Teaching and Translation

Workshops

Please see the Workshops, Talks, Festivals page of the site for details of historical and creative writing workshops.

Translation

I’ve translated from Latin, Greek, Italian and Portuguese, and a couple of other languages that I don’t strictly know. Here are a couple of poems I particularly like.

Voices

(Constantin Cavafy)

Voices ideal and beloved
of those who’ve died
or those who are
lost for us like the dead.

Sometimes in dreams
they speak with us;
Sometimes in thought
the brain hears them.

And with their echo for a while
echoes of the first magic of
our life come back, like music heard
at night, far off, that fades away.

Out of Tune

(‘Desafinado’ by Newton Mendonça & Antonio Carlos)

If you were to say I’m out of tune, my love,
That would be the worst you could accuse me of,
For you’re one of those people with the effortless caché,
While I just have whatever God has sent my way

If you will insist that my unusual
style of singing’s simply anti-musical,
I, even if I’m lying, have to argue with you
That this is Bossa Nova, it’s still samba, but it’s new.

The thing that you quite clearly have no clue about
is that us out-of-tune boys have a heart that beats and bleeds.
Took a snapshot of you with my Kodachrome.
Your unparalleled ingratitude’s revealed.

If you just can’t bring yourself to speak about my love
This would be the greatest thing that you could get a hold of.
With all your musicality, you somehow still don’t see
that even in the chest of the out-of-tune boys
deep down is beating silently,
Even in the chest of out-of-tune boys,
beats a human heart.