Throughout history, literary translators have sought to make texts accessible to readers who would otherwise be prevented from understanding them because of language barriers. However, there are cases in which the process of translation is undertaken by writers whose purpose in rendering certain texts into their native language is to incorporate the themes, techniques, and interests of the source into their own creative processes. Such, I venture, is the case of Mexican avant-garde poet Gilberto Owen, whose translations can be seen as a core component of his work, both in terms of output, but also, and more importantly, of aesthetic exploration. This paper examines the themes of journey and homecoming, as well as the quest for identity and the encounter with the other, that are found in Owen’s translations, as well as the way they eventually impacted the creation of his signature poem “Sindbad Stranded.”

KEYWORDS: the poet as translator, translator’s subjectivity, translation as creation, Gilberto Owen, Mexican poetry, Contemporáneos