Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Jeff Frank
Dear Editor,

Zbigniew Herbert is a peerless poet. As such, I cannot overesteem Michael Hofmann's review of his Collected Poems. Herbert lost much in Valles's hands. From word choice to meter, Valles added noise where Herbert's muted voice was called for. This voice comes through in the Carpenters' translations, and one can only hope that they are at work on their own Collected. Hofmann reminds us that we can no longer take for granted Seamus Heaney's assessment of Herbert in translation—that "what convinces one of the universal resource of Herbert's writing is just this ability which it possesses to lean, without toppling, well beyond the plumb of its native language."

Plainfield, New Jersey

Originally Published: October 27, 2008

Poetry is looking for thought-provoking responses to work published in the magazine, as well as letters that raise new questions about the state of contemporary poetry. To send us your letter, please fill out all the fields below.

If we choose to use your letter, we will notify you by phone. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of sending your letter, you may assume we will not be using it. All letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may appear online, in print, or both.

Please do NOT send poetry submissions to this account. See Submission Guidelines for further information and policies regarding poetry submissions.

   Cancel

* All fields are required

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This prose originally appeared in the September 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2007

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.