A Bird Is Not a Stone: The Palestinian Poets ‘Rarely Translated into English’


Arabic Literature (in English)

A Bird is not a Stone , ed. Henry Bell and Sarah Irving, is a collection of poems by contemporary Palestinian writers forthcoming from Glasgow’s Freight Books. The translations are done — through the bridge method — by 25 of Scotland’s top poets. Irving talks about the collection, which she suggests is perhaps “freer” for being a bridge translation:

A_bird_is_not_a_stone_270.270ArabLit: Can you say a little more about what the George Wyllie sculpture “A Bird Is Not a Stone” has to do with the ethos of the project?

Sarah Irving: There were several reasons this ended up as the title. Partly it was to do with the history of the sculpture itself, which was built by the Berlin Wall and which ‘keeked’ over, and there are obvious parallels with the situation of Palestinian poets having to ‘keek’ over real and metaphorical walls which have been constructed around them. And then in…

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