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View Poll Results: Poetry Run-Off • January 2014, Single Choice
Inferno by Dante 3 50.00%
High Windows by Philip Larkin 3 50.00%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-08-2014, 01:32 PM   #1
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Poetry Run-Off • January 2014

Help us choose the January 2014 selection to read for the MR Literary Club! The run-off poll will be open for one day.

The run-off vote is single-choice. A discussion thread will begin shortly after a winner is chosen.

In the event of a tie, the tie will be resolved in favour of the selection that received all of its initial nominations first.


Select from the following works:


Inferno by Dante
Spoiler:
paola said on translations:

Well, first of all I am biased: especially the Inferno is something that is drilled into each school kid, so even if the words are difficult to understand, it is very musical, so hard to render I guess (it does rhyme). I have had a look around, and for the moment the one that seems closer "music wise" is Dorothy Sayer's translation (I've found it in Penguin).


High Windows by Philip Larkin
Spoiler:
paola said:

Another poet who also had to work to earn his keep, Philip Larkin. He is crude, but oh so effective! The Collected poems would be good, but to keep it manageable I'd suggest High Windows - a couple of the poems are available at the Poetry Foundation, otherwise it is available at Amazon uk, Amazon US, and couponable on Kobo.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:55 AM   #2
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So is everyone too preoccupied or just playing chicken? I'll vote to tie it up, I'm fine with either, to prompt the need for another vote.

Last edited by Hamlet53; 01-09-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #3
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I was torn. I like Larkin and something short has appeal, as I'm already behind on my 2014 reading. Ultimately, I couldn't resist the notion of getting Paola's perspective on Dante. But I expect a spate of last minute votes and will happily read either.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I was torn. I like Larkin and something short has appeal, as I'm already behind on my 2014 reading. Ultimately, I couldn't resist the notion of getting Paola's perspective on Dante. But I expect a spate of last minute votes and will happily read either.
Or not. Run-off for the run-off?
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:58 PM   #5
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Where did the rest of the voters go? Anyway, the vote is over, and we produced another tie! In that event, the first to become fully nominated wins out, which was Inferno, so that is our selection for the month. The discussion thread will be up soon.

Inferno is an excellent selection for our club, but it's the only nomination I wouldn't have read this month. I've not only already read Inferno but I've also studied it, so I'm not up for a re-read, as it is dense. I suppose you can say I've already been to hell and back.

I might pull out my old pbook copy and try to dig up my notes on it, but either way the thread should be interesting and I'll be reading it, and I agree with issybird that it'll be interesting to hear paola's (and anyone else's who reads it in Italian) view(s) on the original language.

Last edited by sun surfer; 01-09-2014 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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I'd ask for some input from Paola before even starting. What translation into English would be best?

Last edited by Hamlet53; 01-09-2014 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
I'd ask for some input from Paola before even starting. What translation into English would be best?
apologies, I was travelling and did not even vote, and the next two days are hellish - as for translations, not too sure really, but the one by Dorothy Sayer sounds nice to my ear - of course, I am no scholar, and have only perused a subset of the huge number of available translations.

Not sure how much I can contribute in terms of criticism - but of course there is plenty that has been drilled into me in terms of the four levels of reading etc...
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:44 PM   #8
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Sorry, I missed it too - we have a big gardening project on and I didn't check the situation. But I would have voted for Inferno anyway I think.

I have the Sayers translation so will be reading that.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paola View Post
Not sure how much I can contribute in terms of criticism - but of course there is plenty that has been drilled into me in terms of the four levels of reading etc...
I'm sorry, Paola, I didn't mean to presume but it surely sounded as if I did! Of course you're no more obligated to provide input than anyone.

I've been reading a bit about the translations and I think I'll give Hollander a try.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I've been reading a bit about the translations and I think I'll give Hollander a try.
Thanks, issybird, for helping me end the dithering and make a choice about translation. And so now to hell. Having just finished All Quiet on the Western Front, I already feel delivered to the gate of hell.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:50 AM   #11
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I downloaded several samples from Amazon to give them a try. I think I have settled on the John Ciardi translation. It sounds more lyrical to my ear, and I like that it has a synopsis and notes for each canto. I need all the extra help I can get!
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I'm sorry, Paola, I didn't mean to presume but it surely sounded as if I did! Of course you're no more obligated to provide input than anyone.
o no, I did not mean it like that, and indeed I've been unclear as I am usually when in a rush - I only meant to stress the fact that I am no literary scholar. Yet, if you think that in high school we spend a whole year on the Inferno, I would surely expect me to be able to say a little about it, the same way that I'd expect any American to be able to give me at least some sort of summary of the Civil War
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:21 AM   #13
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I do have a physical copy of Dante's Inferno(tranl.John Ciardi) and Barbara Reynolds' book about him, but I was hoping for some modern poets.
I will follow the discussion from the side line, as I value your opinions about Dante.
Spoiler:
Due to PC problems (failure of int/ext disks and severe loss of,what I thought solidly backed- up, files)I didn't have the oppurtunity to vote or to nominate the South-African Ingrid Jonker or Pablo Neruda from Chile...both poets I admire and have read in their language.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:36 AM   #14
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In the end, I'll stick to the Sayers translation which I love. It also features the illuminating notes from Charles Williams. I'll dip into others to view the Gustave Doré illustrations.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I'm sorry, Paola, I didn't mean to presume but it surely sounded as if I did! Of course you're no more obligated to provide input than anyone.

I've been reading a bit about the translations and I think I'll give Hollander a try.
FYI - There is a website associated with this translation, the Princeton Dante Project. There are several lecture texts by Hollander. You can also search his commentaries online.
http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/pdp/
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