Live poetry is something else
By news editor, on 13 June 2013
Written by Stefanie van Gemert, PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at UCL.
Over the past few weeks, I got to know someone special. It sparked off as an online encounter – an email trail about translations.
Her name is Ester Naomi Perquin, and she is an award-winning Dutch poet. I was invited to translate her work for the Contemporary European Poets series.
Translating someone’s poetry is a slightly schizophrenic experience. While weighing Ester’s words and analysing her work, I felt I was peeking into her brain, aligning my thoughts with hers. I quickly realised her poems were products of literary craftsmanship: with depth and a refreshingly humorous side to them, though often heavy in subject matter.