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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Robert Sheppard: The Meaning of Form Atkins' and Hughes' Petrarch


4. Translation as Transformation: Tim Atkins’ and Peter Hughes’ Petrarch


An account of contemporary ‘translation’ practices broadens the scope of the word from that of faithful imitation into many varieties of transformative practices using ‘original’ texts. While many examples are entertained in summary, two book-length projects taking the sonnets of Petrarch, by two British poets, Peter Hughes’ Quite Frankly: After Petrarch’s Sonnets and Tim Atkins’ Collected Petrarch, are examined in detail with respect to their versions of the same poem. While Hughes (who reads Italian) emphasizes his difference from the original (by relocating the poems and modernizing them, for example), Atkins (who does not read Italian) intends in his versions to emphasize his distance from the originals (largely through the use of post-Oulipo techniques and constraints). Both writers manage to reflect Petrarch’s elegiac mode, while Atkins additionally injects a Buddhist negation. 

See here for a hub-post with links to pieces on these 'Petrarch boys'

For those who can buy the book, or order it for libraries, here are the places


Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Meaning-Contemporary-Innovative-Poetry-Poetics/dp/toc/3319340441

See here for the sonnets I write, and the work that began out of these two poets' exploration of Petrarch. You can read the original translation and my 'doggie' translation, 'Pet', here! The 4 'symboliste' poems may be read on Card Alpha 1, here.  And you can watch me read some of my 'Petrarch' variations here. (Including the Jimmy Savile one.) 

'Petrarch 3' is now in print, see here and here.