One of my favorite books is Eliot Weinberger's slender classic on translation, Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, which makes a strong and illuminating case for reading multiple translations of a single poem. That said, I encourage everyone to read Marilyn Chin's translations of the Vietnamese poet Ho Xuan Huong [April 2008] against John Balaban's in Spring Essence: The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong. When I read Chin's translations, I couldn't help but wonder: which Nym character means "boo hoo"? (Emphasis Chin's.) Biased as my opinion may appear (I work at Copper Canyon, Balaban's publisher), I don't see how Chin's versions add depth or nuance to the work. Frankly, they read like someone noodling around in the margins of someone else's book.
Port Townsend, Washington