Poetry from the Edwin Morgan Trust’s Scotland-Hungary translation workshop, Hunger Like Starlings feels like an embodiment of an afternoon concerning Edwin Morgan’s connection with Budapest and the translations that he did for Hungarian writers. In conjunction with the Edwin Morgan Trust, Tapsalteerie have published a pamphlet that demonstrates a connection between Scottish and Hungarian poets and their efforts in the translation process of each other’s work.
Hunger Like Starlings, titled after Mónika Ferencz poem, which translates to this title, is not your usual poetry pamphlet with an introduction to not only the work that it is showcasing but also on Morgan’s connection to Hungarian poets and the New Hungarian Quarterly. This seems like an interestingly exploratory piece of work that considers Edwin Morgan, translation, the poetry of three Scottish and three Hungarian poets, and much bird imagery.
Hunger Like Starlings sets the tone well for this collection of work, as there is much bird imagery or metaphor throughout the collection. With flight and freedom being as universal subjects as any, there are threads within the works of these poets. Featuring original poems and translations by Mónika Ferencz, Iain Galbraith, Em Strang, Balázs Sz?ll?ssy, Krisztina Tóth and Kate Tough, Hunger Like Starlings, isn’t entirely dedicated to the work of Morgan, and more his connections and processes.
An intimate pamphlet of work that concludes a workshop, this isn’t the easiest of works to read and certainly review. The physical aspect of the workshop almost feels like it regards consideration, and that seems distinctly experimental, preliminary and probing, and that seems refreshing. The poems themselves are unique, the translations difficult to ascertain as I myself am sadly not well-versed in Hungarian but to involve poets in this binding and this process I have to commend, keeping the cultural differences and yet common threads in poetry alive. And certainly an ambitious effort to publish these findings within this pamphlet, and where else would you find this kind of experimental work, aside from Tapsalteerie.
Hunger Like Starlings is available now, published by Tapsalteerie