Modern European Poetry

Since the second World War a number of poets have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. These include the Polish poets, Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska, the Italian poets, Salvatore Quasimodo, and Eugenio Montale. And many European poets have been translated into the English by men and women who are very considerable poets in their own right, for example Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes. In this course we will look at the work of poets who have translated their own work into English, at poems which lose very little in translation but which deserve to be better known, and at some which have been translated again and again because they are so powerful, but can be read in a number of ways. The Serbian/American poet, Charles Simič, said that poems are ’translations from the silence.’ Although poets are writing in exile from the Communist bloc, or from cultures which are apparently different from our own, their quality can speak very directly to our own experience. We will look at the work of both men and women poets whose translators add to the richness of modern poetry in English.

Course Details

This course finished on 23 June 2023