Various Tongues: An Exchange by Adam Kirsch, Ilya Kaminsky | Poetry Magazine

… [As] Pound puts it in “How to Read,” “English literature lives on translation, it is fed by translation; every new exuberance, every new heave is stimulated by translation, every allegedly great age is an age of translation.” Maybe our affinity for translation has to do with the fact that reading English is already a matter of translating, internally, between its Anglo-Saxon and Latinate elements. To appreciate Shakespeare, in particular, requires this sort of quasi-bilingualism: “No; this my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine,/Making the green one red,” says Lady Macbeth, and the contrast between “incarnadine” and “red” brings home the disparity between the rhetoric of blood and its reality.

Source: Various Tongues: An Exchange by Adam Kirsch, Ilya Kaminsky | Poetry Magazine

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