Schweigen, ein Ort...

Schweigen, ein Ort...
Schweigen, ein Ort.
Ort zwischen Kehle und Herz,
wo der Laut
steigt bricht und stirbt,
wo wir die Toten
betten unter die weißen
Steine des Zungenbands
und der Fremde,
wo wir die Namen
schöpfen und lassen
ins Ungesagte
lautlose Zeichen
ohne Welt.
Esther Kinsky

from Modern Poetry in Translation No.17: Mother Tongues

Reproduced by permission of the author and translators.
Mudandod, man...
Mudandod, man.
Man rhwng y gwddw a’r galon,
lle cyfyd a chwala a marw 
lle hwyliwn wely i’r meirw dan gerrig gwyn gewynnau’r geg
a’r dieithrwch
y tynnwn ni 
enwau ohono a’u taflu ymaith
i’r dileferydd,
arwyddion disain
heb iddynt fyd.
translated by Mererid Puw Davies
Milczenie, miejsce...
Milczenie, miejsce
między gardłem a sercem, 
to stamtąd głos 
wyłania się, tam załamuje, 
tam kładziemy 
umarłych pod białymi
kamieniami, na wędzidle
i na obczyźnie, 
Stamtąd czerpiemy imiona
lub je zostawiamy, 
porzucamy wśród rzeczy
znaki bezgłośne,
bez świata. 
translated by Jakub Ekier
eadar an cridhe ‘s an sgòrnan
far a bheil fuaim
ag èirigh ‘s a’ briseadh is a’ dol bàs
far a bheil sinn a’ cur
nam marbh fo bhalbhagan geala
na fraenulum
is nan ionadan thall thairis
far am bi sinn a’ tarraing nan ainm
no a’ ligeil leotha
gan trèigsinn
dhan rud nach abrar
sanasan gun fhuaim
gun saoghal cuideachd
translated by Rody Gorman
paik kurgu ja südame vahel,
kus heli
kerkib, muundub ja kaob,
kus sängitame surnuid
kurgunibu valgete kivikeste 
ja võõrosade alla,
kust võtame nimesid või nad jätame,
hülgame ütlematusele,
helitud märgid,
translated by Doris Kareva
Esther Kinsky

Esther Kinsky was born in Engelkirchen, Germany and after living in the UK for a decade, now divides her time between Berlin and Battonya (Hungary). She is considered one of the most distinguished translators from Polish into German and was awarded the prestigious Berlin Brucke award together with the author Olga Tokarczuk for her translation of Tokarczuk's novel Taghaus, Nachthaus. In 2009 Kinsky won the Paul-Celan-Prize for her work as a translator. She is also a novelist and poet in her own right.


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Mererid Puw Davies

Mererid Puw Davies grew up in Lancashire and Clywd, and studied in Hamburg and Oxford. She currently lectures in German Literature, film and cultural studies at University College London.

Besides her academic publications, she is the co-author of two fantasy adventure books, and has published two collections of poetry: Darluniau ('Pictures', 1988) and Caneuon o Ben Draw’r Byd ('Songs from the End of the World', 1996). Mererid Puw Davies is also interested in the translation of poetry, notably from and into Welsh and other lesser-used languages, and has worked, translated and published with poets and translators in lesser-used languages across Europe.

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Jakub Ekier

Jakub Ekier was born in Warsaw, where he still lives. He is a poet, translator, essayist, and editor. He graduated in German Studies from Warsaw University. His collection Caly Czas ('For the whole time') was published in 1992, and podczas ciebie ('During you') in 1999.

He has translated, among others, Celan, Kunze, Kafka and Lise Aichinger. His works have been inspired by Celan and Ryszard Krynicki's poetry. They are characterized by an unusual, almost epigrammatic linguistic brevity, ambiguity and poetic compactness. Some of his poems are included in Altered State: The New Polish Poetry (Arc, 2003).

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Rody Gorman

Rody Gorman was born in Dublin in 1960 and now lives on the Isle of Skye; he writes in and translates between, Irish and Scottish Gaelic. 

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Doris Kareva

Doris Kareva was born in Tallinn, Estonia. Having graduated in English Language and Literature from Tartu University, she was the literary editor of the cultural weekly Sirp 1978-93, and 1997-2002, and was Secretary-General of the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO 1992-2008. In 2009 she became Chief Editor of the family journal Meie Pere.

She has published many collections of poetry (including one children’s book and one experimental bilingual book with Marina Tervonen), translated essays, poetry and plays (Anna Akhmatova, Emily Dickinson, Joseph Brodsky, Kahlil Gibran, Shakespeare, W. H. Auden, Samuel Beckett etc.). Her poetry has been translated into many languages, with one full collection in English, Shape of Time  (Arc, 2010), translated by Tiina Aleman.

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About Schweigen, ein Ort...

‘Voyages & versions / Tursan is Tionndaidhean’ was the title of the translation workshop run by the Scottish Poetry Library and Literature Across Frontiers 12-18 May 2003. The group consisted of Petr Borkovec (Czech Republic), Mererid Puw Davies (Wales), Jakub Ekier (Poland), Matthew Fitt (Scotland), Rody Gorman (Scotland), Milan Jesih (Slovenia),  Doris Kareva (Estonia), Esther Kinsky (England) and Aled Llion (Wales). The group spent days at Moniack Mhor writing centre in the Highlands, returned to the Library in Edinburgh and went up to Dundee Contemporary Arts, and gave multi-lingual readings, producing what was, in effect, an hour’s sound-poem. Several of the poets mentioned their sense of renewed faith in poetry – how refreshed they felt by the chance to look closely at their own and others’ work in company with people whose aesthetics might be quite different but whose skills and passion were recognisably similar.