To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

“Total Translation” Redux: A New Appraisal of an Older Work

I don’t as a rule call attention to writings about my own works, though the temptation is always there. But there’s a very detailed, very accurate piece just posted on the Poetry Foundation web site – a discussion of my experiments from some years ago with “total translation” & in particular a series of compositions that began as translations from Navajo ritual poetry. The piece, by David Noriega, is titled “The Original Performance Poetry: Jerome Rothenberg's ‘total translations’ of Navajo Horse Songs” – accompanied by audio clips of some early multi-track studio recordings. The URL, for any who want to track it down, is

The Horse Songs of course go back to the early 1970s, so it’s my pleasure too to see them still in circulation.

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