unit 7 post
One afternoon, my AT group all discussed the two versions of the translated Russian poems originally written by Anna Akhmatova we were assigned to read for class that week, one translated to English by an author named Thomas and the other named Anderson. Both versions of the translated poems were extremely emotional and included multiple parts with different bits of poetry, and it all connected together at the end. Both translations were enjoyable to read, however we were asked to pick the one that we enjoyed more. The whole class seemed to have an universal answer.
While reading both translations of Akhmatova’s poems I came to the conclusion that I liked Anderson’s translation better because of the emotion he puts into it. It is much more emotionally raw and to the point, so you really understand the depressing and thoughtful message he is trying to convey. Thomas’s piece is much more poetic when it comes to imagery. While the symbolism is perfectly written, I feel that it contains less emotion and that depressing mood that Anderson’s has, which makes one understand the time period better. It is choppy, and does not flow like Anderson’s does. The original piece must be a combination of the two, one containing the emotion of Anderson’s but Thomas’s words.
My AT group also all agreed with me, and we thought that Anderson’s was better. Gwen Van Doren’s argument, like mine, referred back to the emotional scales the two pieces have. The rest of the group seemed to agree to her claim. Emily McDill said that Thomas’s had a lot of short and choppy sentences, which broke the rhythm of the poem and took away from the depressing mood that he was trying to convey. Virginia Adams said the same thing as well, she thought that Thomas’s was clunky and too difficult to follow along to. While Thomas’s poetic words flowed really nicely, it does not match up to the rawness of Anderson’s narrative, which made his poem more enjoyable to read. Anderson just held a higher level of emotion, and some sort of intellectual feeling to it. In the end, poetry is all about the way the piece flows. Maybe Thomas’s piece was not meant to flow as well, for one to focus on the words. However, this piece was a translation, and
Both works were some sort of translation, which means that the translators did not write the original poem itself, but just took the ideas of the original author and put them into a different language. Since I do not speak Russian, I do not know the original words that the author wrote. I do not know of his truma and of her past that caused him to write such emotional words. These words that he wrote are part of her identity, they are a part of her. While I can only imagine that Akhmatova went through something similar to Sophia Petrovna, no one will ever know her true suffering but her, it is her identity and story. When it comes to writing and other sorts of creative expression, no one will truly know the pain of what one has felt, it is all and only known to the original author. That is what is so curious and compelling to reading a story of someone else’s past.