Transference Vol. 1, Summer 2013

Transference, Aug 2013

Transference is published by the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University. Dedicated to the celebration of poetry in translation, the journal publishes translations from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian into English verse. Transference contains translations as well as commentaries on the art and process of translating.

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Transference Vol. 1, Summer 2013

Natsume Sōseki [SZ Transference Vol. 1, Summer 2013 Part of the Classical Literature Philology Commons Comparative Literature Commons East Asian Languages Societies Commons European Languages Societies Commons French Francophone Language Literature Commons German Language Literature Commons Linguistics Commons Modern Languages Commons Modern Literature Commons Poetry Commons Reading Language Commons the Soviet Post-Soviet Studies Commons 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 I 2013 Foreword…………..…………………………………………………………………………………...viii After the War BY ARSENY TARKOVSKY TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN BY PHILIP METRES AND DIMITRI PSURTSEV ………………………………………………………………………………………1 TRANSLATED FROM THE CHINESE BY ANDREW GUDGEL…….………….………..6 TRANSLATED FROM THE CHINESE BY ANDREW GUDGEL…………………….……6 A Vase of Plum Flowers BY TAN YUANCHUN The Green Wutong Tree BY ZHU HELING Mapao Spring BY SONG WAN Mountain Temple BY YAO NAI TRANSLATED FROM THE CHINESE BY ANDREW GUDGEL…………………….……7 TRANSLATED FROM THE CHINESE BY ANDREW GUDGEL……………………..…..7 The Picket Fence BY CHRISTIAN MORGENSTERN TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY JOHN PERRY……………………………….10 Tumult BY PIERRE REVERDY Islands BY BLAISE CENDRARS TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY DAN BELLM………….………………..…….12 Ballade III BY CHRISTINE DE PIZAN TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY MARYANN CORBETT….………………….16 Condoleezza Rice’s Piano BY SA‘DĪ YŪSUF TRANSLATED FROM THE ARABIC BY LEVI THOMPSON…….………………….….19 Flower on a Grave BY DOI BANSUI TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY NICHOLAS ALBERTSON………….…….21 Beneath the Moss BY FUJIWARA SHUNZEI TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY ROSELEE BUNDY…….……………..…..23 Direction BY YOSHIRO ISHIHARA TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY GORO TAKANO……………………....….29 Funeral Train BY YOSHIRO ISHIHARA TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY GORO TAKANO……………………….….30 Pain BY YOSHIRO ISHIHARA TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY GORO TAKANO…………………….…….31 When the World Perishes BY YOSHIRO ISHIHARA TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY GORO TAKANO…………………………..32 Banned BY BORIS VIAN TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY JENNIFER CARR….………………………..35 TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY JENNIFER CARR…….……………………..36 TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY REBEKAH WILSON……………………….39 TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY REBEKAH WILSON……………………….40 Indecent Sonnet BY BORIS VIAN At the End of Time BY ROSE AUSLÄNDER To Say Dark Things BY INGEBORG BACHMANN If Only I Knew BY NELLY SACHS Geta BY TAKAMURA KŌTARŌ My House BY TAKAMURA KŌTARŌ TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY REBEKAH WILSON…………….………....41 TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY LEANNE OGASAWARA………………….44 TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY LEANNE OGASAWARA………………....45 Bowing Low (The Promulgation of the Constitution) BY TAKAMURA KŌTARŌ TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY LEANNE OGASAWARA………...……….46 A Nomad’s Progression to the Settled Life BY YURI VAELLA TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN BY CLAUDE CLAYTON SMITH AND ALEXANDER VASCHENKO….……………………………………………………….…….49 A Woman BY HEINRICH HEINE The Cat BY CHARLES BAUDELAIRE TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY SUSAN MCLEAN…………………………..52 Martial 11.99 TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN BY SUSAN MCLEAN……………………………...54 Martial 2.53 TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN BY SUSAN MCLEAN…………………………..….54 Cat BY YAMANOKUCHI BAKU TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY DARYL MAUDE…………………………..58 Heads BY YAMANOKUCHI BAKU TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY DARYL MAUDE……………………….….58 It Takes All Sorts BY YAMANOKUCHI BAKU TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY DARYL MAUDE...…………………….….59 Okinawan Scene BY YAMANOKUCHI BAKU TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY DARYL MAUDE ….……………………...60 Untitled (2 October 1910) BY NATSUME SŌSEKI TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY ERIK LOFGREN……………………….….65 Untitled (6 October 1910) BY NATSUME SŌSEKI TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY ERIK LOFGREN…………….…………….65 Untitled (7 October 1910) BY NATSUME SŌSEKI TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE BY ERIK LOFGREN…………………………..65 Adjuration BY ALEXANDER PUSHKIN TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN BY J. M. MCBIRNIE………………………..68 Pétanque BY EMMANUEL VEROT TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY RANDY SCHWARTZ……………………...70 Notes on Contributors………………………..