Friday, 12 September 2008

Advice to young poets...

Poet-in-Residence would be seriously failing in his duty to the world's young poets (and not so young poets) if he failed to pass on the following piece of very sound advice from the writer Stefan Zweig (1881-1942).
Stefan Zweig attracted himself to the best minds of his time: Freud, Yeats, Borgese, Pirandello, Gorky, Ravel, Joyce, Toscanini and many more of that ilk. The following advice for a young poet comes from his autobiography The World of Yesterday (c- Viking Press & University of Nebraska Press).
Zweig writes:-
I used my time in translating from foreign languages and even now I hold this to be the best way for a young poet to understand more deeply and more creatively the spirit of his own language [...] because every strange language at first offers opposition in its most personal turnings to those who would copy it. It invites forces of expression which, otherwise unsought, would never come to light; and this struggle to wrest from a strange language its most intimate essence and to mold it plastically into one's own language was a particular artistic desire on my part.

Poet-in-Residence, following Zweig's advice, will now attempt to translate a relatively unknown modern German book into English. This blogspot may soon appear to be quiet - but, as Poet-in-Residence is nothing but industrious when he sets himself to a task - it will only for a short time!


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