1.1 Background of the Study
The nature of literature is mainly woven with stylistic inventiveness and deviations in form to (re)create or replicate beauty and provide instruction. In terms of translating works of art, this nature of literature, potentially, makes Wechsler (1998: 4) to confer that ―literary translation is an odd art.‖ If a translator engulfs in replicating the oddity of form (what can affect content in some cases) and aesthetics into another language, so, what he does is making work of art from another language. Therefore, the literary translator, as an artist, should attempt to go in conformity with the author‘s natural and closest style.
These elements of oddity and aesthetics are more visible in poetry translation. Translating a poem is, arguably, as hard as composing it because the translator is bound to apply the ethics of fidelity and Venuti‘s (1995) invisibility while his hands are tied with the condensed structure of poetry, especially the classical one. In the process of translating a poem, the challenge piles up
for the need to encode and harmonise the poetic devices, context and cultural features of the Source Language (SL henceforth) into the Target Language (TL henceforth). According to Apte (2004), the burden in poetry translation occurs because each line should be taken into account and must be given a due consideration in relation to other lines for maintaining the organicity and rhythmical quality of the poem in the TL. After the translation, if the challenging factors have been systematically addressed, the target readers of the translated version may get it natural and functionally communicative.
Therefore, this study appraises Flood‘s (2008) translation of two classical Arabic poems, one by al-Mutanabbi and another one by Abu Nuwas. Flood (2008) collects some previoustranslations of the two poems for reviewing and harmonising. However, Flood fails to render thepoems with functional equivalence in conformity with sound effects, content, compactness,density of imagery among others. Defecting to capture some fundamental features into TargetText (TT henceforth) makes the translated version to lose its original poetic values, bearing inmind that reaching a formal equivalence in poetry translation is hardly achieved. On appraisingthese translated poems by Flood (2008), also, this study argues that translation of poetry can be discharged with conserving the comprehensive ideas and stylistic patterns of the Source Text (SThenceforth) in order to painstakingly get a sort of originality in compliance with domesticity.