Sunday, 21 August 2016

Poem about translation 26: Paul Muldoon on the erotics of retranslation

I've been thinking a lot about retranslation recently - indeed, earlier this year I did a first draft of a Wikipedia entry on the topic. And as it happens, I have just come across a poem on precisely the topic of retranslation. This seemed too serendipitous not to blog about, as part of my occasional series on (more or less) translation-themed verse.

The poem is by Paul Muldoon and is entitled 'Whim'. It can be found in Muldoon's New Selected Poems 1968-1994. A chat-up line based on the obsolence of a nineteenth-century translation leads to an unfortunate al fresco incident in Belfast's Botanic Gardens:

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