Is ekphrasis a kind of translation? Or translation a kind of ekphrasis? What kind of ekphrasis? Which sort of translation? On Being Drawn, by MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole, is a meditation on receptivity and composition, sensation and sympathy. Braiding drawings by artist Terry Winters, poems Cole wrote in response to them, and a prose commentary that explores the often synaesthetic meeting of mediums, this cahier asks what it might mean to ‘translate experience’. In the process, it reflects on the primary yet mysterious role mediation plays in all we see and do, hear and know.
The twelve drawings Cole ‘translated’ into ‘original poems’ were selected from the eighty or so included in the Drawing Center in New Yorkshow that opened in April 2018.