Archive for ‘Translation’

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

To Poems by Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkosky

My poems: fledglings, heirs,
Plaintiffs and executors,
The silent ones, the loud,
The humble and the proud.

As soon as the shovel of time
Threw me onto the potter’s wheel—
Myself without kith or kin—
I grew beneath the hand, a miracle.

Something stretched out my long neck
And hollowed round my soul
And marked on my back
Legends of flowers and leaves.

I stoked the birch in the fire
As Daniel commanded
And blessed my red temper
Until I spoke as a prophet.

I had long been the earth—
Arid, ochre, forlorn since birth—
But you fell on my chest by chance
From beaks of birds, from eyes of grass.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/54749/to-poems

Date: 1983 (original in Russian); 2011 (translation in English)

By: Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky (1907-1989)

Translated by: Philip J. Metres III (1970- )

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Saturday, 17 August 2019

Flies Like Thoughts by Innokenty Annensky

Flies, like black thoughts, have not quit me all day …
                                                                   A. N. Apukhtin (1840–1893)

I’ve grown weary of sleeplessness, dreams.
Locks of hair hang over my eyes:
I would like, with the poison of rhymes,
to drug thoughts I cannot abide.

I would like to unravel these knots …
Or is the whole thing a mistake?
In late autumn the flies are such pests –
their cold wings so horribly sticky.

Fly-thoughts crawl about, as in dreams,
they cover the paper in black …
Oh, how dead, and how dreadful they seem …
Tear them up, burn them up – quick!

From: Chandler, Robert, Dralyuk, Boris and Mashinski, Irina (eds.), The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, 2015, Penguin Random House UK: London, p. 122.
(https://books.google.com.au/books/about/The_Penguin_Book_of_Russian_Poetry.html?id=V8xbBAAAQBAJ)

Date: 1904 (original in Russian); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Innokenty Annensky (1855-1909)

Translated by: Boris Dralyuk (19??- )

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

I And by Tridib Mitra

Autumn’s phantasmagorical tempest
I at the door of 1964
wooden knocks–who are you wood pecker?
What is this?
Shocked vision
chances dreams haha reality’s become more dense
Pooooooooooeeeeeet
still boozed in love?
Gibbet
another revolt squanders like 1857 thrashes
Fire in Shantiniketan, fire here at Calcutta
In Midnapore Shyambazar Khalasitola
Fire in eyes face heart cock
This fireball gnarling
in happiness hatred pain intellect dream reality
All—junk–ho ho smoke net—
tinsel like groundnut
all around chirping
afar angry shadows roar, flounder on earth…

From: http://graffiti-kolkata.blogspot.com/2009/08/hungryalist-poems.html

Date: ?1964 (original in Bengali); ?2009 (translation in English)

By: Tridib Mitra (1940- )

Translated by: Tridib Mitra (1940- )

Saturday, 10 August 2019

A Withered Rose by Muhammad Iqbal

How shall I call you now a flower—
Tell me, oh withered rose!
How call you that beloved for whom
The nightingale’s heart glows?
The winds’ soft ripples cradled you
And rocked your bygone hours,
And your name once was Laughing Rose
In the country of flowers;
With the dawn breezes that received
Your favours you once played,
Like a perfumer’s vase your breath
Sweetened the garden glade.

These eyes are full, and drops like dew
Fall thick on you again;
This desolate heart finds dimly its
Own image in your pain,
A record drawn in miniature
Of all its sorry gleaming;
My life was all a life of dreams,
And you—you are its meaning.
I tell my stories as the reed
Plucked from its native wild
Murmurs; oh Rose, listen! I tell
The grief of hearts exiled.

From: Iqbal, Muhammad and Kiernan, V. G. (ed. and transl.), Poems from Iqbal, 1955, John Murray: London, p. 1.
(https://archive.org/details/in.gov.ignca.2950/)

Date: before 1905 (original in Urdu); 1955 (translation in English)

By: Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938)

Translated by: Edward Victor Gordon Kiernan (1913-2009)

Monday, 5 August 2019

Women’s Chorus from “Thesmophoriazusae [Women at the Thesmophoria]” by Aristophanes

They’re always abusing the women,
As a terrible plague to men:
They say we’re the root of all evil,
And repeat it again and again;
Of war, and quarrels, and bloodshed,
All mischief, be what it may:
And pray, then, why do you marry us,
If we’re all the plagues you say?{145}
And why do you take such care of us,
And keep us so safe at home,
And are never easy a moment,
If ever we chance to roam?
When you ought to be thanking heaven
That your Plague is out of the way—
You all keep fussing and fretting—
“Where is my Plague to-day?”
If a Plague peeps out of the window,
Up go the eyes of the men;
If she hides, then they all keep staring
Until she looks out again.

From: Collins, W. Lucas, Aristophanes, 1872, William Blackwood and Sons: Edinburgh and London, pp. 144-145.
(https://www.gutenberg.org/files/59107/59107-h/59107-h.htm#CHAPTER_VIII)

Date: 411 BCE (original in Greek); 1872 (translation in English)

By: Aristophanes (c446-c386 BCE)

Translated by: William Lucas Collins (1815-1887)

Thursday, 25 July 2019

O God! These People! by Mohammad Hanif Hairan

O God! Change these people so that
Nobody will die by another’s hand.
End cruelty so that
An ant won’t die by someone’s hand.
O God, for any thing to which you have given a soul
These things should never die by someone else’s hand.
Reserve everyone’s cruelty to their eyes
So no living thing will die by someone else’s hand,
No traveller will be bitten by someone else’s dog,
And nobody’s dog will be killed by someone else’s hand.

