Translation Ethics

Is it ethical for a translator to improve a poem while translating it? For example, if a poem in the source language uses a cliche, does the translator have to find an equivalent cliche in the target language, or is it okay to substitute some fresh language? (This question assumes that the cliche in the source text is not used intentionally, ironically, etc.)

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Humanities at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press (2001). He lives with his wife Carole, two Jack Russell terriers, Jett & Penny, & a Chocolate Lab, Angel, on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.