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Print Poem June 23, 2000
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James Merrill
"Lost in Translation"
1976

The poem "Lost in Translation" is a distillation of all the virtues of James Merrill's work: density, brilliance, and eloquence. It's about a lost translation, loss through translation, loss, and translation, but it's also about the loneliness of a little boy whose parents are going through a divorce. I've read this poem a dozen times, will probably read it a dozen more, and never tire of it. The verse was first published in Divine Comedies, which also contains "The Book of Ephraim," and while it's currently out of print, the collection is well worth tracking down.


"Lost in Translation" lives in the Print category

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