From: van Linschoten, Alex Strick and Kuehn, Felix (eds.), Poetry of the Taliban: Translated by Mirwais Rahmany and Hamid Stanikzai, 2012, Columbia University Press: New York, p. 194.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=EUcBwQEACAAJ)

Date: 2008

By: Mohammad Hanif Hairan (19??- )

Translated by: Mirwais Rahmany (1983- ) and Hamid Stanikzai (19??- )

Monday, 15 July 2019

Sonnet [I Love the First Shiver of Winter] by Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay

I love the first shiver of winter! That day
When the stubble resists the hunter’s foot,
When magpies settle on fields fragrant with hay,
And deep in the old chateau, the hearth is lit.

That’s the city time. I remember last year,
I came back and saw the good Louvre and its dome,
Paris and its smoke—that whole realm so dear.
(I can still hear the postilions shouting, “We’re home!”)

I loved the gray weather, the strollers, the Seine
Under a thousand lanterns, sovereign!
I’d see winter, and you, my love, you!

Madame, I’d steep my soul in your glances,
But did I even realize the chances
That soon your heart would change for me too?

From: Rogow, Zack, “Three Poems by Alfred de Musset” in Transference, Volume 6, Issue 1, Article 15, 2008, p. 66.
(https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/transference/vol6/iss1/15)

Date: 1829 (original in French), 2008 (translation in English)

By: Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay (1810-1857)

Translated by: Zack Rogow (1952- )

Sunday, 14 July 2019

The Marseillaise by Paul Déroulède

Have pity on yourselves and cease that song;
In silence, when the hour comes, march along
Like vanquished heroes whose undaunted breath
Whispers one word: ‘Revenge!’ — or haply ‘Death!’

Yet hear the accursëd story and be stirred:
Or if your ears in bygone days have heard
On many a trembling tongue the twice-told tale
‘Tis well; no need drive home the hammered nail!

You love, no doubt you love, our people’s hymn?
You love its sacred rage, its transports grim:
And, like proud sons, you feel in its song-fires
The quenchless spirit of your puissant sires.
Its rousing voice recalls our flag unfurled,
Floating to the four corners of the world,
Nations struck dumb and kings that looked askance;
You think of that? Our great and glorious France!
Think of this too, the day of our defeat,
Sedan — a name that with bowed heads you greet —
Frenchmen, remember in that surge of woes,
When conquered France surrendered to her foes,
When in crushed souls our soldiers bore unmanned
The mangled ghost of the poor fatherland,
When all was lost and leaving the fought field
Our troops, disarmed, were forced at last to yield —
O unforgotten blow! O worst of evil days!
Loud from the Prussian trumpets shrilled the Marseillaise!

From: Robertson, William John (ed. and transl.), A Century of French Verse: Brief biographical and critical notices of thirty-three French poets of the nineteenth century with experimental translations from their poems, 1895, A. D. Innes & Co.: London, p. 299.
(https://archive.org/details/centuryoffrenchv00roberich/)

Date: 1872 (original in French); 1895 (translation in English)

By: Paul Déroulède (1846-1914)

Translated by: William John Robertson (1846-1894)

Saturday, 13 July 2019

The Dark Blot [Le Point Noir] by Gérard de Nerval (Labrunie)

He who has gazed against the sun sees everywhere
he looks thereafter, palpitating on the air
before his eyes, a smudge that will not go away.

So in my days of still-youth, my audacity,
I dared look on the splendor momentarily.
The dark blot on my greedy eyes has come to stay.

Since when, worn like a badge of mourning in the sight
of all around me where my eye may chance to light,
I see the dark smudge settle upon everyone.

Forever thus between my happiness and me?
Alas for us, the eagle only, only he
can look, and not be hurt, on splendor and the sun.

From: Flores, Angel (ed.), The Anchor Anthology of French Poetry from Nerval to Valéry in English Translation, 2000, Anchor Books: New York, pp. 8-9.
(https://books.google.com.au/books/about/The_Anchor_Anthology_of_French_Poetry.html?id=nKOmHZXl5JgC)

Date: 1853 (original in French); 1958 (translation in English)

By: Gérard de Nerval (Labrunie) (1808-1855)

Translated by: Richmond Alexander Lattimore (1906-1984)

Monday, 1 July 2019

A Fragment [Doing, a Filthy Pleasure Is, and Short] by Gaius Petronius Arbiter

Doing, a filthy pleasure is, and short;
and done, we straight repent us of the sport:
let us not rush blindly on unto it,
like lustful beasts, that only know to do it:
for lust will languish, and that heat decay,
but thus, thus, keeping endless holy-day,
let us together closely lie, and kiss,
there is no labor, nor no shame in this;
this hath pleased, doth please and long will please; never can this decay,
but is beginning ever.

From: Roetzheim, William (ed.), The Giant Book of Poetry, 2006, Level Four Press, San Diego, California, p. 33.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=b90iAAAACAAJ)

Date: c60 (original in Latin); 1640 (translation in English)

By: Gaius Petronius Arbiter (c27-66)

Translated by: Ben Jonson (1572-1637)