On Translating Poetry, Once Again

by Joëlle Gardes

This article analyses the main difficulties encountered in translating Tommaso Di Dio’s collection Tua e di tutti into French, La tienne et à tous. It adopts the point of view of the translator faced with an allusive kind of poetry, full of references to the poet’s private memories and to his cultural background. Despite French and Italian being similar languages, the use of language itself takes centre stage. The focus is on syntax, particularly on two aspects: word order, which is much stricter in French, and the gerund, which is used more frequently in Italian. Solutions must be found, while respecting the overall style of the text. In other words, the translator’s subjectivity remains paramount.