5

Type as Visual Form

In One Another

"In One Another," Yoko Tawada, translated by Doug Slaymaker, printed by Alex Brooks

"In One Another," Yoko Tawada, translated by Doug Slaymaker, printed by Alex Brooks

Yoko Tawada is a Japanese poet living in Germany who writes in both Japanese and German.  "In One Another" is printed in traditional Japanese script running vertically and read right to left.  Doug Slaymaker, a Japan Studies professor at the University of Kentucky, translated the poem into English.   Printing the two translations of the poem side by side allows the viewer to appreciate the beauty of both.  The titles are printed in red ink and the Japanese blocked title provides a visual divide between the two poems.  Though there are distinct visual differences in the two printed languages, the printer’s choice of American Uncial as the typeface for the English version complements the ornate Japanese characters.  Alex Brooks uses type and ink color to create a beautifully printed and cohesive broadside.

 

Reif sind in feuer getaucht

"Reif sind in feuer getaucht," J.C.F. Hölderlin, translation by Amos N Wilder, King Library Press

"Reif sind in feuer getaucht," J.C.F. Hölderlin, translation by Amos N Wilder, King Library Press

The German Romantic poet J.C.F Hölderlin’s "Reif sind in feuer getaucht" was chosen as the broadside to celebrate the eighty-fifth birthday anniversary of Carolyn Hammer, founder of the King Library Press.  The typeface and ink color for the broadside serve to display both Hölderlin’s poem in German and its English translation by Amos Wilder with a visible clarity.   Often the layout for printing a poem with a translation is placement of the poems side by side.   Alternating a line of original text with a line of translation creates a highly legible poem.  "Reif sind in feuer getaucht" is printed in Rudolf Koch’s Peter Jessen Schrift type with black ink.  The German poem is slightly larger and more distinct on the page.  The translation is printed in Victor Hammer’s Samson type in a russet red ink.  The printer’s choices serve to produce both the poem and it’s translation as two independent verses, while complimenting one another as a cohesive whole.