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US$ 0.04 a word for editing a poem AND translating it?!
Thread poster: Colin Ryan (X)

Alexandra Taggart  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 08:25
Russian to English
+ ...
to Wordeffect Nov 4, 2010

Would you kindly agree, that it wouldn't be even possible to translate poetry, if you're not a proficient writer yourself? Sorry for my rough touch at the lovely shoulder of a street artist (though, it may hardly be related to you), many musicians and singers are composers. Poetry is music itself. Have you ever written something by request? Just getting a general idea from the client, or your partner? Could it be that thing, which is sot badly desired by the wicked, still potential client, that ... See more
Would you kindly agree, that it wouldn't be even possible to translate poetry, if you're not a proficient writer yourself? Sorry for my rough touch at the lovely shoulder of a street artist (though, it may hardly be related to you), many musicians and singers are composers. Poetry is music itself. Have you ever written something by request? Just getting a general idea from the client, or your partner? Could it be that thing, which is sot badly desired by the wicked, still potential client, that he is ready to let the moth fly out of his pocket for the Muse's sake? How much would you charge him, if having open-minded approach to the job?Collapse


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 06:25
Member (2009)
German to Serbian
+ ...
Audience Nov 4, 2010

philgoddard wrote:

How do you charge for poetry? Is it possible to make good money, or is it a labor of love?



Poetry has a very limited audience, i.e. people who would like to read, share, analyze poetry. Even among literature specialists, you will find the least number of those specializing in poetry, unlike prose or drama.

However, poetry can be ( and commonly is) interwoven in both prose and drama. Or any other genre if you wish. It's not only the poetry of language, but also the poetry of spirit and mind.

If you ask if there's money in it, I could say yes, but in a commercial sector: e.g. advertising/catchy lines and writing, song lyrics etc. I would gladly hire a good poet for this.

However, poetry in its original, genuine form is not really profitable ( when it comes to money). But it's quite rewarding in many other ways.




[Edited at 2010-11-04 22:48 GMT]


 

Alison Sabedoria (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
Words, music and moths Nov 5, 2010

To Alexandra:
Yes, poetry translation needs a poet, but a poet humble enough to allow another's words to flow undistorted by the artistic ego, as a good musician might interpret a composer's work. This sensitive "translating" in music is something I have enjoyed working on in collaboration with other composers and performers, and I feel that this background is really helpful when I'm translating words. But I just lurv improvising!

Yes, I have written music, words and al
... See more
To Alexandra:
Yes, poetry translation needs a poet, but a poet humble enough to allow another's words to flow undistorted by the artistic ego, as a good musician might interpret a composer's work. This sensitive "translating" in music is something I have enjoyed working on in collaboration with other composers and performers, and I feel that this background is really helpful when I'm translating words. But I just lurv improvising!

Yes, I have written music, words and also created artwork for particular occasions. Summoning the Muse to order is an art in itself. If doing this for paying clients, how much I charge depends on establishing a "design brief" and budget. For any creative project, it's often a matter of finding the funding first, then seeing what I (or we, if I'm collaborating) can stretch this to cover.

To Lingua 5B:
I have a friend (also a composer/musician) who has been a published poet for many years. She is now performing at poetry slams and pub poetry evenings. This gives her an opportunity to sell more of her books, so it's beginning to pay.

And the moths? They seem to be thriving undisturbed in a lot of pockets at the moment!

Alison
Collapse


 

juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:25
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You wish! Nov 7, 2010

Colin Ryan wrote:
Any real poet will know that translating a poem will take about as long as it took to write the poem in the first place.


In the 19th century there was a Hungarian poet, Sándor Petőfi, who started to write poetry when he was 18-19. He died in the 1848-49 uprising, having lived only 26 years. In his early years, until 1844 he only wrote about 50, but by the time he died, he left about 800 poems behind him, amongst them 4 or 5 very lengthy epics. I hasten to add, he is not a minor poet in the language, but one of the best liked.

How could any translator cope with this kind of output?

I wouldn't even dream of working out the statistics of his near contemporary, our greatest poet, János Arany, who luckily lived till the age of 65, and beside his teaching job, produced a phenomenal number of unsurpassed poems, and translated many more - Shakespeare amongst them - to amazing standard.

By the way, when and where can we read your existing Dante translations, Colin?


 

Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:25
French to English
+ ...
Try here Nov 7, 2010

juvera wrote:

By the way, when and where can we read your existing Dante translations, Colin?

http://divinecomedian.wordpress.com/


 

Jacqueline Sieben  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
I wonder... Nov 8, 2010

if the person who would accept such a ridiculously low rate for translating/editing a poem is able to deliver good-quality work. I seriously doubt it...

 
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