This section of the Archive includes book-length translations of Whitman as well as more than thirty different translations, in five languages, of Whitman's poem "Poets to Come." In addition to the introductions to the many translations of "Poets to Come" available via the links below, readers interested in the theoretical issues related to literary translations, digital archives, and Whitman may wish to consult Matt Cohen's essay, "Transgenic Deformation: Literary Translation and the Digital Archive."
- Eventually, we hope to digitize all book-length translations published during Whitman's lifetime as well as important translations that appeared after his death. Currently, the first full-length Spanish-language translation, a two-volume German translation of selected poetry and prose by Whitman, two Russian translations that were important in shaping the reception of Whitman in Russia in the early twentieth century, and a translation of the deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass in Portuguese (by a Brazilian translator) are available.
"Poets to Come"
- In May of 2011, a group of translators and scholars from six different countries met in Iowa City to discuss Whitman in translation. Sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at The University of Iowa, the Obermann Humanities Seminar ("Walt Whitman International: Translation and the Digital Archive") set out to explore how translations of Whitman's work could most effectively become a key component of the online Walt Whitman Archive. The Archive had already begun to make translations of Whitman's work available on the site, but we wanted to investigate ways that translation itself could become a useful tool in understanding Whitman's poetry. This section of the Archive is the outcome of that week-long seminar and more than a year of collaboration in its aftermath.
- Ed Folsom, "Translating 'Poets to Come': An Introduction"
- "Poets to Come" in French
- "Poets to Come" in German
- "Poets to Come" in Italian
- "Poets to Come" in Polish
- "Poets to Come" in Spanish
"Song of Myself"
- The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, in cooperation with the Whitman Archive and supported by a grant from the United States Department of State, has created the WhitmanWeb, a site devoted to translations of Whitman's 1881 version of "Song of Myself" in multiple languages (currently including Persian, Russian, Ukrainian, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese). A new section of the poem, with commentary by Ed Folsom and Christopher Merrill and with a recording in English by Eric Forsythe and a recording in Persian by Sholeh Wolpe, is being posted each week, starting in the fall of 2012 and continuing through the fall of 2013 until all 52 sections appear. This site features the first full translation of "Song of Myself" into Persian. The WhitmanWeb may be accessed here.