Altres ales sobre una veu [Other wings on a voice]


This is the title Marià Villangómez gave to a collection of poetry translations he published in 1985. In the prologue he explained this image in words that we can borrow to introduce the translations assembled on this web page —some that he made of poems in other languages, and some made of his own poems by various translators:

I think it will be clear that the ‘voice’ of the title is not mine alone, but the voice of a whole people, the voice that is expressed in the Catalan language. Every language incorporates a particular world: in addition to particular sounds and constructions, it presumes thought and nuances, a habit that is sometimes intensified in emotion, a particularity that often demands our love. The ‘wings’ are the lines conceived in other languages, before which the poet making adaptations —not ceasing to be a poet with his own preferences and sense of expressivity and with the rhythm of his own language— exercises to a high degree whatever expertise he has as a technician. The ‘wings’ come from afar: they reflect other spaces, they fluttered in distant regions, perhaps unknown ones. Often they come from other times. In a translation we attempt to achieve, as far as possible, that the foreign ‘wings’ do not beat entirely strange and awkward in the air, that is, the ‘voice’ with which we offer them a new life.

On these pages you will find wings and voices travelling in either direction, in versions made by Villangómez of poems in other languages and versions other poets have made of Villangómez’s, many of them taken from an anthology published by the “Ramon Llull” Institute also with a ‘winged’ title, taken from a Villangómez poem: Un vol d’ocells [A Flight of Birds].

We hope readers will discover new poetic spaces, flying with various wings between different languages.