…………………………………………………...73 “A major difficulty in translation is that a word in one language seldom has a precise equivalent in another one.” (A. Schopenhauer) “Poetic translation is the transmigration of poetic souls from one language into another.” (J. Rosenberg) Some might say that a translated poem is an impossibility—metaphors, cultural references, and the play of sound and sense do not transfer from one language system to another the way a set of instructions can. So why propose a journal of literary translation called Transference? Both “translation” and “transference” derive from the Latin verb transferre, which literally means “to carry across.” “Translation” refers to something that has already been brought across passively and in a completed state, while “transference” is the act of someone bringing something or someone else across always in a state of incompletion. “Transference,” therefore, reflects more closely what literary translation is: the bridge between cultures and centuries that is ever changing and, by necessity, never perfect, never complete. This bridge, however, remains essential if we wish to continue to see beyond our own horizons into other perspectives on the human condition. Each of the poems and the commentaries gathered in this volume posits an interpretation of various experiences common to all people, among them grief, joy, desire, and wonder. It is our hope that as an ensemble, the pieces form a single, kaleidoscopic work bringing these discrete intersections together into a unified representation of the language work and play that makes us quintessentially human. It is in our nature to desire to communicate with others in order to understand and to be understood. All of the contributors to this volume have attempted communication, both with the poets of the original texts and the readers of our journal. This act of transference is distinctly different from how the term is used in psychology—whereas a patient unconsciously redirects feelings from one person to another, a translator consciously takes the feelings of viii TRANSFERENCE another and tries to experience them, and therefore have an audience experience them, through the means of a different language. We encourage our readers to seek out the original poems in the original languages, as well as other translations of the poems, to continue this mode of communication, both with our contributors’ translations and their personal commentaries. So maybe a translated poem is a paradox, but the impossibility of a “pure” translation presents its own advantages. In the attempt to reproduce the poetic experience of the original poem’s reader in a different idiom, new poems come into being. Layered with form and content resulting from this transfer across language boundaries, the new poems offer an opportunity to engage in the inherent playfulness of language. It is a serious game, an undertaking that is fraught with challenges, but, as is the case with confronting most paradoxes, well worth the travail, and necessary. David Kutzko and Molly Lynde-Recchia, editors-in-chief ix x Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev After the War Arseny Tarkovsky ПОСЛЕ ВОЙНЫ Like a tree on top of forest grass Spreads its leafy hands through the leaves And, leaning on a shrub, propagates Its branches sideways, widthwise— So I shot up gradually. My muscles Swelled, my rib cage expanded. From the blue Goblet with prickly alcohol, my lungs Filled to the smallest alveoli, and my heart Took blood from the veins and veins Returned the blood, and took the blood again And it was like a transfiguration Of simple happiness and simple grief In a prelude and fugue for organ. I would be sufficient for all living things, Both plants and people, Who’d been dying somewhere near And somewhere at the other end of the earth In unimaginable suffering, like Marsyas, Who was flayed alive. If I’d given them my life, I would not become any poorer In life, in myself, in my blood. But I myself became like Marsyas. I’d long lived Among the living, and became like Marsyas. Sometimes, when you lie in the summer heat And look at the sky, and the hot air Rocks like a cradle above you, you Find a strange angle of senses: There is a gap in the crib, and through it An outer cold penetrates, as if Some icy needle... Like a tree splashes the earth Above itself, collapses from a steep Undermined by water, its roots in the air, The rapids plucking at its branches, So my double on the other rapids Travels from the future to the past. From a height, I follow myself with my eyes And clutch at my heart. Who gave me Trembling branches, a powerful trunk And weak, helpless roots? Death is vile, but life is worse, And there’s no bridling its tyranny. Are you leaving, Lazarus? Well, go away! Behind you, half the sky still blazes. Nothing holds us together. Sleep Vivacious one, fold your hands On your chest, and sleep. TRANSFERENCE Come by, take this, I don’t need anything, What I love I’ll give away, and what I don’t I’ll give away. I want to replace you, But if I say that I’m going to turn into you, Don’t believe me, poor child, I’m lying… O these hands with fingers like vines, Open and wet eyes, And the shells of small ears, Like saucers full of a love song, And wings, curved sharply by the wind. Don’t believe me, poor child, I lie, I’ll try to break away like one condemned to die, But I cannot transgress this strangeness Can’t flap your wings or touch your eyes With your little finger, or look With your eyes. You’re one Hundred times stronger than me, you are A song about yourself, and I’m A deputy of the tree and God, And by your judgment, sentenced for my song. 1969 Arseny Tarkovsky (1907–1989) spent most of his life as a well-known translator of Turkmen, Georgian, Armenian, Arabic, and other languages. During the Second World War, he worked as a war correspondent until he was wounded in a German attack, which would cost him his leg. His first book of poems had been accepted for publication in 1946, but in the wake of Zhdanov’s attack on Anna Akhmatova and Mikhail