On Translating Herbert
Still, I think The Collected Poems is worth owning. First, The Collected Poems does include (almost verbatim) the entire Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott translations of The Selected Poems (an effort Hofmann sniffs at but expresses no real criticism of). Secondly, the translations by Alissa Valles may not be the ideal Herbert, but they are the Herbert we are likely to have in English and in one place for the forseeable future, and you ought not deny yourself the ready exposure to Herbert's work. I agree that the examples given by Hofmann suggest that the Carpenters may offer superior English renderings of Herbert's work; the Valles translations are still worthwhile.
For whatever flaws it may have, this is an important book.
"A Dead Necktie" by Michael Hofmann, POETRY, (May, 2007)
For an admiring review of the Valles translations, see Mark Rudman's comments in BOOKFORUM.
Here is a link: