Andrew Barrett's Words Without Borders Debut

Over the next couple months, we’ll be featuring some of the recent University of Rochester translation students on our weekly podcast. They’re all extremely interesting (and entertaining) people, and all working on very cool projects that we’d like to feature.

One of those students is Andrew Barrett, who you might remember from such Three Percent posts as this one about Nonnus’ Dionysiaca, the “erotic” Greek epic poem that he’s working on. Or this review of The Leg of Lamb by Benjamin Peret. Or this announcement about how Andrew was selected as the only U.S. student to attend this year’s Banff Translation Program. (Andrew also plays in April in the Orange.)

Well, Words Without Borders just published a couple Greek poems by Christopher Kontonikolis that Andrew translated.

According to Words Without Borders, Christopher Kontonikolis was born in Athens in 1981. He studied classics and is now completing a master’s degree in Byzantine literature at the University of Athens. He has composed poems in Greek and in Ancient Greek language and meter. This is his first publication in an American journal.

The two poems Andrew translated are Timon vs. Newton:

Timon and Newton were arguing about fruit.
Netwon said: “I prefer the apple
since I discovered gravity while peacefully dozing
under the shade of an apple tree.”
Timon shot back with stinging words:
“Newton, you’re an idiot, a fool
and utterly conceited in your intelligence. [. . .]

and Timoniad:

Sing, Muse,
of that misanthrope,
who was homeless and forever wandering,
since he had yet to chop down his fig tree. [. . .]

Be sure and check both of them out — along with the rest of the always excellent Words Without Borders — and for more info on the U of R’s translation programs, click here.

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