This blog is largely an outgrowth of my first one, Poems Found in Translation, which began some six years ago as a poetry translation project. Slowly it began to acquire more and more things less and less related to verse-translation: essays, translations of prose, original poems and so forth. I eventually decided that these things needed a blog of their own where I wouldn't worry about swindling the expectant reader with too many posts that were not translations of poetry.

Have fun.


  1. Hello A.Z,

    I've just happened upon your website and I wonder if you may be able to help me, or point me to someone who can.

    I am the grandaughter of Elisheva Bichovsky, you've mentioned her. I am a writer and poet myself and having had cancer last year I am newly focussed on wanting, to retranslate my grandmothers's poems (from Russian and from Hebrew) and possibly her novel (Simtaot, Hebrew but about Moscow) into English. Actually before that - I would simply like to read her words. Neither I nor my sisters speak any Hebrew or Russian so Elisheva's world is mostly closed to us. Problem being I don't speak or read or write Hebrew or Russian! So I'm not really a translator - but together with someone I could be. I don't have any financial resources unfortunately, but do you think you or someone you know could help me start off on this project? There are apparently around 200 Russian poems by my grandmother, published I think under the name Elizaveta Bichovsky (or possibly Zhirkova) and titled, I think, Minuty. Somehow, since my illness, I have a strong draw towards Elisheva and wanting to tell a little of her story too - she moved to Palestine/Israel hoping it would be a land of promise, a sort of Utopia. She spent the last decade trying to get out of it, widowed and poor and turned against by some of literary establishment, apparently. She was finally given her permit to emigrate to England three months before she died of cancer in Tiberias. Anyway ... you seem to know a lot about translation, so I thought I would contact you, and perhaps other translators reading this site. Warm regards,
    Hilary Bichovsky

    1. Hello, Ms. Bichovsky,

      I was interested enough in your words about your grandmother to want to find out more about her. She certainly led an inspired life, and that motivated me to create a Wikipedia page about her. I have now posted it at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisheva_Bikhovski

      If you notice any errors, please feel free to correct them through the Wikipedia process or to contact me directly. Kind regards,

      Erik Bjørn Pedersen


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Bonvole rigardu la lastajn senintence humurajn komentojn pri via eseo "http://blogicarian.blogspot.ca/2012/02/esperanto-international-auxiliary.html". Ĉirkaŭ 60 mesaĝoj post kiam la dudekan de julio de 2014 ŝajnas simple esti trudaĵoj, kiuj reklamas ĉiesulinojn.

  4. Hi, Is this a good place to contact you about to commission a reading?

  5. Tony Grafton put up on FB an article about changes to the Princeton Classics curriculum -- Latin and Greek are no longer required! -- which led to a lengthy discussion, and one of the participants put up your post, which impressed me for its sense and erudition. I add my comment (copied from FB) FYI: There's a paywall on the TLS article, but I just read the reply, which opened my naive eyes to an issue that I had entirely missed. I'm completely shocked that there are classicists can't read their own languages! I'm one of those early modernists who learned to read (as opposed to merely construe/slowly translate) Latin. The way I got there was via Cicero, Horace, Catullus, and yes, Tacitus... In the Tacitus seminar, our professor assigned massive quantities to read each week, and in class we went around the room translating passages at sight. The weekly reading assignments were far too long to write out full translations, so you had to just read it over, putting the occasional difficult-to-remember vocab word in the margins or whatever. So it never occurred to me that a student could cheat by looking at the translation. (In case anyone is interested, Vasily Rudich taught the class.) I specifically remember the moment, after a month or so of torture and very late nights, suddenly realizing that I could READ Tacitus. I don't use Latin in my research anymore, so I'm sure I'm very rusty, but I'm also hardly the best linguist in the world -- specifically, I'm good, but my wife is much better (she's a mathematician, and she has that classic math/languages brain combo). In short, I'm thunderstruck.