Poetry News

Borges Poem Translated at TLS

By Harriet Staff

Alastair Reid translates Jorge Luis Borges's poem “To One No Longer Young” over at The Times Literary Supplement. The poem is introduced by Andrew McCulloch, who begins by writing:

The reputation of Jorge Luis Borges rests largely on his short stories – Ficciones (1944) and El Aleph (1949) – but he was also an accomplished translator. The Scots poet and translator Alastair Reid is a similarly eager internationalist. He knew Borges well and describes how remembering his quite English-sounding voice – melancholy, thoughtful and sceptical – helped him to translate his work. But Reid is clear that a good translation has also to be a poem in its own right. “You can never reproduce the sound pattern of the original”, he says, “but you can mimic it”. And mimicry is imaginative. Reid was delighted when Pablo Neruda told him not just to translate his poems but to improve them.

Make the jump to read the rest of McCulloch's thoughts and, of course, the poem.

Originally Published: November 13th, 2012