The following translation of the Hungarian poet, Attila Jozsef, by Stephen Capus, has been especially chosen to accompany the 'Past Histories' issue of Agenda Vol 43 No 1.



The following new translations/versions comprise a supplement to those in Agenda Vol 42 Nos 3-4: 'A Reconsideration of Rainer Maria Rilke'. Readers might like to compare and contrast the Rilke poems in English in the journal and here, on the website.

   As everyone knows, translation/version-making is a highly complex process (see essays in Agenda and the Notes for Broadsheet Poets 8 for Don Paterson's quotations and Martyn Crucefix's quotations on the matter).  Unlike Don Paterson who claims that version-making is the best achievable form of 'translation', W.D. Jackson states in a letter from Munich: 'The fact that it's extremely difficult (to wed form sense, and rhyme in translation)  is no reason, it seems to me, to say it can't be done. Not, of course, that one can always do it.' He adds, 'If a translation can sound like its original, I think it should. Being faithful to the original form as well as sense is perhaps so rare because so difficult. But poetry was never easy. One of the things which fascinates me about getting as close as possible to a foreign-language poet in English is in fact a variety of the 'anonymity' referred to by Rilke when he said "Art can proceed only from a purely anonymous centre".' Perhaps the highest aim for all translators/version-makers here is to metamorphose into Rilke in the making of the poems in English so that English magically becomes Rilke's native tongue.


John Torrance: Sketches from Two Winter Evenings: Rilke

Alison Croggon: Two Duino Elegies: Rilke

W.D. Jackson: Seven Poems (1915): Rilke

Terese Coe: Two Sonnets to Orpheus: Rilke



Rainer Maria Rilke could well have seen both these angels (each of which is about 8 feet tall) when he was living in Munich as they are in a convent,in the Karolingisches Fresko, c 850, in the Chor der Michaelskappelle, Torhalle Frauenchiemsee, on an island in the Chiemsee which is on the main train-line from Munich to Salzburg.                         


The following translations/versions of poets other than Rilke supplement Agenda  Vol. 42 Nos. 3-4:

Boris Poplavsky: Belinda Cooke

Boris Poplavsky: Richard McKane

Miltos Sachtouris: Evan Jones

Federico Garcia Lorca: Mark Leech

Jorge Luis Borges: Terese Coe

and Lope de Vega

Ovid:  Alex Fox

2 modern Italian poems in Italian and EnglishTom Nolan



The following translations/versions supplement Agenda Vol.42 No.1.

Jacques Réda: Jennie Feldman

Samaine Bouinou: Fred Johnston

Julien Payan: Fred Johnston

Sappho: Brian Carr


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