Why this Site Exists

Since late adolescence, I have loved languages and learned them ravenously. In the process, I sometimes found poems that I wanted to share with those who didn't speak the original language.

Often, the translations I found (especially ones into English) were of poor-quality, if I found them at all. I considered publishing my own translations, but then realized that that would do little to actually bring the poetry to people who wanted to read it. After all, how likely is it that a reader versed in English, looking for a particular Arabic poem by Ibn Arabi, is going to happen to pick up the right edition of Poetry Magazine that contains it? How many web-users actually buy a book on a subject when the Internet fails them? Thus, while I may someday publish books of original poetry, I very strongly believe that my translations should not be something that anybody has to pay for. I tried, once, to produce translations for a print anthology. But in the end the idea of me making money off of translations of other people's work felt too disturbing.

This blog, fueled by my diligent procrastination whenever I don't want to do phonology homework, is an experimental attempt to share information. It is intended primarily for an English-reading audience composed of fellow students, fellow language geeks, fellow poetry geeks and really anyone with a hankering for the poetry of other languages and literary traditions.

Apparently, this site is getting a large number of Google hits from people googling individual poems. So it looks like my experiment is a success.

1 comment:

  1. dear azf
    does copyright apply to your translation of 'autumn midnight song' by li bai?
    i want an international mag to publish it next to an esperanto translation - not for profit


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