Thirty-four Ways of Looking at the Moon in Warsaw
The current edition of the Loch Raven Review, a periodical devoted to showcasing the works of new and established writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and reviews, has published a remarkable project conceived by its long-time Translations Editor, Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka. For this global project, she selected a poem by Lidia Kosk, entitled “From the Window of My Apartment,” which called to her across time and space. She reached out to translators from around the world to contribute translations of the poem. Ms. Kosk-Kosicka is particularly interested in promoting translations of/in low-frequency languages. The original text of the very deep poem, both in its original Polish and in Ms. Kosk-Kosicka’s English translation, the basis for the work of the majority of the translators, allows for multiple interpretations.
The renditions of the poem, organized by language groups, include Polish, English, Kashubian, Czech, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Irish, Breton, Romanian, Spanish, French, Catalan, Languedoc Occitan, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, German, Scots, Finnish, Hungarian, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Turkish, Amharic, and Arabic.
There is also an original musical score written to the words of Kosk-Kosicka’s English translation, and the song performed by a choir, directed by the composer. All that, and more, is showcased in the video that features, among others, the moonscape of war-ravaged Warsaw, and the voice of the poet reading her poem. The composer interprets the poem as the voice of a narrator describing her experience during and after World War II, the state of the city of Warsaw turned into ruins, and its subsequent return to life. Similarly, many translators read the poem as a lament on the horror of War with the final triumph of the art.
For the full article explaining the development of the project and providing all the translations and the video, see:
33 Translations of a Poem by Lidia Kosk | The Loch Raven Review.
We are indebted to NML member Dr. Irmeli Kuehnel, who did the Finnish translation for this project, for calling this amazing project to our attention and enabling us to share it with our readers.
We would also like to bring to your attention another unique multilingual project of Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka, the book Szklana góra/Glass Mountain by Lidia Kosk, showcasing the titular poem in twenty-two languages. The second edition of the book, enriched with QR codes provides a great opportunity to listen to the poem in the original Polish and all the translations while at the same time looking at the text on the page. The featured languages include Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Occitan, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian, and Upper Sorbian.
The original poem in Polish and the English translation are below. Please visit the Loch Raven Review page to see all 33 translations of the poem and watch the video featuring both languages: Polish, recited by the author, and English, performed by the McDonogh Upper School Choir under the direction of the composer, Philip A. Olsen.