Relevance and the translation of poetry

Marta Dahlgren Thorsell

Abstract

The analysis of poetry brings up questions that are normally not asked when analysing prose, at least not in the case of descriptive prose. This study was originated in the analysis of translated poetry and touches on controversial issues where many dogmas still stand unchallenged. Poetry and poetic prose are areas where the discourse is supposed to emphasize "connotation" rather than "denotation." Connotations are supposed to be subjective and therefore not amenable to serious research activity. This paper discusses the categories of overt and covert translation and offers a tentative approximation to an application of the tools of pragmatics to the analysis of selected poems and their translations. It is contended that the concept of relevance can be applied to poetry to explain -and perhaps limit- interpretations open to readers.

Keywords

Poesía; Traducción poética; Relevancia; Connotación; Inferencia; Dickinson, Emily



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1998.11.03

Copyright (c) 1998 Marta Dahlgren Thorsell

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