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.