“Poetry … is a more philosophical and a higher thing than history: for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular.”

—Aristotle (384-322 BC), Poetics

First Prize:

$100. Publication on the Society’s website and Journal.

Submission Fee:

None

Submit:

Email translations to submissions@classicalpoets.org. Translations should not exceed 108 lines. Translated poetry should be from the Romantic period or earlier. Translations should be metered. Include the poem in its original language.. Rhyme and other traditional techniques are encouraged as well, but not required. (To learn how to write poetry with meter, see a brief beginner’s guide on common iambic meter here or a more elaborate beginner’s guide to many kinds of meter here.)

Deadline:

December 31, 2020, 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners announced February 1, 2021 on our e-Newsletter and on the Society’s homepage.

Judges:

Margaret Coats
Evan Mantyk

Who May Participate?

Anyone from any country of any background. If you are outside the United States, you would need to have a PayPal account to receive the prize money should you win First Place.

Additional Details

The translation should be done in 2020. It may be previously published. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

Past First Place winners and the Society’s executive staff and editors are prohibited from participating.

You do not have to be a Member of the Society to participate.

You will retain ownership of your submitted translation. By submitting it to the Society for publication or for inclusion in the contest, should it rank among winners or receive an honorable mention, you give the Society permission to publish it online on this website, in the Society of Classical Poets Journal, and in publications promoting the SCP’s mission or this annual contest, but the SCP would not be able to sell your individual translation on its own or have any further rights over it beyond these purposes. You could publish it anywhere else or sell it to any publication as desired.

Past Winners

2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013

Poetry Writing Resources

Guides

Poetry Forms

Great Poetry

Ten Greatest Poems
Ten Greatest Love Poems
Ten Greatest Poems about Death

2 Responses

  1. Sondra Rosenberg

    Les Trophees by Heredia is among the finest poetry I’ve ever read. Here are my translations of two of his sonnets.

    Reply
  2. Eddi Bako

    Vorzeit, und neue Zeit
    Ein schmahler rauher Pfad schien sonst die Erde.
    Und auf den Bergen glänzt der Himmel über ihr,
    Ein Abgrund ihr zur Seite war die Hölle,
    Und Pfade führten in den Himmel und zur Hölle.

    Doch alles ist ganz anders nun geworden,
    Der Himmel ist gestürzt, der Abgrund ausgefüllt,
    Und mit Vernunft bedeckt, und sehr bequem zum gehen.

    Des Glaubens Höhen sind nun demolieret.
    Und auf der flachen Erde schreitet der Verstand,
    Und misset alles aus, nach Klafter und nach Schuen.
    Karoline von Günderrode
    (1780–1806)

    Age of yore, and a new age.
    The Earth once seemed a coarse and hemmed-in path.
    Where Heaven gleamed atop its mountain ridges,
    And an abyss that flanked the Earth was Hell,
    With footpaths wending into Heaven and to Hell.

    Today bears not the least resemblance to that age,
    Heaven has caved in, full up is the abyss
    And tarred with reason, and most agreeable to navigate.

    The pinnacles of faith have been demolished.
    And flattened Earth is trudged upon by Mister Intellect
    Surveying everything in sight, in feet and fathoms.

    Reply

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