Zoschenko, the book was never released. Tarkovsky’s first published volume, Before the Snow, was published in 1962, at the age of 55, to the acclaim of Akhmatova, who called his work “both contemporary and eternal.” In a time when official Russian poetry was anything but independent, Tarkovsky’s verse maintained its resolute allegiance to a poetic sound and vision that hearkened back to the masters of Russian poetry. Akhmatova called Tarkovsky the one “real poet” in the Soviet Union. In her words, “of all contemporary poets Tarkovsky alone is completely his own self, completely independent. He possesses the most important feature of a poet which I’d call the birthright.” In his spiritual and poetic independence, he outlasted the dross of totalitarianism. Vividly musical, rich in Biblical and folk echoes, Tarkovsky’s poems exude a poignant gratitude for living on earth, and a childlike wonder in nature, even though they are often set in the backdrop of terrible heartbreak of one of the most miserable centuries in Russian history. The most difficult aspect of translating Russian poetry is carrying across the richness of its music—the diversity of meters, rhythms, and rhyme: Tarkovsky’s poetry is, in the end, a poetry that lives through its music. Any simple literal translation misses the collision of sound and meaning that makes poetry poetry. In “After the War,” Tarkovsky often employs unrhymed blank verse; unrhymed poetry remains unusual in Russian poetry. As importantly, Tarkovsky alludes to the mythical satyr Marsyas, whose arrogant challenge of Apollo to a musical contest led to his being flayed to death. Dima Psurtsev and I began working together in 1992, when I lived in Moscow on a Watson Fellowship, studying contemporary Russian poetry. Dima suggested that I read Tarkovsky, and we did some basic translations of a handful of his most well-known poems. In 2009, back in Russia, I proposed that we might formalize our collaboration and translate a full-length collection of TRANSFERENCE Tarkovsky in English translation, since none had been published. Often, the process involved either my sending Dima a first draft, after which he would provide an annotation which would point out translation errors or particularly complex and allusive phrases, for future revision. We'd trade the poem back and forth until both of us were at peace that we had created something alive enough to let it into the world. The present translation was a product of this collaboration. Andrew Gudgel A Vase of Plum Flowers In the vase for ten days already, My worries fall away when, fortunately, they open late. No need to borrow the east wind to force them, Or bully them with nighttime rain. Their fragrance comes in silence, Their charm in quiet hours. More beautiful even than the trees on the mountains, For tourists know nothing of these. Andrew Gudgel The Green Wutong Tree The shade of the green wutong hides my study, Branches a hundred feet high would entice even a phoenix. The new jade leaves float like a curtain of green, Luxuriant shadows, deep cover and a smell like incense. The cool that comes feels like a basket of early Autumn, The leaves drop in a silver bed that sparkles with dew. Though the eastern courtyard catches the morning sun, Down by the roots it's dark, like standing beside a towering mountain. TRANSFERENCE Tan Yuanchun 瓶梅 Zhu Heling 碧梧 Andrew Gudgel Mapao Spring Twisting, turning Qinting Road, I stop my cart—A pleasant trip! Getting out, I discover the autumn rain is clearing. I sit and fall in love with the spring flowing over the rocks. Pruned willows fill the deep banks, Barren cattails reach the far fields. I will beg to retire and go dig myself a cave to live in, And float about on fishing boats by moonlight. Andrew Gudgel Mountain Temple The surrounding mountains are alive with autumn sounds, The high forest is dark with evening falling, Clouds wrap around the cold hazel trees. A curtain of darkness descends over the front wall. The wind whistles at the temple gate, Flying leaves fill the gathered cliffs. Isles of bamboo in a stream of darkness, Murmuring bird-calls from arching rocks. I wanted to see beyond the mouth of the valley, The distant peaks are blue in the setting sun. Within the twisting mist, The myriad gullies clasp ridges and cracks. Is there no wise man or hermit With whom I can stay? The crescent moon's light is already gone, And I wistfully leave off writing. Song Wan 馬跑泉 Yao Nai 山寺 Rather than the more well-known (and more often translated) poets of the Tang Dynasty, I picked one lesser-known poet each from the Ming (Tan Yuanchun) and Qing (Yao Nai) Dynasties as well as two (Zhu Heling and Song Wan) whose lives began in one Dynasty and ended in the next. For both Zhu and Song, the midpoint of their lives saw collapse, chaos and war, followed by the establishment and consolidation of a new dynasty. Classical Chinese is very terse—often omitting pronouns and prepositions—and its grammar is very flexible, so a single line (and sometimes entire poems) can be both ambiguous in meaning and have multiple translations. There is also a rich tradition of allusions and of borrowing turns of phrase from earlier poets which suffuses additional, unwritten yet implied meanings into lines and poems. With each piece, I read through it several times; first silently, then out loud—Chinese poetry is meant to be recited—and finally jotted down notes on the “feeling” it gave me. Was it joyous or wistful? Were there deeper meanings and if so, what were they? Take, for example, the poem “A Vase of Plum Flowers.” Plum trees flower in late winter in China and large numbers of people would (and still do) go out to view the blossoms. At the same