An Ode to Translators

Let us take a moment to pause and give thanks for the humble translator, those secret poets who weigh and balance every word and perform the strange alchemy that allows us to drink in the stories of writers around the world and throughout history. They are the ones who open doors in the walls of language. (How do they manage it? I can so easily become tangled in the ropes and coils of language, and I only hold one of them in my head.)

Today I started reading Homer’s Odyssey, one of the earliest pieces of Western literature. Those words have passed through nearly three thousand years on their way to the page that’s ended up in front of my eyes. Three millenia. And along the way they’ve been handed down and translated by many a scholar, rubbed and polished like pebbles in a stream, in a constant search for the impossible – a perfect constellation of words.

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