Ron Padgett’s Translations of Yu Jian

Ron Padgett, like so many great NY School poets, is also a fantastic translator. I love his translations of French poetry. They are so fluid and contemporary. I especially love his translations of Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars. Blaise Cendrars’ Complete Poems is one of my favourite collections of poetry ever. He is also a nomadic poet par excellence. A great inspiration for my own nomadic surrealist project.
Ron Padgett’s translations of Yu Jian is part of that expansive poetic tradition. And, like Ron Padgett, there is a childlike quality of wonder and curiosity. I naturally gravitate to this kind of playful poetry.
I wonder how much of Ron Padgett is in Yu Jian’s translations. I would imagine they naturally gravitated towards each other with similar aesthetic concerns and so on.
Anyway, these translations of Yu Jian by Ron Padgett are terrific. After reading a selection of them at Jacket 2, I am even more curious. I am definitely ordering the whole book of translated poetry. It is called Flash Cards, from Zephyr Press, 2010.
flash cards.jpg

Published by Marcus Slease

Born in Portadown, Northern Ireland, Marcus Slease has made his home in such places as Turkey, Poland, Italy, South Korea, the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom – experiences that inform his nomadic surrealist writing. His latest book is Never Mind the Beasts (Dostoyevsky Wannabe 2020).

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