Tuesday, March 06, 2012

News at Eleven: A phenomenon that [Murat] Nemet-Nejat deems

possible in Turkish due to the narrow sound range of the language, the poet lists the primary recurring word constellations that haunted him in "Gül" as ay (moon, or the expression "ah!"), ayı (the animal bear), aya (to the moon or holy) and ayva (quince); gül, which means both rose and to smile; and kırağı (frost), which can be broken down to a number of meanings, including "meadow," the verb "to break," "poison" and "web."

"It is much harder to sustain obsessive aural sequences in English, so it is impossible to literally translate a piece such as 'Gül,' which plays off the multiple meanings of words, because without the obsessive quality of the language you don't have a poem. This is an issue I spent two-and-a-half years grappling with," the poet recalled.

from Today's Zaman: Poetry and translation: The art of dead men writing to each other


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