I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Peter Sirr

Mad About Poetry

Translating the poem, and the reader into the world of the poem

Acts of Hope

Poets can be parochial, powerful languages encouraging the sense that there is no need to look beyond their borders. Set against that, there is Osip Mandelstam’s ‘nostalgia for world culture’, a kind of alert openness, a feeling of being at home in an enlarged world of the spirit.

Fictions of Otherness

Poets are of course free to do what they want. But a translation which requires the disappearance of the original poet, where we can never be sure which bits are invented, starts to feel like the kind of colonial gesture only a dominant language could sanction.


Mark Granier’s poems are full of skies and hauntings, the missing, the dead, time’s erasures, ‘the slow shift of light’, the closely observing eye lighting on the city and where the city meets light and water and sky. He is, as one poem has it, an eternal ‘cloud watcher, seawatcher’.

The Thing Itself

Harvard told Helen Vendler they didn’t want her – or any woman – teaching there. Later, having established a foothold in academia, she settled on two guiding principles: first that her subject was to be poetry and second that she wanted to be a critic rather than a scholar.

Well, Kerrang!!!

Michael Hofmann is a poet, essayist and translator. The latter activity, he has said, he undertakes partially to compensate for the slimness of his poetic work but he also has strong views, in particular noisily rejecting the idea that translation should be transparent or impersonal.

Astonished at Everything

Generosity and largeness of vision seem to meet happily in the poems of Uruguayan-French writer Jules Supervielle, which seem to cover great distances in short spaces.