Publication details [#13513]

Dahlgren Thorsell, Marta. 2005. Translation and relevance: the appraisal of poetry. Babel - A.F.I.A.L. 14 : 71–98.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Person as a subject


In this article the author argues for a critique of poetry and poetic prose in translation which takes into account the degree of pragmatic relevance attained by the translator. In a translation, the aim should be to attain full relevance on the levels of phonetics / phonology, syntax and semantics and pragmatics. Poetry presents extreme difficulties in translation, mainly due to the fact that poetry depends for effect on phonetic elements. Many translators focus on syntactic and semantic elements and produce paraphrases and explications. Very few produce translations that are poems in their own right. Some translations become unintelligible due to deviance in pragmatic meaning. In order to illustrate this, a critique of a selection of Emily Dickinson's poetry translated into Spanish is presented with special reference to the translation of ambiguity and point of view.
Source : Based on bitra