‘The Office of Literary Endeavours: Maree’ appears in Postcolonial Text Vol 12, No1 (2017)

11 Jul

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee; Dictee Takes the Stage. Photograph by Soomi Kim. The cover of Postcolonial Text Issue 12: No.1

I am very pleased to have had ‘The Office of Literary Endeavours: Maree’ published in the on-line journal Postcolonial Text. This poem is an interesting one for me as it grew out of a novel I’m attempting to write. As part of my research I was reading a lot of poetry in translation. I found myself increasingly wanting to get ‘behind’ the translation to the poem – to read different translations of the same poem and to use online translation tools and dictionaries to create my own literal translations.

One of the poets who caught my attention during this time was the Spanish poet Luis Cernuda. Cernuda was born in Seville in 1902 and during the Spanish Civil War he found himself forced into exile when he was unable to return from giving a series of lectures in England. Openly homosexual and antifascist Cernuda spent the rest of his life in exile, dying in Mexico in 1961. It was while reading and playing around with Cernuda’s work in translation that I started writing some poems in a style that seemed to me to have a feeling of being translated. This is a hard thing to describe but I guess it is where you look at the multiple meanings behind each word and try and understand different ways of capturing the same idea or image.

One of the results of this exercise was ‘The Office of Literary Endeavours: Maree’  and you can read it here:

http://postcolonial.org/index.php/pct/article/view/2204/2039

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