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What was the process of finding the right English word? What was the back and forth translating Rivera’s poem? I had to know more. Until I talked to Hofer and Lujan I’d thought of translation as the act of creating a work that stood parallel to the original, with the spirit of the original but freestanding as its own new work of literature. Hofer has translated many poems form Spanish to English, and doing so she always tries to make obvious the debt of the original.


“The langugage in this poem is extremely, extremely straightforward, and simple,” Hofer said, “and I don’t mean that in any way as a negative critique in fact it’s very difficult to write, in my opinion, strong work using simple language.” L.A. Writers Translate Poem Denouncing Mexico’s Drug Cartel Dead | Movie Miento | SoCal Focus | KCET.

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