News – USA – Marieke Lucas Rijneveld writes a poem about Amanda Gorman Furore


Exclusive: In Everything Inhabitable, published in the Guardian, the Dutch writer responds to controversy over the decision to appoint a white translator for the book of the black poet

International Booker winner Marieke Lucas Rijneveld wrote a poem in response to the controversy that erupted after she withdrew from translating Amanda Gorman’s poems into Dutch I’m not your place “

The non-binary author and poet was announced by Dutch publisher Meulenhoff as the translator of Gorman’s upcoming collection The Hill We Climb, named after the poem Gorman performed at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden in January After, however Questions were raised in the press and on social media as to why the translator of the book wasn’t a “spoken word artist, young, feminine and apologetically black” like Gorman, Rijneveld said they would withdraw from the project

“I am shocked at the turmoil associated with my involvement in spreading Amanda Gorman’s message, and I understand the people who are hurt by Meulenhoff’s decision to ask me,” they said in this week a statement “I had happily devoted myself to Amanda’s translation and considered my greatest task to be to maintain her strength, tone and style, however, I understand that I am able to think and feel that way wherever many are not ”

Now Rijneveld, who won the International Booker for his debut novel The Discomfort of Evening, has responded to the subsequent reaction in a poem: Everything habitable, translated by Michele Hutchinson and printed exclusively in English by the Guardian on Saturday explained In the poem Rijneveld in the second person, how they are “against the boxing of all humanity” and how they “have never been too lazy to get up, face all bullies and fight with their fists against the drawer / raised”

The poem’s voice has “never lost this resistance,” continues the poem, and yet “is able to grasp when it / not your place, when you have to kneel for a poem because / another person can make it more habitable “

This is not, they write, “out of displeasure, not out of dismay, but because you know / there is so much inequality, people are still discriminated against”

The poem ends with a cry for togetherness and “brotherhood” and with the admission that “maybe your / hand is not yet powerful enough”

“You have to actively feel the hope that you are doing something to make the world a better place, although you must remember this: after kneeling, get up again and straighten our backs,” writes Rijneveld

Earlier this week, Meulenhoff said that Rijneveld had been chosen by Gorman himself, but that the publisher understood the decision to withdraw. The publisher said he would now look for a new team, “to follow Amanda’s words and message of hope and To bring inspiration into translation as best as possible and in their minds “but no names have been announced yet

Amanda Gorman, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, poet

News – USA – Marieke Lucas Rijneveld writes a poem about Amanda Gorman Furore
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