"To Translate the Shaking"

I've been inspired by this essay by poet and translator of Japanese poetry, Malinda Markham, "To Translate the Shaking: Contemporary Japanese Women's Poetry (And Coaxing it into English)." It appeared in the Antioch Review, Winter, 2004. I came across it as I started researching contemporary Japanese women's poetry--something that I've never explicitly sought out before. One day last month I had this overwhelming question-- why don't I see a lot of contempo Japanese women's poetry translated into English? After some googling, I found this essay and the book I cited in a previous post. 

It is not easy for me to connect to new poetry (I can flip through anthology after anthology and not be particularly struck by any one poem), but I found kindred spirits (I don't know just yet how to describe it any other way). I don't find poems like these often--ones where I live in them or feel as though I have lived them--but even more so--spoken those same lines but in my own way. 

After reading Markham's narrative of her experience translating Japanese poetry, so many questions that I had about the language (but couldn't articulate because of my own myopic, strange insider/outsider relationship with the language) were answered. I also felt a kinship with these poets, recognizing poems that I have never seen in the English language, but feel very familiar to me. It helps me explain, perhaps why or how I write poetry the way that I do with my own personal experience-- being half-Japanese and not quite fluent in the language yet eerily fluent in the cultural behaviors.

My response is all very general right now, but eventually I want to cite specific poets, poems, and lines. 

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