Thursday, March 01, 2012

Eleuthéria by William j. Clifton

There are some problems with the translation. For example “Ton canotier avait un couteau” becomes “your oarsman had a knife”; a “canotier” is a straw hat, a “couteau”, an osprey feather. Everyone knows an oarsman has a knife, everyone knows a straw hat has an osprey feather, but it gives me comfort and great cheer to meet the oarsman who has the osprey feather, as it does to meet the straw hat that has the knife. Without translations, I stay at home. I play cards, watch television. I think about the old days. I am unable to meet the odd oarsman or hat. What do I long for without the mistakes of knives?

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