In this article, I reflect on my own practice in translating Duncan Bàn Macintyre’s eighteenth-century Gaelic poem, Moladh Beinn Dóbhrain
, into a twenty-first century ‘ecopoem’. Macintyre’s Moladh Beinn Dóbhrain
has been praised for its naturalism. My translation of this long poem emphasises the immediacy and biological specificity of Macintyre’s descriptions. I explore how the act of translation might intersect with contemporary ecological concerns. My poem is not simply a translation, but incorporates Moladh Beinn Dóbhrain
into a new work which juxtaposes a free English version of Macintyre’s work with original material concerned with contemporary research into deer behaviour and ideas of ecological interconnectedness, including biosemiotics and Timothy Morton’s ‘dark ecology’. This article is a reflection on my production of a twenty-first century excavation and reimagining of Macintyre’s Moladh Beinn Dóbhrain
. I consider how the difficulties of translation might be turned into imaginative opportunities, and explore how translation has the potential to function as exposition and expansion of an original text, in order to create a poem which is itself an ecosystem, comprising of multiple ecological, cultural and political interactions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited