by Ted Berrigan  & Other New York School Poets


The Translation Process

The process of poetry translation is more sophisticated than one may imagine, as translators must consider keeping the senses and meaning that make up the original poem as a whole, while each word can act as an element to be translated literally and doing so allows the original version to be transparent. As mentioned in Walter Benjamin's essay "The Task of the Translator," the task of a poet differs significantly from that of a translator and therefore being a good poet does not necessarily mean being a good translator; The task of a poet is spontaneous, primary, manifest and that of a translator is derivative, ultimate, ideational. Therefore, a translator must be able to find the intentions of the poem and keep only the essence of the original version.

Project Purpose

While one may be able to easily find the translated works of NYS poets online, there seem to be no online resources currently available that provide information and evidence on how NYS poets made translations from foreign languages to English. Therefore, I decided to collect relevant information from multiple sources and present my research findings as a well-organized and easily accessible website. My ultimate goal is to provide a new online resource for future scholars, researchers, or anyone who is interested in investigating the process of poetry translation as well as how NYS poets, specifically Ted Berrigan, experimented with translations. 

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