To promote Song of Shadows, Restless Books has published an interview between Ilan Stavans and Xiao Hai 小海, translated by Zhu Yu 朱玉, titled “It’s Difficult to Translate Poetry.” Here’s the key excerpt:
It’s difficult to translate poetry. A translation can be correct or wrong, good or bad. A translation may gain or lose something from the original, too. The present translator of Song of Shadows is one I trust in. She has been studying, teaching, and translating English poetry for many years, and she writes poems, too. She translated Song of Shadows because she loves it. She didn’t think of getting it published when she started the translation. Instead, she wanted to compare the subtle differences of the long poem expressed in different languages.
Click the image above for the full interview.