time, connoisseurship was considered one of the marks of a scholar in late-Ming times and it was common practice to keep cut flowers in one's study. So by putting a plum branch in a vase to enjoy privately, Tan Yuanchun implies both his scholarly refinement and his purposeful separation from the public sphere. Only when I thought I had a good “feeling” for the poems did I begin rough-drafting the translations. The finished rough drafts were left to sit for a week, then re-checked for accuracy. Another week was spent smoothing the drafts before they were shown to an English-speaking Chinese friend for comment. Each poem presented a unique challenge and each had at least one line that I puzzled over for anywhere from an hour to an entire day. In the abovementioned “A Vase of Plum Flowers” it was a short sentence that, when translated into English, contained consecutive ambiguous adverbs. In “Mountain Temple,” it was a line that read: 於兹衣蘿薜—literally, “with grass-mat clothes (or ‘to wear’) tree-moss climbing-fig.” (The last two characters, if inverted, become a literary allusion to another work that predates Yao Nai's by approximately sev TRANSFERENCE enteen centuries.) Yet in the context of the poem, this list of items implies staying with a hermit. Despite the challenges, however, each poem also brought moments of sudden, joyful revelation and translation's sweetest reward—the feeling of touching another mind separated by both time and space. pentameter. But dactylic meter is rare in English, and hexameters tend to drag, so I have written the whole poem in iambic pentameter, which better fits the rhythms of English and sounds natural and conversational. Daryl Maude Cat Daryl Maude Heads Someone I’d just met, While having a drink Cocked their head and said Are you Baku-san, the poet? I am surprised The Baku-san I see in your poems Is nothing like the gentleman I see before me. I shrugged without thinking And then raised my head and said Of the old Baku you see in the poems and The gentleman Baku you see here— Who is the real Baku, I wonder? At which the person looked up And said Well, I’m not sure And—maybe because something was wrong with their neck— Cocked their head again TRANSFERENCE Yamanokuchi Baku 猫 Yamanokuchi Baku 首 Daryl Maude It Takes All Sorts People eat rice And my namesake the monster called the baku Eats dreams, they say Sheep will eat paper And bedbugs come to suck blood And there are people Who come in to eat people, and people who go out to eat people And, thinking about it, in my homeland of Ryukyu There is a tree called the umumā For a tree it looks ugly, but it is like a poet: Standing in graveyards, Growing on the tears and sad voices of The people who come and cry. A strange tree, the umumā. Daryl Maude Okinawan Scene There in the gardens, always The tauchī fighting cocks are thirsty for blood Each tauchī In his own mībārā,* but All of them squaring their shoulders So much confidence Growing tired of waiting for the fight day Each morning at the Akamine house, Tanmē-grandpa Carrying a tobacco tray Comes out onto the veranda and sits Enquires after the health of the tauchī in the garden This morning Tanmē was on the veranda but Maybe his pipe was blocked? And at the tap-tap of him hitting it The tauchī, to a bird, Suddenly stretched their necks *A cage for raising chickens TRANSFERENCE Yamanokuchi Baku (山之口貘, 1903–1963) was an Okinawan poet and writer of fiction and essays. As a young man, he left his homeland in the southern Ryukyuan archipelago, which had been annexed by Japan and renamed as Okinawa in 1879, and moved to Tokyo, the metropolitan centre of the Japanese Empire. Yamanokuchi Baku, whose real name was Yamaguchi Jūsaburō, took his pen-name, Baku—by which he is known to Japanese readers—from the mythical beast which was supposed to feed on nightmares. Baku's work avoids complex imagery and flowery expressions and instead uses stark, simple language. His subject matter ranges from everyday encounters with people in bars, or conversations with his wife about money, to descriptions of his Okinawan homeland or meditations on his own identity as Okinawan. In metropolitan Tokyo, Okinawans were the subject of much prejudice, being seen as exotic and primitive. Baku, like many others, had to endure the problem of worrying about how best to explain himself and his origins to other people. In his most well-known poem, “A Conversation” (“Kaiwa”), he describes being asked by a woman “Where are you from?” He imagines describing his homeland, with its sub-tropical plants and different customs, and the inevitable stereotypes of a land of “indigo seas” and “everlasting summer” that will arise in the woman's mind. The poem, like much of Baku's work, is wryly humorous, but has a dark, serious core—unwilling to tell her directly that he is Okinawan, the poet is forced to become increasingly circuitous about how he presents his identity. Another example of Baku’s dark humor can be seen in “It Takes All Sorts,” in which he likens poets to the legendary umumā tree, which feasts on people's sadness, at once poking fun at himself and also questioning the ethics of his art. Translation of Baku’s poetry is challenging due to this wry humor injected into many of the lines, and also due to the simplicity and strong sense of rhythm of his writing has. Japanese often leaves out the subject of a sentence when it is thought to be known to all parties, and so when translating poems I have tried to replicate the clipped, concise effect of the original as much as possible, while still rendering the poems intelligible for English speakers by inserting pronouns, or naming the speaker of a particular line. While I never had to worry about