Note: This broadside is part of our annual translation special feature in which we feature two broadsides—one by a poet writing in a language indigenous to the Americas.
Do you see an overlap between the act of translation and the act of responding visually to a piece of literature?
Artist Douglas Culhane: Both involve interpretation and recreation. Both require a fidelity to the original as well as a commitment to the truth and presentation of the reimagined work.
Why Ghassan Zaqtan? How does translation fit into your creative life?
Translator Fady Joudah: Life is not possible without translation. I mean that literally, at DNA level.
Why this poem?
Artist Douglas Culhane: I responded to the move from the personal and specific to something much bigger. Luminosity.
Read any good books lately?
Artist Douglas Culhane: alphabet by Inger Christensen.
Seen any great art lately?
Translator Fady Joudah: I was just looking at a Nelumbo nucifera’s dried cup this morning, a water lotus’s dried cup with seeds.
Artist Douglas Culhane: Amy Sillman’s retrospective “One Lump or Two” at Bard College.