From Elsewhere

From Elsewhere

by Ciaran Carson




Ciaran Carson is among the most restlessly groundbreaking poets now writing in English. In From Elsewhere, he adds yet another dimension to his poetry and to the act of translation by combining them in homage to the French poet Jean Follain (1903–1971). Carson not only translates the original, but also adds his own poetic rendition, crafting a mosaic of translation and free response.

The implications of Follain’s poems are often made arrestingly explicit in Carson’s versions. The silences in “Without Language” resound as the unfathomable echoes of “In Memory.” The terror of Modernism in “The Burnt Island” becomes the modern terrorism of “Timing Device.” When we arrive at “Without Courage” / “Translation” at the beginning of the third part, the poetic flight from Follain to Carson is comprehensive, though “changed in the meantime / that is elsewhere.” We understand the title intimately as a conversation between poets across time and space.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781930630703
Publisher: Wake Forest University Press
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Born in 1948 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ciaran Carson studied at Queen’s University, Belfast, where, from 2003–2015, he served as the director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. Though recently retired from that post, he continues to teach a postgraduate poetry workshop there, in addition to overseeing the Belfast Writers’ Group. Earlier in his career (from 1975–1998), Ciaran Carson acted as an arts officer for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He is also a member of Aosdána and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. A writer of both poetry and prose—fiction and non-fiction alike—Ciaran Carson has also translated many texts, including The Midnight Court, a work of the eighteenth-century poet Brian Merriman, and a version of Dante’s The Inferno, which won the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize. His other awards include the first-ever T. S. Eliot Prize (1994, for First Language), and the Forward Prize for Best Collection (2003, for Breaking News). As well as being a significant poet and careful translator, Carson is also a scholar of traditional Irish music; he frequently plays the flute alongside his wife, the accomplished Irish fiddler Deirdre Shannon. He has said: “I’m not interested in ideologies . . . I’m interested in the words, and how they sound to me, how words connect with experience, of fear, of anxiety . . . Your only responsibility is to the language.”

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