Foregrounding and Creative Translation: Stylistic Deviation in the English Translation of Bulleh Shah’s Poetry

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Mehvish Riaz


English as an international language is an immensely impeccable instrument to introduce any literature to the world. Punjabi mystic poetry has been translated to apprise the global audience with the belief system and message of the Punjabi mystic poets. The study aims at doing a stylistic analysis of English translation of the poetry created by the renowned Punjabi mystic poet Baba Bulleh Shah. The stylistic features of 21 poems, translated by Kartar Singh Duggal have been analyzed based on deviation and repetition as foregrounding devices on phonological, lexical, syntactic, and semantic levels in specific, and phonological rhyming, choice of diction, and semantic implications in general. Types of deviation suggested by Leech (1969) inform the analysis. Results show that grammatical and semantic deviation can be found on a large scale. Repetition on the lexical, syntactic, and phonological levels can also be found. Lexical deviation in the form of code-mixing can be found on a small scale. Moreover, the poems are rich in themes that are specific to the spiritual, as well as practical life of human beings.

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