Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


‘Silhouettes’ (original title: Schattenrisse) is a cycle of poems in German from Zafer Şenocak’s unpublished poetry collection called 'Lose Zukunft' (Loose Future). I have translated the poems into English for a special issue of modern German poetry in translation.

Zafer Şenocak is a Turkish-German poet, novelist, political and philosophical essayist, editor, translator, and newspaper columnist, who was born in Ankara, Turkey, in 1961, and now lives and works in Berlin.

The translator is challenged with identifying the correct nuance of meanings when words are dislocated from each other because of unusual word combinations and when the understated contexts in each poem deliver minimal references to the speaking situation. The economy of words tests the translator’s ability to be concise and compact where German has the advantage over English. The absence of punctuation ruptures the relationships between words and destabilises meanings. Without punctuation, the text flows without interruptions, sometimes allowing for pauses with spaces between lines, and in contrast, the reader stalls when trying to re-join what has been disconnected, by bringing words together into a relationship, and responding to the new ways in which the words resonate with each other.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationModern Poetry in Translation
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021


  • German Poetry
  • translation


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