translating complicated sentences or rendering obscure metaphors in intelligible English, trying to replicate Baku’s short sentences and also deal with his sparse use of punctuation—which I have tried to follow as much as possible—was a challenge. When I showed my translations to two Okinawan friends, they tried to retranslate the works from English back into Japanese in a sparing, funny, Baku-esque fashion. “No, no,” one would say to the other. “Simpler! Say it like Baku-san would!” The title of the poem “Heads” is “Kubi” in the original Japanese, a word which can refer to either the head or the neck, depending on its context. Some people may find the use of “their” jarring as a third-person singular pronoun, but in the original the gender of the other speaker is unspecified, and could equally be female or male. I decided to retain this ambiguity. Another problem in translating his poetry is Baku’s use of Uchināguchi, or Okinawan language, as in “Okinawan Scene.” Inserted in the Japanese text, the Okinawan words are sometimes in katakana, the script often used for loanwords in Japanese, and sometimes in kanji, or Chinese characters. Baku’s kanji, while readily readable to a Japanese-speaking audience, are glossed with nonstandard, Okinawan pronunciations above them in katakana, making them sound different. When translating the poem into English, I have tried to keep the Uchināguchi words intact, adding on English words afterwards with hyphens to try to replicate the experience of reading a familiar word along with an unfamiliar one. I have also kept the asterisk footnote in which Baku explains what a mībārā is. TRANSFERENCE Ghada Mourad A Life He was, more or less, wasting time he drew a vase he drew a flower in the vase and fragrance emanated from the paper. He drew a cup of water took a sip and watered the flower. He drew a room placed a bed in the room and fell asleep …and when he woke up he drew a sea a deep sea and drowned. Wadih Saadeh (1948–) is a Lebanese poet who left his native country during the Civil War to reside in Australia with his family. His poetry is marked by a sense of loss and exile. His poem, “A Life,” articulates the condition of exile in which the poet (and as a matter of fact, any human being) suffers. The art (and the world) a poet creates serves as a dwelling that ultimately doubles his alienation from the outside world. “A Life” conveys beautifully the doubling of the artist’s exilic condition. Its sound devices in Arabic conveying the depth of the artist’s exile through the deep sound of the letter ق recurring in the words ى ةقرو , قرغ , قيمع are reincarnated in English as the consonance in “deep” and “asleep” on one hand, and the “w” and “d” sounds in “deep,” “drew,” and “drowned” on the other hand, highlighting the fact that the artist is both victim and agent of his exile. TRANSFERENCE In dream, I wander the cosmos; a profoundly silent dew-fall glistens. At midnight, my body and its shadow in the flame’s pathetic gloom. Ill in this inn with Shuzenji temple nearby— Through the curtained window, its faintly sounding bell; long, now, into autumn. Erik Lofgren Untitled (6 October 1910) The world is ever uncertain, And ever are we at the mercy of its winds. Under a clear autumn sky, we lament our greying sidelocks; Our disease-ravaged bodies dream the flush face of youth. I see the birds off across the limitless sky And watch the clouds on their endless paths. I am but bones, yet precious they are, And careful I’ll be not to grind them down. Erik Lofgren Untitled (7 October 1910) How melancholy the arrival of autumn! Vomiting blood, yet still this body lives. How long ere I might arise from my sickbed? The village, aglow in the setting sun. Natsume Sōseki [SZ 12:408] Natsume Sōseki [SZ 12:408] All three poems here are taken from Sōseki zenshū (1967) and represent Natsume Sōseki’s (1867–1916) return, after a ten-year hiatus, to kanshi (poems in the classical Chinese style). They date from a time when Sōseki, perhaps Japan’s most famous early-modern author, was recovering from a near-fatal illness brought on by a journey undertaken to recuperate from an earlier serious illness. Consequently, the twin themes of life’s ephemerality and man’s relation to his world define these poems. The degree of lachrymose pathos is, perhaps, overwrought; however, the poems do offer a refraction of the mind of a convalescent and, as such, join a long history of writing that crosses many national and periodization boundaries. Through recourse to this neglected part of Sōseki’s oeuvre we gain another view of a complex and highly influential novelist. One of the primary difficulties facing the translator of kanshi—or, indeed, classical Chinese poetry on which kanshi are putatively modeled—is the frustration of plenitude that lies at the confluence of concision, evocative power, and a vibrant intertextuality. This plenitude may be addressed in numerous ways: explanatory footnotes, descriptive text inserted in the poem proper, through a discursive essay, or the translator may choose to let the poem stand on its own. It is this last that I have chosen, for the possibility of deeper awareness inheres, however tentatively, in the shared context of the three poems. Nobody familiar with classical Chinese poetry will be surprised to learn that extensive commentary has grown up around the fertile ground of Sōseki’s kanshi. What is, perhaps, troubling for the translator is how much of this commentary seeks to rewrite the poems in the image of the putatively real. For example, in the first poem (2 October 1910), Iida Rigyō (Shin’yaku Sōseki shishū [Tokyo: Kashiwa shobō, 1994]: 153–54) has drawn upon Sōseki’s use of the temple