Some years ago, after discussions with Jim Holmes, I began actively to solicit additional working papers and commentaries for the present volume. I wrote to Bill Merwin to ask whether he was currently working on something that might be suitable for the collection. At the same time I mentioned an item which had appeared in Translation Review (No. 9, 1982, Dallas). This included a short introduction by Michael Gormon, ‘W.S. Merwin Translator Poet’, with accompanying draft translations by Merwin of the Swedish poet Lars Noren, in which Merwin, not knowing the source language, was working through ‘primary’ translations into English by another Swedish poet, Gunnar Harding. It occurred to me that we might reproduce some of this material too. Bill sent me some photocopies of his worksheets of the Argentinian poet Roberto Juarroz’s ‘vertical poetry’. He also insisted that he did not have anything to say about translating poetry that he had not already said in the foreword to his Collected Translations, 1968-1978 (Atheneum, 1980). He apologized for the absence of innumerable revisions in the Juarroz drafts and observed that generally he was either able to translate a piece, in which case there might well be comparatively little reworking of it, or he was not.
KeywordsShort Introduction Source Language Substantial Distance Popular Music Full Stop
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