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Petrarch: Tim Atkins

Tim Atkins

'When a poet enters the act of translatione, transforms that act into outright poetic material, and does so to poems qua translationes that are scale models of difference and sameness, cross-pollination and contamination, candidly marked by misprision and imprecision... when a poet does this, is he or she actying as a poet or as a translatore?' - Kent Johnson, from a review of Horace

'Tim Atkins does for translation what Gertrude Stein did for nouns.'--Lisa Jarnot

'Hazardous and buoyant, with all the zip and sass of a Heathrow-unslough’d O’Hara. Not, decidedly, the programmatic constructivist plodding of routine translation homophonickal, not, apparently, translation exactly at all (though I suspect a rather deftly salacious argument’d carry for ’l bel tempo rimena’s being auscultated as “the golden age of homosexuality,” like running a forefinger around a goblet to make it sing...)' --John Latta, Isola di Rifiuti blog


£10.00, ISBN 978-1-903488-78-2, 2011



I thought love was only true in fairy tales

Meant for someone else but not Al Green

It's a long way from Memphis in the Old Testament

To Mississippi via Rome particularly if relations with the pontiff overlook

Banana oil with the great Plimp a cigar in the ass Quality-lit

And collaboration with the odd Aryan general for the sake of the Renaissance

When I hear this news it makes me think of what other jobs

Are open to an overweight swimmer who swims late in the streams

Of divine love for example

Grooming and dogging are not just for Christmas

A soul review would be too exhausting

Though the illuminated sign looks good on the lawn

Derrida said the divine has been ruined by god

It's you that I want but it's him that I need



'Tim Atkins' translations of fourteenth-century Italian scholar and poet Franciso Petrarcha’s sonnets (in Petrarch) open an entirely different kind of functional space within the gap between media, and inject it with wit, contemporary vulgarity, and not a little libido. ...Love here is for men, women, and poems. Atkins pulls the poetry of his friend and lover into messy interfaced languages of multiple historical moments (“I won the Eurovision poetry prize in 1341”), employing a criss-crossing gang of references as company (Bach, YouTube, Henry James, Futurism...). If there is a systemic translation methodology employed across the various, non-chronologically arranged sonnets, I have yet to discover it; the sharpness of the poems allows them to stand solidly outside of any framework, while taking place at high volume, with nerve, emotion, and wit all equally maximized.' --Eddie Hopely, Poetry Project Newsletter 233 (Dec 2010)

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