poet. He is the translator of
Jean Grenier?s Islands: Lyrical Essays (Green Integer Press, 2005) and his
translations of poems from the Friulian and Italian of Pier Paolo Pasolini; the Italian of
Sergio Solmi, Umberto Saba, Giuseppi Ungaretti, Salvatore Quasimodo, and Carlo
Carabba; the French of Alain Suied and Jean-Baptiste Para; and the German of
Rainer Maria Rilke have appeared in journals and reviews in the U.S., Canada, and
the U.K. His own writings have appeared in the U.S., Jamaica, Canada, Australia,
the U.K., France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, and Japan.
Hsinmei Lin, a PhD student in English at the University of Washington, was born
and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. She is interested in both English and Mandarin
Chinese poetry. Lin is currently conducting research on nineteenth-century
American poetry and its literal and literary translatability in the context of world
literature through the lens of transnationalism and the intersection of human and
nonhuman spheres in terms of language and perception.
Edward Morin has graduate degrees in English from the University of Chicago and
Loyola University (Chicago). He has taught English and writing at Wayne State
University, University of Michigan, the University of Cincinnati, and elsewhere.
He has edited and, with Fang Dai and Dennis Ding, co-translated an anthology,
The Red Azalea: Chinese Poetry since the Cultural Revolution (U. of Hawaii
Press, 1990). They have also co-translated a book-length manuscript of poems by
the contemporary Chinese poet Cai Qijiao. Collections of Morin?s poems include
Labor Day at Walden Pond (1997) and The Dust of Our City (1978). He has a new
chapbook of poems soon to be published by Cervena Barva Press in West
Somerville, MA. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Susanne Petermann graduated with a BA in German and French from
Macalester College in 1979. She spent almost a decade traveling in Europe and teaching
English in Morocco before returning to the U.S. After discovering Rilke?s French
poems in 1993, she began to re-translate them, while also writing original poetry
as well as essays on the relationship between healing and writing. Her translations
have appeared in Agni; Epiphany; Solstice; Jung Journal of Culture and Psyche;
Inventory; Rhino; and elsewhere.
Samuel N. Rosenberg, professor emeritus of French and Italian at Indiana
University, is a medievalist chiefly interested in textual edition of lyric poetry and
in translation. Recently, he has wandered from Old French into Modern, notably
with the publication of Berlioz on Music (Oxford UP, 2015), and has ventured far
afield with lyric pieces translated from Gascon and Latin. He is now preparing an
English verse rendering of the 13th-century romance, Robert le Diable.
William Ruleman?s translations have appeared in many journals including The
AALitra Review; Ezra; The Galway Review; The New English Review; Poetry Life
and Times; The Recusant; and The Sonnet Scroll. His books include two
collections of his own poems (A Palpable Presence and Sacred and Profane Loves, both
from Feather Books), as well as the following volumes of translation: Poems from
Rilke?s Neue Gedichte (WillHall Books, 2003); Vienna Spring: Early Novellas and
Stories of Stefan Zweig (Ariadne Press, 2010); Verse for the Journey: Poems on the
Wandering Life; A Girl and the Weather (poems and prose of Stefan
Zweig); and Selected Poems of Maria Luise Weissmann (the last three
from Cedar Springs Books). He is a professor of English at Tennessee
Yasmin Snounu was born in Gaza City, Palestine, and as a Fulbright scholar earned
a Master of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Eastern
Michigan University (2011). During her undergraduate studies, she volunteered in
many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Gaza. Upon earning her
bachelor?s degree at Al Azhar University with majors in English and French Literature,
she worked at the Women?s Affairs Center, which promotes the welfare of women
in Gaza. Yasmin lived at home with her family through Israel?s attack on Gaza in
December 2008?January 2009. After earning her master?s degree, she returned
to Gaza and taught literature and English as a second language. She is currently
pursuing a PhD in urban education at Eastern Michigan University.
Joshua Solomon is a PhD candidate in the University of Chicago?s East Asian
Languages and Civilizations program. His research centers around the Japanese
concept of furusato (home/origins) and the Tsugaru region in northern Honshu,
with emphasis on folk music, regional literature, and avant-garde art. He has
previously published several translations of scholarly works as well as the
academic article ?Nanji futatabi kokyo ni kaerezu: Terayama Shuji to kokyo no sai ?sozo??
(?You can?t go home again: Terayama Shuji and the reconstruction of kokyo?).
He enjoys wrestling with vernacular poetry and translation, as well as performing
Tsugaru folk music on his shamisen.
Kendra Strand is a visiting professor of Japanese at St. Olaf College, where she
teaches Japanese language, literature, and culture. She received her PhD in
Japanese literature from the University of Michigan. In her dissertation, she translates
four travel diaries by political elites in the fourteenth century and examines how
landscape and travel are used in these texts to address issues of social and
political authority. Her research focuses on premodern Japanese travel writing, poetry,
and visual culture. She is also interested in issues of translation, canon, and
reception in modern and contemporary cultural production in Japan.
Yasser Tabbaa has graduate degrees in anthropology and art history of the Middle
East. He has been a curator of antiquities in museums of two Arab countries and
has also been a teaching and publishing scholar for over two decades at U.S.
universities, including the University of Texas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
the University of Michigan, and Oberlin College. His books include The
Transformation of Islamic Art during the Sunni Revival (U. of Washington Press, 2002)
and Constructions of Power and Piety in Medieval Aleppo (Penn State Press,
Corine Tachtiris has published translations of poetry and short fiction by
contemporary Haitian women writers as well as articles on translation theory,
world literature, and Haitian immigrant writing. She holds an MFA in literary
translation from the University of Iowa and a PhD in comparative literature from
the University of Michigan. She has taught translation theory and practice as well
as world literatures at Hampshire College, Kalamazoo College, the University of
Massachusetts Amherst, and the Universit? Paris Diderot.
Born in the city of Hiroshima, Goro Takano (????) is an assistant professor in
the Faculty of Medicine at Saga University, Japan, where he teaches English and
Japanese/Western literature. His first novel, With One More Step Ahead, was
published in the U.S. by BlazeVOX in 2009. His first poetry collection,
Responsibilities of the Obsessed, was published in the U.S. by BlazeVOX in 2013. His
second poetry collection, Silent Whistle-blowers, will be out soon.
Jun Tang is Associate Professor of Translation Studies at Southeast University,
China. She is the author of over forty articles (in English and Chinese) and two
books (in Chinese) on translation studies. Her English articles have been published
by international peer-reviewed journals such as META; Perspectives; Target; and
European Journal of English Studies. She has also served as a peer reviewer for
five international journals.