The form of English poetry translation problems caused larger debate: One is the translation of English poetry in “Chinese Poems”, namely into the inherent Chinese poetry forms; another kind is poetry translation should be submitted to the form of the original poem, make it as close as possible to the original.

The most important element of poetry is thoughts and feelings, artistic image, sound rhythm style and spirit, English poetry translation should from these aspects to grasp, faithfully reproduce the original poems of these aspects.

Equivalent understanding of the original poem.

The process of translation is also an understanding process, namely the translator’s process of understanding of original work or authorship. The translator’s possession of identity requirements are not as simple as the readers that of general understanding of reading material, he should deal with the original text with nuanced understanding and comprehension, try to avoid for negligence in understanding that makes translation errors.

The Chinese and English translator’s understanding of the original text must reach the real author of depth; so that to shoulder the responsibility of faithfully and poetically express English poetry into Chinese. American poet Walt Whitman, (1819 ~ 1892), his Unseen Buds doesn’t like his other poetry that are spectacular. However, to savor the understanding, it is not difficult to find that internal rhythm of the poem is cadence dance together with poet’s careful and romantic inner heart.

Unseen Buds

Unseen Buds, infinite, hidden well,

Under the snow and ice, under the darkness, in every square or cubic inch,

Germinal, exquisite, in delicate lace, microscopic, unborn,

Like babes in wombs, latent, folded, compact, sleeping;

Billions of billions, and trillions of trillions of them waiting

(On earth and in the sea, —the universe—the stars there in the heavens)
Urging slowly, surely forward, forming endless,
And waiting ever more, forever more behind.

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The translator with his keen observation and profound understanding of this poem, it can clearly insights into the original text and comprehends it while reading the translation:








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This poem translation is as flowing clouds, pale and real beauty. Its plain language contains deep and abundant contents of the original poem, and the bland language form revealed the pure、fresh and natural, so that the translation exactly tasted the words came out from the poet and his works.

Translator’s understanding of the original poem is what exactly the original poem expressing, such as appropriately and exquisitely understanding of these words “Germinal, exquisite, in delicate lace, microscopic, unborn”, the translator chose“幼芽、细腻、微小、精致、等着出生” several poetic words to substitute original word , which are extremely preached, and more perfectly keep the deep meaning of the poetry.

Thus, in poetry translation, we need to have the closest understanding with the author, which is basic equivalence of understanding.
Relativity of faithfulness

There are disparities between one language and another. An excellent Poetry translation must reproduce the artistic beauty of the original one, and should be faithful to the original poem’s theme; it’s not just faithful to the literal meaning of words. So ‘absolute faithfulness’ is impossible. And discussion in this article emphasizes on how to achieve the relative faithfulness in a possible sense. For example:

A Widow Bird

A widow bird state morning for her love

Upon a wintry bough;

The frozen wind crept on above,

The freezing stream blow.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,

No flower upon the ground,

And little motion in the air

Except the mill-wheel’s sound.

Its translation is:






The original poem stressed in the word “widow” (孤寡之意), and the translator firmly gripped this meaning of the whole poem, he translated “state” into “悲鸣”, “wintry bough” translated into “寒枝”, and translated “forest bare” into “荒林”,and ground translated as”瘠土”. It can be said that this translation is unfaithful to some degree in the sense of words meaning, but it completely convey the sort of art state that the original poem created, and it applied the artistic conception of deserted 、cold and sad mood, which even went beyond the original poem.

After reading, people can not help but float to the feeling of pathetique from the bottom of his heart, full of compassion, pity for the lonely bird. It’s difficult not to say that relative unfaithfulness in poetry translation reflected its advantages to some extent.