1st Edition

The Translation and Transmission of Concrete Poetry

Edited By John Corbett, Ting Huang Copyright 2020
    244 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume addresses the global reception of "untranslatable" concrete poetry. Featuring contributions from an international group of literary and translation scholars and practitioners, working across a variety of languages, the book views the development of the international concrete poetry movement through the lens of "transcreation", that is, the informed, creative response to the translation of playful, enigmatic, visual texts. Contributions range in subject matter from ancient  Greek and Chinese pattern poems to modernist concrete poems from the Americas, Europe and Asia. This challenging body of experimental work offers creative challenges and opportunities to literary translators and unique pleasures to the sympathetic reader. Highlighting the ways in which literary influence is mapped across languages and borders, this volume will be of interest to students and scholars of experimental poetry, translation studies and comparative literature.

    Acknowledgements & Notes on Contributors


    John Corbett

    Chapter 1: Concrete Poetry, Playfulness and Translation

    Susan Bassnett

    Chapter 2: The Origins of the Untranslatable: The Earliest Western Visual Poetry

    Juliana Di Fiori Pondian

    Chapter 3: Concrete Poetry in China: Form, Content, Theme and Function

    Li Li

    Chapter 4: Writing and Translating Concrete Poetry in Chinese Characters

    Chen Li

    Chapter 5: The Structures of Chance: Transcreating Noigandres ideogramas into English

    Claus Clüver

    Chapter 6: Transcreation without Borders

    K. David Jackson

    Chapter 7: Edwin Morgan as Transcreator

    Ting Huang

    Chapter 8: Constellations and ideograms: Eugen Gomringer’s multilingual concrete poetry

    Raquel Abi-Samara

    Chapter 9: The Intermedial Recoding of Tradition in Augusto de Campos’ intraduções

    Simone Homem de Mello

    Chapter 10: Concrete North America: Some Questions of Reception

    Odile Cisneros

    Chapter 11: Mapping the International Concrete Poetry Network

    John Corbett

    Chapter 12: Metaphor and Material in Concrete Poetry

    Chris McCabe



    John Corbett is a CAPES International Fellow and Visiting Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Sao Paulo. His numerous books and articles include Language and Scottish Literature (1997) and Written in the Language of the Scottish Nation: A History of Literary Translation into Scots (1999).

    Ting Huang is a literary translator and doctoral candidate in the English Department of the University of Macau, where she took an MA in Translation Studies in the Portuguese Department and her Bachelor’s degree in Portuguese Studies. She has translated Azul Corvo, by the Brazilian novelist, Adriana Lisboa (2019).