Selected TranslationsBook - 2006
The achievement of Ted Hughes as a poet is inseparable from his achievement as a translator of poetry and poetic drama. Throughout a long and intensely productive career, Hughes was continuously engaged in acts of translation, for the page and for the stage, starting with his role in the establishment of the annual Poetry International in London and the magazine Modern Poetry in Translation , which he co-founded with Daniel Weissbort in 1965, and which notably brought to attention poets such as the Israeli Yehuda Amichai, the Hungarian Janos Pilinszky and the Yugoslav Vasko Popa.
The present volume, edited by Weissbort, surveys this aspect of Hughes's canon for the first time, offering a broad selection from his numerous translations, together with hitherto unpublished material (versions of Paul Eluard, or of Yves Bonnefoy), and excerpts from essays and letters. Strongly rooted in a native tradition, Hughes was nevertheless indebted to literary cultures other than his own, and his work far transcends national boundaries. The present volume selects from his versions from a wide variety of ancient texts - the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Aeschylus, Euripides, Ovid, Seneca, Racine - and equally from a range of twentieth century European poets and dramatists.