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Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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Jefferson Carter Jefferson Carter Male, 91, United States (10/18/2013 3:38:00 PM)

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H, what do you mean " whereupon it was found that, purely by accident, it rhymed" ? If the original were written in rhyme (which would be probable since most early poetry was meant to be recited and rhyme (or other formal devices) was an aide to memory) , the challenge for the translator would be to compose a good poem in ENGLISH; the best translations I've read of any language into English avoid the strait-jacket of form and focus instead on powerfully equivalent diction, figures of speech and tone. The worst translations reproduce the formal aspects of the original. When form deforms, it should be jettisoned.

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  • Dan Reynolds (10/18/2013 5:13:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    JC, I thought I made it clear, but I'll expand. Let's consider that the original poem did NOT rhyme. The translator did nothing but translate, ver batim. The rhymes were never intended by the author. Now, think about the question again. Hypothetically, we have the ultimate poem, which happens to rhyme in another language(s)

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    • Jefferson Carter (10/18/2013 8:51:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Well, Hola-hola, that would be impossible, a non-rhyming poem (I'm assuming you mean not just one or two words that end each line, but ALL of them) that, when translated verbatim into English, rhymes ... more

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