Shuzenji, plus Sōseki’s contemporaneous writings, to expand upon the poem. He observes that the bell should actually be thought of as “drum” for two reasons. The first is because Shuzenji did not construct a bell until the Taishō era (1912–26) so there was no bell tower on the premises at the time Sōseki was writing. Second, Sōseki described the evening in question in Omoidasu koto nado (Recollections, 1910) saying, “At that moment, the drum of Shuzenji sounded.” Yet, to accept this attribution of intention, however accurate the facts upon which it is based might be, is to deny the poem and its poet the freedom of TRANSFERENCE creative fancy, and the power of image. The fact is that Sōseki chose to use “bell” instead of “drum” and in the poem, there is no indication that a reader was to understand the choice in any other way. Note that I am not suggesting the poem must remain true to the author’s intention; rather, that in the absence of any evidence in the poem to the contrary, changing the text to match an assumed knowledge of the reality surrounding the poem’s construction, as many of the commentators feel obliged to do, beggars the immanent power of the poem. Once the determination was made to present the poems as free from this biographical armature as possible, the other decisions facing the translator fell into place. While neither foot nor meter, as they are understood in Western poetry, play a significant role, kanshi is governed by a strict syllable count (each character representing one syllable) and rhyme scheme. In most published English translations of kanshi, these have both been ignored, generally to the benefit of the translation. I have followed the lead of others translating kanshi and have set aside the strict rhyme scheme present in the originals as too disruptive of a natural flow to warrant strict adherence. J.M. McBirnie Adjuration If it be true in nightly haze When all the living lay in repose And from the heavens lunar rays Slither among the graves and their stones, If it be true that one would say That the quiet tombs have been unmade— I call Leila; I await that shade: To me, my friend, this way, this way! Appear once more, shade whom I adore, Like the day you left and were all the while Wan and cold as the winter you wore When all those terminal woes warped your smile. Come, like a distant star far away, Like a soft sound or exhaled emission— Or like a terrible apparition. Any way at all: this way, this way!… I call you not so that you might Upbraid those men whose malicious ways Took the life of my friend that night, Or to learn the secrets of these graves, Or for the times when I would lay All racked with doubt…Rather, I have pined Wishing to say that I love in kind, For I'm all yours: this way, this way! TRANSFERENCE Alexander Pushkin Заклинание I felt that finding the proper refrain for this poem proved to be the hardest and most crucial aspect of a proper translation. Despite its deceptively simple quality, its nuances support the main crux of the poem: the speaker’s coming “hither” represents not only his invocation of his lost beloved, but also his approaching of the addressee in space and in form. I also strove to preserve the rhyme and a syllabic meter. The poem does, however, diverge from the eight- and nine-syllable line schema in the second stanza. The change in meter, in addition to the alliteration of a distinctly non-Russian sound, disconnected the stanza from the rest of the poem just enough to support the scholarly speculation concerning its apocryphal nature. Perhaps the most remarkable sonic feature of the Russian pertains to the assonance of the u sound (e.g. лунные лучи, line 3 and сюда, сюда, line 8). While replicating the exact sound might unnecessarily bridle the poem, I opted for the similarly melancholic repetition of the ei sound, scattered throughout the translation (e.g. “haze,” “way,” and “shade”). Though the use of the colon and dash in the English translation was unconventional, I felt the need to preserve them, as the colon seemed to signal the speaker’s direct speech while the dash served as a prolonged pause. Rather than rely upon quotation marks and commas to fulfill those roles, I felt that the dashes, colons, ellipses, and exclamations offered a particular visual importance, reinforcing the concept of bodies in repose, atop one another, among graves, and standing erect, respectively. I did divert from using the any of the previous translations of the title, such as “Invocation” or “Incantation.” Though one sense of the term, “invocation,” does apply to the poem, I felt that some of its more immediate connotations do not. Furthermore, although there is certainly a kind of conjuring at work, the use of “incantation” might have limited the poem’s interpretation in a single direction. Therefore, after considering Russian and English etymologies and uses of the term, I settled upon “adjuration” for its ability to speak to both the fantastical and temporal elements within the poem. Randy Schwartz Pétanque Khenifra, Morocco, July 2002 A clay-red town, its skies crisscrossed by storks. The sandlot is barely lit by the flickering streetlights. We approach, they play on; one of them goes to find us some chairs, another gives us some tea… They play well; I didn’t dare join. And then the muezzin broke into his piercing lament of hope and mercy; a big rug was quickly spread out, and from a water bottle the hands and faces were purified. I turned and I saw them, these players, lined up in prayer, in the offering of their game, in the communion of their lives. I joined my hands together and cried. TRANSFERENCE Emmanuel Verot Pétanque Emmanuel Verot is a high school mathematics teacher in