Lost VE Verse/Jamaican Poetry Translation – Poetry News Roundup April 27th

We begin another week here on My Poetic Side with a look at the lost verse that will help celebrate VE day. We also have a short article about  Jamaican poetry book translated into Chinese.

“Lost” Verse To Help Mark VE Day

A poem by Edmund Blunden, who was the longest-serving First World War poet will be helped in the VE day celebrations this year on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary. The handwritten verse which is often referred to as the “lost” poem is called V Day and it will be released on 8th May by the Imperial War Museum as just a small part of the commemorations that will be taking place to commemorate the end of World War Two in Europe.

The event was being planed with a bank holiday however all events planned to take place in public, and the extended opening hours for pubs are unlikely to take place due to the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures that are currently in place.

During the First World War, Blunden was awarded a Military Cross, He was a friend of fellow war poet Siegfried Sassoon and his poem often look at the futility of the conflict of war, something that became an obsession to him.

It is believed that V Day was written in 1945 after the Germans had surrendered from the poets home in Tonbridge Kent.

In the poem Blunden looks at the “fiery horrors” and the “eyes of death”.

In an interview which took place over the weekend, one of the poet’s daughters, Margi Blunden, said that she was delighted that finally the poem was being made accessible to all. She also added that it seemed somehow fitting for the times in which we find ourselves which have echoes of war. There are large numbers of deaths, we don’t know what the future holds and how we will cope, and the situation is very frightening.

It is uncertain who has previously owned the poem before. Several years ago it was purchased by the Imperial War Museum during an auction. Since that time it has only been accessible for those people involved in research.

Under the title “Voices of War”, the museum will also be making a selection of oral histories available in their website on the 8th May.

Jamaican Poems Published in China

In March 2020 a book “Poems from Jamaica” was released, it was the first-ever volume of Jamaican poetry that was published as a translation in China.

The poems were all penned by Paulette A Ramsay and translated by Hou Tao. Both are university professors in their respective countries.

The poems, which were originally written in English and feature verses that look at a wide range of different subjects. It isn’t easy to translate something into Chinese but the translations are very readable and have managed to convey the rhythms and meanings of the original poems to the reader.

The two universities have had close ties since 2009 when they built the first Confucius Institute in Jamaica.

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