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Unread 08-10-2020, 07:58 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 15,416

I think those who are hostile to form often can't really hear meter. If they "don't mind" blank verse it's only because they don't hear it and to them it's pretty much the same as free verse. But ultimately, even if you are an educated reader/writer with a good ear but you simply don't care for meter and rhyme, I would argue that your duty as a translator is to put aside your own view on the subject and recognize that the meter and rhyme of the original were important enough for the original poet to incorporate into his poem. Your own views and preferences are secondary to those of the poet you are translating, after all, and it's a cop-out to claim that the original poet went to all the trouble of writing in metrical rhyming verses for reasons that were trivial or ultimately not contributing to the poem in any way worth preserving. No one would translate a song without keeping the melody, and it would be no excuse to do so while claiming that the melody gets in the way of the lyrics.
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