Translating Poetry, Literally

In this class we were tasked with creating abstract representations of poetry in two different forms: in a still and moving piece. In these challenges, we were urged to think beyond the literal meaning of the piece and into ways to convey the meaning in designed metaphors. However, there exists artists that work on the opposite end of this spectrum as well. Julian Peters is an artist who takes famous works such as T.S. Eliot’s Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and creates a comic that interprets and visualizes the lines quite literally. So, instead of considering meaning, we as an audience are instead led to look at the word choice and imagery presented in the poem, both challenging and deepening what we initally consider the poem to be about. When one sees a metaphor at the surface level, we are forced to cast away at least a little bit of our preconceived notions of what it may be, and see the ‘love song’ as it is truly written.

 

prufrock5

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

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