Captain Sir Tom Moore’s Life Celebrated With Poetry/Amanda Gorman Translation Outcry – Poetry News Roundup March 1st

We begin the week with a look at the poetry to celebrate Captain Sir Tom Moore. We also have an article about a Dutch translation of Amanda Gorman’s poem.

Captain Sir Tom Moore – Celebrated with Poetry

Last year, the hearts of the UK’s citizens and those across the world were captured by the then Captain Tom Moore as he did circuits of his garden to raise money for the NHS, hoping to complete the challenge of 100 laps that he had set himself before his 100th birthday. Last month they mourned the man who raised almost £33million for charities connected to the NHS when he died just short of his 101st birthday of complications from COVID-19.

His funeral was held on Saturday, with just 8 close family members in attendance, but it was an occasion marked with poetry and song.

The celebrant opened the funeral service with a reading of a poem titled “A Happy Life”. This was followed by a reading of “Oh the Wild, Wild Moors” written by Edwin Waugh which the Captains grandson dedicated to the love that his grandfather had had for the Yorkshire Dales where he grew up. One of his granddaughters read a poem that she had helped to write. The service was concluded with a reading of part of “The Fallen” a poem by War poet Laurence Binyon.

There have been a number of poems written for Captain Sir Tom Moore in the days since his death. “We Salute You” is the work of a group of four young performers. Another such poem is “Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day” inspired by the Captain’s attitude to life.

Writer Hands Back Assignment to Translate Work by Amanda Gorman

Following an outcry in the Netherlands, the writer who had been selected to translate work by Amanda Gorman into Dutch has handed the assignment back. The criticism surrounding the choice was that the writer who was selected to translate the work of a young Black woman is white.

Last year, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld was the youngest winner of the International Booker Prize with “The Discomfort of Evening”. She made the announcement regarding the translation on Friday in a Twitter post. It was hoped that a Dutch translation of “The Hill We Climb” would be ready for release by the end of March.

Rijneveld, who is also a poet was shocked that the decision to ask her to do the translation had been greeted with such uproar, however, she says that she understands why people might feel hurt that the publisher involved had asked her to do the work.

The publisher Meulenhoff has since released a statement saying that they have learned from the experience and will now look for a team who can help to create the translation. They also confirmed that Rijneveld had been their first choice for the job and the decision had been approved by Gorman herself.

Janice Deul, a journalist and activist with the national daily newspaper wrote a piece on the subject. She took to Twitter in the light of the new decision to than Rijneveld and the publisher.



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