Poetry Quotes: Translation

POETRY.—The language in which the Book of Nature is written—they who can translate it are called poets. ~”A Chapter of Definitions,” Daily Crescent, 1848 June 23rd

For not only is the poet is a translator of the inner life of man, with its wonder world of thoughts and feelings—its unspeakable love and sorrow, its hopes and aspirations, temptations and lonely wrestlings, darings and doubts, grim passions and gentle affections, its smiles and tears—which, in their changeful lights or gloomy grandeur, play out the great drama of the human heart, but he also translates into his poetry and reflects for us the very spirit of his time. ~Gerald Massey, “Poetry—The Spasmodists,” The North British Review, 1858

Poetry is what gets lost in translation. ~Robert Frost

A poem sings with a bad accent in any language not its own. ~Austin O’Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898

A translation of a poem is like a plastercast of a statue or a photograph of a painting; and the better the translation the poorer the original poem. ~Austin O’Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898