With over forty poems from nine languages, this Diversions ebook is both an handy compilation of some of the world's most famous poetry, and an introduction to the translator's art. Most pieces are faithful renderings, reproducing the form, content and rhyme schemes of the original. Each poem is accompanied by notes on the literary conventions in force, a glossary of unfamiliar words, and a comment on the accuracy of the translation.
There is great variety, from four- or five-line pieces in Sanskrit and Chinese to extended compositions by Darío, Valéry and Apollinaire. Many will be familiar to poetry readers, though possibly not with such close harmony of phrasing and meaning. As the Introduction explains, the translation brings different aims together, and shows that it's possible to create faithful renderings that read as good poetry if the full resources of English verse are deployed. What is powerful, eloquent and moving in the original has more than echo of such qualities in these translations. The ebook
is in pdf format, and free.