Sunday, April 10, 2011

more NaPoWriMo

So, I am having lots of good ideas. It's hard not to sit down and not only hammer out each poem but burnish it to a smooth shine. I can't wait to edit some of these.
Here's today's.

Desire is lithe, and as transient as a phoneme.
Christ, that proud bitch tearing over the yards!
A couple of curs and Ezra’s bluetick fly after her
turning their heads to nip at each other mid-leap.
And there’s my own on the scent. Law would be
on any man’s side to shoot her,
but no man with a dog in the race would.

This is verymuch not what it is supposed to be.
Here's my translation from the other day and the original.

Hälfte des Lebens
By Friedrich Hölderlin

Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See,
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Küssen
Tunkt ihr das Haupt
Ins heilignüchterne Wasser.
Weh mir, wo nehm’ ich, wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Den Sonnenschein,
Und Schatten der Erde?
Die Mauern stehn
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.


Yellow pears hang there,
there thick with wild roses
the land [a reflection? a kingdom.] in the sea
in whose holy sobering water,
sweet swans drunk on kisses,
you dip your heads.

Sorrowing. Where can I store up,
for my wintering, flowers
and sunshine and shadows on the earth?
The walls stand speechless and cold
in the wind which makes
weathervanes chatter.

This is a pretty liberal translation. My literal translation was almost perfect for what it was, but I wanted to translate the tone, if not the meaning, more than just the words.
I'm excited about translating, now. And have already picked out a couple of volumes of poetry by living German writers that i want to try to read/translate.

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