Poets the world over have always translated the work of fellow poets, even without knowing a single word of the language they were translating from. This situation, more relevant for poetry than any other genre, is widespread throughout the world.
In an ideal scenario, the translator works with an interlinear translation that combines a literal translation (mot-à-mot) with a series of notes about the form, tone, style, cultural references and so on. Otherwise, one would use a third, known language to translate from. Whatever the case, the source poet and the translator poet do share a language: the language of poetry.
Babel has been promoting this way of translating, less common in Western Europe, with several projects. The most prominent resulted in two mirrored anthologies, one published in Switzerland and the other in Poland, where young Swiss Italian and Polish poets translated each other. The outcome has been brilliant and the books keep circulating widely:
Considering that Swiss poets from the country’s different linguistic regions don’t really know each other’s work, Babel now wants to promote a similar project among them, and in this way spark a dialogue across linguistic borders.
The first Poethreesome is composed by Laura Accerboni, Odile Cornuz and Ulrike Ulrich, who performed their joint work at the Leukerbad Festival, and at Babel on the opening night.
Palazzo Civico, Friday September 16, from 6.30 PM
With the support of PonTi Culturali – Gottardo 2016:
contributo del Cantone Ticino
derivante dall’aiuto federale per
la salvaguardia e promozione
della lingua e cultura italiana.
And with the support of Oertli Foundation.
In collaboration with
INT ERNATIONALES LITERATURFESTIVAL LEUKERBAD