'Hautes Fenêtres: Thoughts on the place of translation in recent Australian poetry' by Simon West

Reviewed by
July–August 2011, no. 333

'Hautes Fenêtres: Thoughts on the place of translation in recent Australian poetry' by Simon West

Reviewed by
July–August 2011, no. 333

In a 1995 interview for the Paris Review, Ted Hughes was asked if the 1960s boom in translated poetry, particularly with series such as the Penguin Modern European Poets, had influenced poetry written in England. ‘Has it modified the British tradition!’ he replied. ‘Everything is now completely open, every approach, with infinite possibilities. Obviously the British tradition still exists as a staple of certain historically hard-earned qualities if anybody is still there who knows how to inherit them. Raleigh’s qualities haven’t become irrelevant. When I read Primo Levi’s verse I’m reminded of Raleigh. But for young British poets, it’s no longer the only tradition, no longer a tradition closed in on itself and defensive.’

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