Check out Conrad's post on Frank Samperi's translation of Dante's Paradise

A nice post from Conrad on Frank Samperi's translation of Dante's Paradise.

About three words separate Samperi from the others. He sings with a true Dantean heaviness in his heart: a kind of plodding literalness always pervades the true poet-pilgrim's chronicle (Perhaps only some of that is felt in this short passage). And against the greyness of exertion, physical and spiritual,  angels in Dante as in life, and their fulgurating movements, appear without the intermediaries of  technique ("sanza mezzo"): always studded with their own painful brilliances  (as in Celan), always grainy and sharp as their speech. That's the best that can be said for them: the rest is a matter of images and endless analogies and commentary. 
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  1. Hi, Claudia.

    I am very glad Conrad wrote a post about Samperi's translation. I mentioned it too in a footnote, in my recently published translation of a text by Clayton Eshleman, "What is American about American Poetry?". Eshleman mentioned some of the greatest poets/translators in the US and the authors whose works they had/have translated. I simply added in a footnote some more examples, among them Samperi's unpublished (is it still?) translation.

    Best wishes.

  2. Hi Mario,
    Thank you. Yes, the translation is still unpublished. I am hoping some day and some one will publish it in the near future.

  3. Hi Mario,

    congrats on published translation of Eshleman article. Where can I purchase a copy?

    I do know from my reading of Samperi's correspondences that Clayton Eshleman was then one of Samperi's staunchest defenders: I recall, in particular, Samperi saying that he'd defended him against critics/publishers who'd thought his Dantean poetics irrelevant to the times. Eshleman countered by saying that it was particularly his devotion to Dante that made Samperi a uniquely relevant poet. He was one of the few in those difficult early years who'd been in Samperi's corner. Samperi spoke gratefully of the support he'd gotten from Eshleman and Corman and Petersen.

    Eshleman had published Samperi in his "Caterpillar" magazine and had put out a special 5th edition of Samperi's "Crystals".He'd also published in "Sulfur" Clive Faust's article on Faust's correspondences with Samperi.

  4. Conrad, thanks.

    I will send pdf. files to both of you, Claudia and Conrad, and to anyone interested of course.

    My translation was published in a literary supplement here in Tenerife, Canary Islands. It is just a brief mention of Samperi's translation of "Paradiso".

    I think I knew more deeply about Frank Samperi after reading Eshleman's poem "Samperi's Diagram", included in his book "An Alchemist with One Eye on Fire" (I told Claudia this when she published Eshleman's poem here, last year). I had heard the name before, but after reading that text, I wanted to know more about Samperi and purchased "Quadrifariam".

    Best wishes.


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