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Cultural Transfer in Translation. Seamus Heaney’s Poetry: A Case Study

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The present article sets out to investigate the rendering of cultural elements in the process of poetry translation, an undertaking that is a strenuous one, given the constraints of form. It looks into and illustrates the many layers of Seamus Heaney’s poetry, pointing at the profusion of allusions to cultural aspects that are embedded in the texts, and that ask the translator to decide whether to “foreignize” or “domesticate” the text. These extratextual features that a translator needs to consider are imbricated with the various textual elements, generating effects that are difficult to replicate in translation, making similarity of effect all the more difficult to achieve.