All posts filed under: Readings

reading translation no. 1

I admit: I’m un-intimate with any other language past English. And for a time now, I’ve been reckless in my study of French since I’ve managed to quit before convincing myself that I should, at least, try in pursuit of enjoying the critical theory that I’ve read in its native language. In my defense, I didn’t want to waste more money on something that’s not practical. Although, in a memory — one 2016 translation class ago — I found myself struggling with understanding language. Thoughts like: Is a translated poem a different entity than the original one? Meanings differ per translator and there will be better translators that capture the sound as well as the meaning. A poem will always be lost in translation even if the reader is callous. A translated poem lives a dual life — one of its own existence and the other in its translators’. One thing remained attainable, close and unloose amidst all the losses: language. Language was not lost, in spite of all that happened. But it had to go …

‘past what is not there’

Milk was a particularly interesting contemporary suite of poems. The subject of feminine [chthonic] spirituality bore gory images of blood, milk, vagina, sex, etc.; an interesting take of the ‘wild woman’. (La Loba, Estes 1992) Although, how does one talk about a particular collection based in chaos when there’s no grip of linguistic sanity to understand this particular notion of chaos? Sharon Olds or Anne Sexton have this particular calculation towards describing the grotesque — which, I felt, was lacking in Dorothea Lasky’s work. I’d like to think of Milk as a conversation between a woman performing as a witch and her audience. It is shamefully and intentionally feminist. I was entertained, nonetheless. I very much enjoyed the books design as well as the experience of reading it.