Poetry Month, and Poetry All Year Round

Thursday April 25, 2013

By Guide Biography: Patrick Kennedy

Welcome to the month of April, or National Poetry Month, as we literary types like to call it. In America, April is a time to remember, read, and perhaps write great poetry. Most of the credit for this 30-day celebration goes the Academy of American Poets, which founded Poetry Month in 1996. Okay, so what does this have to do with a Classic Literature in Translation site? Plenty.

Already, I have profiled poets such as Goethe, Baudelaire, and Pablo Neruda. These fellows have been enormously influential in American literature, and world literature for that matter. And since it's National Poetry Month, get ready, because more poet profiles are in the works. Pushkin, Rilke, Rimbaud, Lorca, Pessoa; look for bios of these great poets right on my site.

But why not extend the festivities well, well beyond April? Well, that's what I've decided to do. This month, I'm going to be instituting an entirely new, all-poetry section called "Poems in Translation". For this, I'll be taking major non-English works and linking you to different translated versions. And believe me, there are lots of versions out there. This will be your way to draw smart comparisons and decide which translation you want to delve into, or simply which one you like best. Up first: Dante's Inferno, Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil, Boris Pasternak's lyric poetry, and Anna Akhmatova's Requiem.

As you can see, there's a lot in the works. Have I missed anything? Are there any poets you're still waiting to discover on About.com, or any poems you'd like to see under Poems in Translation? Let me know. Other than that, happy National (and, for our purposes, International) Poetry Month!

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