Listening for the Echo: Translating Alí Calderón’s “Democracia Mexicana”

Jeremy Paden, Spalding School of Writing Translation Faculty

A popular internet list in recent years is the top 10 most beautiful but untranslatable words. 侘寂, wabi-sabi, beautiful imperfection in Japanese. Tartle, Scottish for the hesitation caused by forgetting someone’s name when in the middle of introducing them. The German word Verschlimmbessern, making something worse while trying to fix it. These lists go on and on.

Continue reading “Listening for the Echo: Translating Alí Calderón’s “Democracia Mexicana””

Whitman, Borges, and Ironic Detachment

By Jeremy Paden, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry & Translation Faculty

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At residency this past May, I lectured on the tradition of response poems to Walt Whitman. The briefest of overviews concerning literary imitation was provided; and, we discussed how the response poem to Whitman seems to be unique in the history of literature. Not only are there a large number of poems that address Whitman as literary predecessor, countless poets write in a vein they consider to be Whitmanic. Continue reading “Whitman, Borges, and Ironic Detachment”