There are many poets and/or translators among our members, I know - so, I would like to ask them, how important is the precise placing of words? Vitally, maintains Mr. Frederic Raphael writing in the Times Literary Supplement. "His obsessive revisions" [rather like Bach's] "prove that the precise placing of words and phrases is a key part of Cavafy's art. To put the subject first or last grants it a privileged position which a translator should strive to honour. The poet's punchlines and last words deserve to be delivered with their full, prescribed weight."
A key part of all poets' art, surely. Although there was once a modernistic "poet" on a now defunct forum who declined to use words, even.
I would add that "privileged position", "strive to honour" and "punchline" (whether one word or two) are hideous trans-Atlanticisms. Tut, tut, tut.
The rules of Grammar are no longer imparted in the schools of England; one of the immense hidden crimes of the past hundred years.
Poetry is often very difficult to translate, Sydney. I am neither a poet nor a translator, so I am not really qualified to comment, but I would argue that the most successful translations of poetry are not necessarily literal at all. Out of interest, Sydney, were you taught the rules of Grammar at school?
Actually he taught me many of the finer points while he was supervising Saturday detentions. He did not hesitate to venture far beyond the syllabus. I wonder whether Saturday detentions are still held in the so much less manly Britain of to-day, or have they come to be regarded as a cruel and unusual form of punishment?
And out of interest, kleines c, were you too taught the rules of Grammar? How did your school report run?
I was never given a Saturday detention, Sydney, although I was, on occasion, forced to play sport on Saturdays. I did indeed have an English teacher, of the old school, who taught us English Grammar. I also studied Latin at school, and several more modern foreign languages, where the rules of Grammar had to be taught. As for my school report, well, curiously, I struggled to begin with, but in the end, surpassed myself in all subjects. I went to a musical school, but always considered music to be one of my weaker subjects. Did you ever come across Barry Humphries at school, Sydney?
Last Edit: Jun 25, 2014 11:01:20 GMT -5 by Deleted
I have always thought that you are playing with your alter-ego online, Sydney, a bit like some of Barry Humphries's comic creations, although I would guess that you are really the polar opposite of Sir Les Patterson.