Some of you will know that I translate Italian poetry now and again. Recently, I’ve been translating a poetry collection, Il Bar del Tempo, by Davide Rondoni, a contemporary poet from Bologna. The book won the Montale Prize in Italy in 1999. Rondoni is particularly concerned with time, the intersection of the spiritual and the temporal, and with family relationships.
Over at PFFA yesterday, a poster started a thread on translation. I’d just translated a poem by Rondoni, called Incinta, dice il test (Pregnant, says the test). It’s one of the few Rondoni poems to have been translated into English. In fact, it’s been translated twice, and now three times, thanks to me. So I’ve posted the three versions and compared the translations on the Pffa thread.
I’m no expert in all this and don’t claim to be a particularly skilled translator, but I found it interesting to compare the translations and think again about the original version as a result.