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Literature: Poetry in Translation

Finding Poems

A great place to start your search is the shelves of Long Library! We've got a collection of works of poetry that you can check out whenever you like.

SEARCH TIP: When you're using the catalog, try searching the name of your poet and "translation," "criticism," or "bibliography." This will focus your results and narrow down your search to what is actually helpful for your research.

Web Sources

Poems, audio recordings, information on poets, and more. From the publishers of Poetry Magazine.

Includes full text and audio recordings of more, with a strength in poetry from the United Kingdom.

Offers thousands of free ebooks, many of them translations of important authors. You can search or browse by author, title, and language.

"MPT...affirms the vital importance of poetry in the modern world. It brings the best new translations, essays and reviews that address such characteristic signs of our times as exile, the movement of peoples, the search for asylum, and the speaking of languages outside their native home."

"Poetry in Translation is a niche, digital publisher providing modern, high-quality open access translations of classic texts by famous poets alongside original poetry and critical works."

"The Poetry Translation Centre gives the best poems from Africa, Asia and Latin America a new life in the English language, working with diaspora communities for whom poetry is of great importance."

"A literary organization for contemporary poets from all around the world."

Highlights contemporary and historical poets, often featuring one or more poems.

Free, downloadable recordings of poets reading their own and others' works. From the University of Pennsylvania.

Online collection of poetry resources including poems, audio recordings, small magazines, and more. From the University at Buffalo.

Wide variety of avant-garde art, including contemporary poetry, visual poetry, and conceptual writing.

The Greek and Roman Materials collection contains Greek and Latin texts, often with English translations, for many Classical authors.

"The Scottish Poetry Library is a unique national resource and advocate for the art of poetry, and Scottish poetry in particular. "

"The Blake Archive was conceived as an international public resource that would provide unified access to major works of visual and literary art that are highly disparate, widely dispersed, and more and more often severely restricted as a result of their value, rarity, and extreme fragility."


Finding Scholarly Sources

While you're finding translations of your poems, it's also important to find out what other scholars have said about these poems and these translations. You can use the databases listed below to start your search: 

SEARCH TIP: Because you're looking for sources both BY your poet and ABOUT your poet, you can choose to search your poet's name as either an "Author/Creator" or a "Subject." This is the case with all of the databases listed here, so take advantage of the chance to narrow down your results and save yourself time. 

Research Tips

Are you worried about how long it's going to take you to read through all of the sources you've just found? Fear not! Follow some of these tips to help you save time--work smarter, not harder!

  • Using the Table of Contents and Index

Before you decide whether a book is going to be useful or not, take a look at the table of contents to see what topics the author covers. You can also search the index in the back of the book for topics that are important for your research. 

  • Digging in the Footnotes

If you find a source that looks like it might be helpful, go to the end of the book or article and check what sources that author used. Look at the "References," "Works Cited," "Bibliography," or whatever else the list of sources is called and see what you can use for your own research.

  • Focusing on the Introduction and Conclusion

If you're really pressed for time, you can get a really quick idea of what a book or article is about by reading the introduction and conclusion. The introduction can set up what the author wants to argue, and the conclusion tells us what the author argued in the book and what that argument means more broadly. 

Digital Research Tools

Worried about losing your sources? Trying to keep everything organized?

Try downloading either of there digital tools to help you keep track of your sources, stay organized, and even generate citations at the end of your project:

Downloading Zotero gives you a simple way to store your sources and generate citations. 

PowerNotes can help you organize your sources into outlines and track your research throughout the process.

Interlibrary Loan

Found the perfect book but Long Library doesn't own a copy? You can request it for FREE through Interlibrary Loan! Simply search the title using our Discovery Service and you might see the screen below.

Sign in using your Wells credentials and then click "Resource Sharing." You'll see a brief form but all you have to do is confirm that the correct email is listed and then click "Send Request."

Finding Poet Biographies

If you're looking for more information about the poets you're researching, try some of these databases:

SEARCH TIP: Look at the "Related Sources" or "Further Reading" sections for ideas of where to find sources for your project.

You can also find information about your poet in the library catalog.

SEARCH TIP: Search your author's name and "biography."

Web Sources

Google Web Search

If you're not having any luck with sources in the library, try a Google search using your poet's name and "biography." 

SEARCH TIP: However, it is important to be cautious about using online sources in your academic research. Be sure to check that your information is coming from an authoritative source that you trust. 

Read more here.

Reference Librarian

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Rebecca Johnston
Louis Jefferson Long Library, Room 200A
Wells College
Aurora, NY

Reference Help

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