lyrikline blog

Corresponding Texts – Translation as a Call and Response

Posted in Autoren / poets, Marion Poschmann, Sharmila Cohen, translator / Übersetzer by lyrikline on 14. November 2017

When translator Sharmila Cohen sent lyrikline her translations of Marion Poschmann’s cycle of poems “künstliche Landschaften“, what we received was much more than a mere translation.

künstliche Lanschaften 1 / articifical landscapes 1 @Sharmila Cohen

Marion Poschmann’s künstliche Landschaften 1 / articifical landscapes 1 ©Sharmila Cohen

We found these experimental visualised texts so intestesting that we asked Sharmila if we could publish them here on our blog and she agreed.

künstliche Landschaften 2 / artificial landscapes

Marion Poschmann’s künstliche Landschaften 2 / articifical landscapes 2 ©Sharmila Cohen

Sharmila Cohen on this project:

This series is part of a project that investigates poetry translation as a correspondence between author and translator. For this translation, I took Marion Poschmann’s original poems and translated them in two ways: first by attempting to faithfully retain as much of the original content from the German version as possible; and then by writing new poems that directly responded to each of her texts. In this way, non-German-speaking readers gain insight into the German text through these two distinct vantage points. There is also a third sort of “translation” going on here: a visual representation of the translation act itself. Using various design elements, I attempted to show the movement and relationship between all three versions of each text, depicting a sense of call and response, as well as enforcing the notion of creative translation as an evolving form of interpretation.

künstliche Landschaften 3 / articifical landscapes 3

Marion Poschmann’s künstliche Landschaften 3 / articifical landscapes 3 ©Sharmila Cohen

About the translator:

Sharmila Cohen lives in Berlin, where she initially moved on a Fulbright Scholarship to investigate poetry in translation and now works as a freelance writer, translator, and editor. She is a co-founding editor of the translation press Telephone Books. Her work can be found in Harper’s Magazine, Circumference, and Epiphany, among other places.

künstliche Landschaften 4 / articifical landscapes 4

Marion Poschmann’s künstliche Landschaften 4 / articifical landscapes 4 ©Sharmila Cohen

German poet Marion Poschmann was asked to be this year’s lyrikline curator, tasked with selecting four German speaking poets to be recorded for the website in 2017. She will introduce her selections at an event at Haus für Poesie in Berlin on November 16, 2017.

künstliche Landschaften 5 / articifical landscapes 5

Marion Poschmann’s künstliche Landschaften 5 / articifical landscapes 5 ©Sharmila Cohen