The Art of Writing

Working with Translation

Your UK students will be working in English, while your International partners will be tackling the same tasks but in their own languages. The poems will then be translated. This means some adaptation: in particular, all the exercises are focussed on images, and I suggest telling the students not to use formal rhyme schemes (except when they can share them, in the Ghazal exercise). There are many reasons for this: but one simple one is that rhymes are rich and common in Arabic and Farsi so it easy to produce a long piece of rhymed verse without it sounding forced, whereas they are rare in English and it’s hard.

In general, translation though is a positive, creative, thing, and can be especially much fun when you can use GoogleTranslate to give you a literal version of a poem to play with. I’ve suggested translation exercises all the way through, and also chosen poems in translation, so that we are all sharing.

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