Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Ankur Saha
Dear Editor,

I am a poet, essayist, and translator, who writes mostly in the Bangla language. I have recently translated a number of poems by Ho Xuan Huong for an Indian magazine. I did my Bangla translations based on the English rendering by John Balaban. When I received my subscription copy of the April issue of Poetry, I was encouraged to see Ho Xuan Huong's name on the contents. In my opinion, poetry is enriched by multiple translations and interpretations. But I was disappointed to read the new translations. Marilyn Chin is a fine poet, but what I saw on those pages are drafts or work-in-progress. As poems, they are average and uninteresting. Chin's commentary also seemed vague and evasive to me. Calling Nôm a "Chinese Vietnamese Fusion" is an oversimplification at best.

Sunnyvale, California

Originally Published: July 1, 2008

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