Béziers, southern France. He writes poems from time to time as the occasion arises, but has never tried to publish his work. He was raised in Casablanca, Morocco, where he was born in 1952 to a family of French Huguenot heritage; his father was a music teacher from near Bordeaux, and his mother was from Pau. Verot grew up speaking both French and Arabic. A small challenge in this translation was to clarify points that might puzzle an English reader unfamiliar with Morocco. For instance, I used “clayred town” to translate Verot’s ville rouge (red town), a reference to the color of traditional dwellings in towns such as Khenifra that are “dug into” the redmountain portion of the Middle Atlas. Pétanque is a lawn-bowling game of southern France that was introduced to Morocco by French colonials. The game is familiar to many outside of France and Morocco, partly because it was immortalized in the stories of Marcel Pagnol; I decided to leave the title in French. For American readers, “sandlot” works well for terrain vague, literally “waste lot”; in Khenifra there is no grass, and the game is played instead on fields of bare dirt. I chose to echo the word “join,” which appears in the last line of each stanza and makes a point of contrast: as an outsider, the poet dares not join the game he sees being played before him, yet he feels an overpowering emotional tie to the men as they halt their game in prayer. Notes on Contributors Nicholas Albertson recently completed his dissertation on Japanese Romantic poetry of the Meiji period (1868–1912) at the University of Chicago. While in graduate school, he conducted research on Doi Bansui (1871–1952) at Tōhoku University in Sendai. In fall 2013, he will take up a teaching post at Smith College, in his hometown of Northampton, MA. Dan Bellm is a poet and translator living in Berkeley, California, and the recipient of a 2013 Literature Fellowship in Translation from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has also published three books of poetry, most recently Practice (Sixteen Rivers Press), winner of a 2009 California Book Award. He teaches literary translation at Antioch University Los Angeles and at New York University. 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). Jennifer Carr is from Washington, DC, and has lived variously in Cannes, Berkeley, and Paris. She has a BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and an MA in Cultural Translation from the American University of Paris, where she focused on twentieth century French literature and translating the work of the Oulipo. She will start a French PhD program at Yale in the fall. Maryann Corbett is the author of Breath Control (David Robert Books) and Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter (Able Muse Press). Her poems, essays, and translations have been published widely in journals in print and online and in a number of anthologies. She holds a doctorate in English Language and Literature from the University of Minnesota and works for the Minnesota Legislature. Andrew Gudgel received his B.A. in Chinese from the Ohio State University in 1989. He spent the next decade-plus working for the US Government, mostly in US embassies overseas, before becoming a freelance writer. He and his wife currently live in Beijing, China. Victoria Le is a poet, translator, and Michigan native. She was educated at the University of Michigan and received her Master of Fine Arts at Brown University. She currently lives in Arkansas. Erik R. Lofgren is associate professor of East Asian Studies at Bucknell University where he teaches Japanese language, literature, and film. Although his early research was in identity construction in the war-related literature of Ōoka Shōhei and Umezaki Haruo occasioned by Japan’s defeat in the Second World War, he is now working on a project exploring the representation of sexual desire in Japanese film. The translations here are an expression of his long-standing interest in classical Chinese and the nineteenthcentury Japanese literati’s use of form as a vehicle for poetic expression that differed substantially from the indigenous poetic forms. Daryl Maude studies Okinawan and Japanese modern literature, and is interested in questions of identity, nationality, and colonialism. He studied Japanese at the University of Leeds and completed an MA in Japanese Literature at SOAS, University of London, before spending two years at Waseda University, Tokyo, as a research student. He currently lives and works in the UK. J. M. McBirnie is a poet and translator currently enrolled in the University of Texas at El Paso's MFA Program in Bilingual Creative Writing. He received a BA in Theology and Russian from the University of Notre Dame and studied at the KORA Center for Russian Language in Vladimir, Russia. Susan McLean is a professor of English at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota, where she has taught since 1988. Her translations from Latin, French, and German have appeared in Arion, The Classical Outlook, Literary Imagination, Moreana, Blue Unicorn, and elsewhere. Her translations of about 500 Latin poems by Martial, Selected TRANSFERENCE Epigrams, will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press. A collection of her own poems, The Best Disguise, won the 2009 Richard Wilbur Award and was published by the University of Evansville Press. Philip Metres has written a number of books, including A Concordance of Leaves (2013), abu ghraib arias (2011), Ode to Oil (2011), and To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008). His writing–which has appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry–has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award (for the forthcoming Sand Opera), the Anne Halley Prize, the Arab American Book Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is a professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland. Ghada Mourad is a PhD candidate in the department of Comparative Literature and a Schaeffer fellow in literary translation at the International Center of Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine. Ghada's translations have appeared in the e-zine Jadaliyya, in A Gathering of the Tribes, in a volume of essays and poetry titled Now that We have Tasted Hope: Voices from the Arab Spring, published by McSweeney's, and in Shahadat, a project by ArteEast. Leanne Ogasawara is a freelance Japanese translator and writer who lived in Japan for twenty years. Her translation work includes academic translations for publication in philosophy, documentary film translations, and strategy reports for the Japanese government as well as literary translations. She is also a contributing editor for the award-winning Japan-based literary magazine Kyoto Journal, and has published in the Hong Kong arts magazine Arts of Asia. She is currently completing a manuscript of new translations of Takamura Kōtarō’s Chieko Poems, to be published by Word Palace Press. John Perry was born in Britain and graduated from Cambridge with a PhD in Arabic and Persian studies. In 1972 he boarded an Atlantic liner and emigrated to America, where for the next thirty-five years he taught languages and assorted literature and culture courses at the University of Chicago. His publications include book-length translations from Arabic, Persian, and Tajik (and some of his English-language books and articles have been published in Persian, Kurdish, and Turkish versions). He likes to keep in touch with European languages by translating humorous and satirical verse. Dimitri Psurtsev, a Russian poet and translator of British and American authors, teaches at Moscow State Linguistic University. His two books of poetry, Ex Roma Tertia and Tengiz Notepad, were published in 2001. He lives outside Moscow. Randy Schwartz is a writer and educator based in Ann Arbor, MI. He was raised in northern Virginia and is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan. Travels and longer stays in France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia have stimulated his writing and his translations from French and Arabic. He has published poems in such publications as Blueline, The MacGuffin, The Jerusalem Times, California Quarterly, and Edge, which nominated him for a Pushcart Prize in 2011. Schwartz’s essay “Unity in Multiplicity: Lessons from the Alhambra,” an argument for multiculturalism in higher education, won the National Education Association’s “Democracy in Higher Education Award” in 2000. Claude Clayton Smith is professor emeritus of English at Ohio Northern University. He is the author of seven books and co-editor/translator of an eighth. He holds a BA from Wesleyan, an MAT from Yale, an MFA in fiction from the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a DA from Carnegie Mellon. His latest books are Ohio Outback: Learning to Love the Great Black Swamp (Kent State University Press, 2010) and, with Alexander Vaschenko, The Way of Kinship: An Anthology of Native Siberian Literature (University of Minnesota, 2010). Born in the city of Hiroshima, Goro Takano (高野吾朗) is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Saga University, Japan, where he teaches English and Japanese/Western literatures. He obtained his M.A. from the University of Tokyo (American Literature), and his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (English/Creative Writing). His first novel, With One More Step Ahead, was published in the US by BlazeVOX in 2009, and his first poetry collection, TRANSFERENCE titled Responsibilities of the Obsessed, was published in the US by BlazeVOX in 2013. Levi Thompson studies Arabic literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently exploring the development of modernism in Arabic. His other academic interests include pre-modern Arabic and Persian literature, translation, and literary criticism. Levi has a Masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and was a 2010–2011 Fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo. Alexander Vaschenko was chair of comparative studies in literature and culture at Moscow State University. He held doctorates from the Gorky Institute of World Literature and Moscow State University. He was the author of America Against America, Ethnic Literatures of the United States, Historical Epic Folklore of the North American Indians, and The Judgement of Paris (all written in Russian), and, with Claude Clayton Smith, co-editor/translator of The Way of Kinship: An Anthology of Native Siberian Literature (University of Minnesota, 2010). He passed away in June 2013. Rebekah Wilson is a freelance translator in Oxford, UK, and translates from French, German and Dutch. She recently completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. In 2011–2012, she was chosen to participate in the British Centre for Literary Translation’s Mentorship Programme (Dutch to English), and was mentored by David Colmer. In 2011, she was chosen to participate in the first Emerging Translators Programme run by New Books in German. This issue is also available in print. For further information, please contact the editors. ISSN (print): 973-2325-5072 ISSN (online): 2325-5099 Globe image © Don Hammond/Design Pics/Corbis Department of World Languages and Literatures College of Arts and Sciences


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Transference Vol. 1, Summer 2013, Transference, 2013,