We here in the US are shitty. Also the rest of the world is shitty. Reading books in translation reminds us of this. The rest of the world is as shitty as we are, only it’s a different kind of shit, and the poets have different approaches to documenting and responding to the shit. And we understand through translation that all the countries are shit.
On the Best American Poetry blog, a discussion about the eroding but enduring importance of reading poetry in translation—for writers, global citizens, and basically all users of language.