James Holmes and Burton Raffel on Four Ways of Translating Poetry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The prominent translators and critics, James Holmes and Burton Raffel,
have both proposed a fourfold scheme for considering poetry translations.
In general terms, these four are: (1) formal and source-text oriented, (2)
formal and target-culture oriented, (3) free, and (4) “deviant”, scarcely
translation at all. This article suggests that the similarity between the two
schemes is not coincidence but may be explained by Holmes’ and Raffel’s
friendship based on a common interest in Indonesian literature during the
1950s. The previously unnoticed relationship adds to Francis Jones’
exploration of Holmes’ literary translation networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalThe AALITRA Review
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this