Tuesday, December 11, 2007

one of the books i've been slowly reading is stet by jose kozer tr. by mark weiss. then today find that anny ballardini points out a tribute to kozer. i'm monolingual. have no gift for languages but i clicked thru the tribute just the same.

which i guess what i'm thinking about how i love the wash of languages in our lives. translations of writing is a critical process in my writing. i can get thru perhaps bit of french and spanish is ever-present in california. even if i don't know the language, say russian or vietnamese, i like looking at the original texts and listening to the poems in their original language.

which again is a way of saying that i admire, and envy, writers who can blend and translate their poems in varying tongues.

which among poet-bloggers with anglo-style names, for example, both ryan daley and cheryl clark seem to be comfortable both in spanish and english.

which of course, for example ernesto priego writes with brilliant facility in both english and spanish. and guillermo parra often translates from spanish as well.

these are just a few of the examples of the wash of languages i mean. and i'm trying to tease out my meaning since i suppose i'm not articulating it all that well. what i suppose is that our world cultures are enriched and made strange by our languages. and that to be a writer today esp. in the ether as i am for the most part translations are crucial for my poetics.

i suppose it's the hybridization of our world[s] that i find so freaking thrilling. if yr asking i'd call myself a california poet before calling myself a u.s. poet. because in california, a spanish name, it seems that all the world cultures are here. in sac some neighborhoods look like moscow, while others look like tijuana, etc. i am a poet writing in english with a hispanic surname who digs all the whole big wide world.


At 6:27 AM, Blogger Ernesto said...

I loved your post; thanks for the shout-out. I subscribe your last sentence, whole-heartedly.

I am a (Mexican) poet writing in spanish and english with a hispanic surname who digs all the whole big wide world.

Te abrazo, man.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Ryan said...


The wash of languages in indeed interesting [to me, to all of us]. I've been long-interested in how Spanish innuendos and inflection affects English....

I've always found self-translation to be an odd, almost impossible task. Nicanor Parra says there's no translation, only rewriting. I think self-translation comes closer to Parra's comment than other translations.

Anyway, my two cents. Thanks for linking to Giver!

At 10:24 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

ernesto, pleasures all mine.

ryan, yr welcome. fan of yr poetry, what i've read online, for some time.

At 5:09 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

wow. That's incredible. How'd you come about my work? Through Giver?

At 12:45 AM, Blogger richard lopez said...

ryan: found yr blog after i read some of yr poems a year or two ago in places like blazevox. i also linked and wrote a brief something a while back to yr review of yasusada's letters published in jacket.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Ryan said...


Thanks for reading, I hope you keep blogging, and more immediately, hope you enjoy/relax over the holiday.

I wanted to point you to a new review of mine over at Galatea Resurrects. I'd be interested in getting another opinion on it.




At 10:35 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

thanks, ryan. i've read yr review when eileen published it. and i hope you keep blogging too. please back-channel me, if you want, 'kay.


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