Promiscuous Translations and the New Palestinian Poetry Collection, ‘A Bird is not a Stone’

ArabLit

Note: Yesterday on Facebook, A Bird is not a Stone editors announced, «We’re sad to have heard that the family home of Raed Issa, the artist who painted the beautiful image used on the cover of A Bird is not a Stone, was destroyed yesterday in an Israeli air attack. The house was in al-Bureij refugee camp.»

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A_bird_is_not_a_stone_270.270The metaphor of the «faithful» (or unfaithful) translation is as well-worn as that of the text going «lost» in translation. This faithfulness — or not-getting-lost — is often presented as a particular sort of pedantic, dictionary-based equivalency. This sort of equivalency might sometimes serve prose, but it generally does poetry few favors.

A Bird is not a Stone takes an entirely different approach to fidelity, as twenty-nine of Scotland’s celebrated poets co-translate work by twenty-five contemporary Palestinians. The works are brought not just into English, but into Scots, Gaelic, and Shetlandic.

It is immediately…

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