Sunday, 29 July 2012


The July 2012 issue of Asymptote, the literary journal, carries my translations of Provencal poet Roselyn Sibille's work, all from her forthcoming collection Shadow-World. As usual, the editorial team of Asymptote have done an impressive job of presenting the work: along with the translations, readers can access the original poems in French, and also listen to Roselyne reading these poems in her soft, thoughtful voice. It is quite a privilege to be included in an issue that contains really extraordinary poetry from the world over, from Korean to Farsi to Armenian and Danish!

Asymptote July 2012 issue: Shadow-World

As I mention in the translator's note accompanying our work in Asymptote, in  Shadow-World, we enter a place of transience and metamorphosis where earth and water are made up of strokes and colours that are outlined, erased and then given new life in other forms.

It is a world where the shadow is three-dimensional, elemental and — most importantly — a bearer of tales; tales that we could build to our hearts' desire from the shards of images that these poems reflect.

These poems, to me, seem as fragile and oneiric as age-old calligraphy, the quest for the perfect curve: they reclaim words to reflect the tumbling and vaulting of the soul.

Roselyne Sibille's world blithely demands both precision and creativity from a translator. Transposing her metaphors and visuals, though — or perhaps, rightly, since — shadowy, from one imaginary world to another is an adventure that is often very challenging, but also deeply satisfying when both she and I feel that we have found or built portholes between these worlds.