Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer: "Translation can serve as a wonderful editing tool"

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer was born in Bulgaria and moved to the United States in 1995. She has published her poems in a bilingual edition The Air around the Butterfly / Въздухът около пеперудата (2009). She has also translated a wide range of Bulgarian poets into English. On her blog she talks about the experience of self-translating her poetry and choosing the language for a poem. She stresses the quality of translation as an editing tool:
I feel lucky to be using two languages for writing poetry, because translation can serve as a wonderful editing tool. If something doesn’t work in a poem or group of poems, translate it into another language to see what it looks like and to hear what it sounds like with completely different words. It will really make you think about what you wanted to say in the first place. Even if you think your poem is perfect, taking it apart and reassembling it in another language may give you ideas on how to say something differently. Very rarely when I translate my poems do the originals stay intact.
To read her complete blog entry "Writing in two languages" please click here.

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