The current issue (160 pages) is available for pounds 12 (a subscription costs pounds 28) from the address below or online. Translation as Metamorphosis is particularly timely as it cuts across barriers of culture, creed and century. In its focus on "chameleon" literature, both in translations and essays, it reaches out to those whom the renowned translator Michael Hamburger defines as "true readers" who are "in search of a language that takes risks, an immediate and urgent language that may not reveal where it's coming from or where it's going. As long as there are such readers and writers, poetry will survive." Affirming the importance of translation in our age of internationalism, the magazine explores the debate over its complexities. It suggests that, even if translation is seen as fundamentally impossible, the best translators ("world-class jugglers") somehow manage to triumph over this impossibility.
Agenda offers translations of both well-known and emerging poets from Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Kurdistan, Persia, Poland, Sicily, Spain, Russia, Tunisia and Turkey, with a time-span that ranges from the seventh century BC to the present day. The translators include Robert Chandler, Peter Dale, Sasha Dugdale, Harry Guest, John Heath Stubbs, John Montague, Peter Robinson, Anne Stevenson and Charles Tomlinson. There are essays and reviews are by WS Milne, Martin Dodsworth, Michael Kirkham and others.
Spring 2005 will see a double Australian issue, to be followed in autumn 2005 by a double US issue. To accompany this issue, Agenda Editions are also bringing out two collections of poetry: John Montague's translations of Claude Esteban, A Smile Between the Stones (pounds 7.99), and Desmond O'Grady's Kurdish Poems of Love and War (pounds 9.99).
Send subscriptions/book orders (single issue pounds 12; annual subscription pounds 28) to: Agenda, The Wheelwrights, Fletching Street, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6TL; or to Worldwide Subscription Services Ltd., Unit 4, Gibbs Reed Farm, Ticehurst, Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 7HE; or at www.agendapoetry.co.uk
`I'm Almost Certain'
by Marina Tsvetaeva
translated from the Russian by Belinda Cooke
I'm almost certain - beyond that grove
Is the village where I lived.
I'm almost certain - love is simpler
and easier than I thought.
You useless nags! Get moving!
A lifting and lashing of the whip,
and after the cry again the lash -
and once more the bells sing out.
Over the wretched swaying corn
one pole follows another,
and the wire beneath the sky
sings and sings of death.
13 May 1916Reuse content