Poetry News

Circumference Smartly Got Its Sheep Paws on Uljana Wolf's Translation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 61

By Harriet Staff

Buzz buzz buzz, preview preview preview. In advance of the much-anticipated publication of Telephone Journal's first full-length book, The Sonnets: Translating and Rewriting Shakespeare, edited by Paul Legault and Sharmila Cohen, Circumference has just posted on their revamped site Uljana Wolf's translation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 61. This one is especially breathtaking, a poem newly visual, with fortune-cookie-like cutups in German and an adorable sheep-shaped calligramme of sorts made from crumpled-up poetry (what...so good, Uljana). Not to mention the translation/explication of the visuals itself. An excerpt:

...she’s someone who lets the sheep slip past the matches. a shepherd of defeat who intimately knows their desire to always be where the others are, and who also knows that, if they ever arrived at this distant, imagined place which slightly resembles Benjamin’s Ursprache, language would stop wanting, waking and watching altogether, it would simply fall asleep. to make sure it doesn’t, 14 different german translations, cut up line by line, were used to form clouds that generated the translation of this particular poem, which was then translated back in to english.

Visit the full piece here, and keep your eye out for the book, due in October. It features translations from a flock, herd, mob of unlike-minded contemporary poets...

Originally Published: August 16th, 2012