mr.cummings had me at the ‘e’

As you can tell from the title of this blog post, each word is in lower case. Don’t worry, it is a one-time thing in honor of one of my favorite poets: ee cummings.

The moment I read Four by him, I was instantly hooked. My amazement with him became even more profound when I learned he had gone against all the conventional and accepted forms of writing.

His poems aren’t made up of usual stanzas or strophes. Cummings adopted free verse in an unprecedented way: capitalizing words that didn’t need to be, starting each line with a lower case word, dividing whole words into different lines, etc.

Let’s just say that if you wrote like he did for a school paper, you would most likely fail.

Last year I came upon something I never thought possible: an anthology of poems by ee cummings in a book store in Guayaquil, Ecuador. To my surprise, each of the poems was written in the original English language with the Spanish translation next to it by Jose Casas.

I have enjoyed reading both the Spanish and English versions. To be able to read how the translator interpreted many things and compare them to my own opinion has contributed to my belief that literary translators have it even more difficult than you would think.

Remember, poems are so intricate that there can be a wide range of interpretations. Also, you could never again think or feel the same way as the original author while translating a piece of work in another language.

So, I give Mr. Casas props for his work and leave you with XLV, the original and the translation (Click on the image to see it large):

 

 

Victoria Alicia

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