Re-reading the poems of the great Italian Hermetic poets it strikes me again with some force how much understanding poetry is not a matter of analysis. Take this poem by Salvatore Quasimodo.
Ed è subito sera
Ognuno sta solo sul cuor della terra
trafitto da un raggio di sole:
ed è subito sera.
And suddenly it is evening
Everyone stands alone at the heart of the world
pierced by a ray of sunlight:
and suddenly it is evening.
The shock of recognition when you first read the lines overcomes a desire to break up the words and examine them under the microscope of whatever your pet theory may be. They are stark and immediate and directly meaningful.
However, I believe translation to be a valuable method of sharpening a poet’s understanding of how to write. Translation illuminates how slippery words are and how much imagination creates meaning. A translator has had a go at renewing the poem with new English words.
(My apologies for not posting for so long)