Where do you believe your poem may fit within the long history of
translation that surrounds “Whoso List to Hunt”?
The speaking necklace has been carried
from Petrarch by Wyatt and my poem studies the necklace but shifts
direction, tone, form. I find the “Rima” swoony and hallucinatory, and
“Whoso List...” charged with captive exhaustion. My poem I suppose
internalises the energy of fascination.
Imagine a teacher of Italian reading
your poem and then going back to the original. What aspects of your
translation would most annoy that teacher? In other words, where and
why were you most deviant as a translator?
The gripping thing in both is the speech
of the doe- the complexity of it. In Wyatt “wild though I seem tame”
manages to reproach the deer, and Petrarch’s “it has pleased my Caesar”
is the voice of a hostage forced into complicity.
My poem embeds these conflicts but without the power figure that stalks
the original/s (Caesar/Henry VIII) or rather that agency has been
transferred to the deer, which is a deviation.
About halfway through your poem, the
speaker states “I need to go to the forest, like a pair of snipe.” This
line seems to imply that the speaker wishes to become two entities.
Since this sense of a split speaking self is not really present in
either Petrarch or Wyatt, why have you chosen to introduce this element
to your translation?
In a sense both Petrarch and Wyatt are
talking themselves out of the pursuit of a married deer – talking to
the mirror. The speaker in my poem seeks something in the forest that
can only be delivered by the self – to kill off the part that
loves/defuse the part that fears.