These translatons from Classical authors are of course nothing more than an extension of the Poetic Impulse which I mentioned under the preface to Poems above. But there are many notions of translation: Some try to be exact and literal, some go far around the barn to get the basic gist while sacrificing words and some of the ideas. And then there are anti-translations, pieces which take an original poem and turn everything backwards, while clinging to form and words, so that the Translation gainsays the Original, often by way of commentary. And there are completely new creations based in some part on an idea or word in an original. These are poems in their own realm, but they make allusions to past poems and have not completely cut the nourishing cord. There are several of all these types in here, and I hope you enjoy some of them.

Return to Translations index

William Harris
Prof. Em. Middlebury College