American poetry, the most recent being that of M. Jean Catel. One of Emily Dickinson's poems has been translated into Russian in an anthology circulated throughout the U. S. S. R. She seems not yet to have been translated into Chinese, though her poems have been read to audiences in China. And I know of a monograph now being written on a most fascinating subject: "Birds in Chinese Painting, and in the Poems of Emily Dickinson." The Japanese, who had the first Whitman society, probably know something of Emily Dickinson. But the center of Dickinsonia in the Orient has been the old Spanish-built Manila in the fronded Philippines; because of the number of American teachers there, and of our educational activities. In those far Pacific islands, where she slips easily from English into Spanish, many read her in the original, as many do in France.
If we seek the poems of Emily Dickinson in their earliest Spanish translation we must go to Spain, the mother country. In 1916, the famous lyric poet, Juan Ram6n Jim6nez, included three of her poems in his DIARIO DE UN POFTA, published in Madrid. Like most poets, Emily was an independent, an original geographer. She drew her map of the world with instruments and data fashioned from her profound experience of heart and mind and soul. The maps in her old schoolbooks, and the travel books and conversations of returned voyagers were studded with strange and intoxicatingly beautiful place names. Sun-drenched lands attracted her who often expressed a preference for a "tropic ... .. South America" had a quick appeal. Into two of her love poems she "painted" the names of Chimbarazu and Buenos Aires. Cordillera, Pizarro, Potosi, Andes, Peru, Brazil, caught her ear and her vibrant fancy.
South America is now coming to know something of Emily
Dickinson. She has often been translated into Spanish and
Portuguese in the Latin American literary journals. She can
now be read in anthologies emanating from three South American
capitals: POETAS NORTEAMERICANOS, published in Rio de
Janeiro by the Bureau de Informaciones Panamericanas, 1943;
POESIA ESTADOUNIDENSE, edited by Alberto Weis, Buenos Aires,
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Last updated on March 10, 2008