Thank you to all the readers who responded to questions raised in the
last issue: long poems, translations and writing about what you know. I
have published a selection in this issue and would add that Andrew
Knight’s long and detailed reply is published in full on the website, the
main points only being in the ‘Responses’ section.
It’s also been interesting over the past few issues of Acumento read
the responses to the Focus for Readers occasional broadsheets which
accompany some issues. Readers have asked for these to be used for
translations, long poems, more individual poets etc. But these Focus
sheets are exactly what they say they are: a focus on a particular topic or
poet. If they were used for one type of poetry only, they would become
stale; the contents might as well be incorporated in the magazine and they
would lose any focus which they might have had in the beginning.
The Focus on long poems and translations appear to have created
the most controversy. Long poems seemed to have split readers into three
opinions: those who feel they have no place in modern poetry, those who
feel such poems are ok but kept for collections where there is space for
them, and those who think the occasional one in a magazine is interesting.
Translations produce a similar division; those who feel that they
bring an added dimension and those who feel we have enough ‘homegrown’
poetry not to need translations.
Writing about translations, it is with sadness that Acumenreports the
death of Thomas Ország-Land earlier this year. Thomas was an assiduous
translator and promotor of modern Hungarian poets like Miklós Radnóti,
György Faludy, Hannah Senesh (see Andrew Knight’s praise of his
translation in the previous issue on p.33). He was a supporter and regular
contributor to Acumen for many years and was interviewed inAcumen 78.
A detailed list of his many writings are to be found inNew English Review