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Stina's Challenge 2018 > Prompt: A collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love

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message 1: by Stina (new)

Stina (stinalyn) | 591 comments Mod
I know, right? Here's a 4-page discussion thread with some great ideas: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

I started on Odes to Common Things last year, and I'm enjoying it, but it's a bilingual edition and I'm using it to brush up on my Spanish as I go, so it's not a quick read at all.


message 2: by Mary (last edited Mar 11, 2018 12:00PM) (new)

Mary Arkless | 143 comments I read "Prayers from Prison" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I speak and read German, so thought I'd look for something originally in German but now translated into English. I searched first for German poets, then looked what was available through my county's library service. I came across this book.

Bonhoeffer was a theologian who spoke out against Hitler, and was imprisoned in a Gestapo prison in Tegel for more than 18 months before being moved to Buchenwald briefly. Just a month before the end of the war, he was moved again to Flossenburg, where a hastily called tribunal tried and convicted him. He was hanged at the age of 38.

Usually when I read things translated from German into English, I wonder at some point what the original had been in German, but not with these poems. The translation is very good.

The poems are very spiritual. The author was a Lutheran theologian, so the prayers are to the Christian/Judean God. With this in mind, they might not be for everyone. They spoke to me, though, and gave me much to ponder. So much so, I have purchased a copy of the book to keep. I was pleased to find several copies online to choose from, considering this translation was published in 1977.

The eleven poems cover just 35 pages. The rest of the book is mostly "An Interpretation" by Johann Christoph Hampe, followed by a poem by W. H. Auden (which I didn't care for!).


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