I do not think Marina Tsvetaeva

Translated any poems lately? If so, then why not post them here?

I do not think Marina Tsvetaeva

Postby cynwulf » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:18 pm

The poem is untitled.

Не думаю, не жалуюсь, не спорю.
Не сплю.
Не рвусь ни к солнцу, ни к луне, ни к морю,
Ни к кораблю.

Не чувствую, как в этих стенах жарко,
Как зелено в саду.
Давно желанного и жданного подарка
Не жду.

Не радует ни утро, ни трамвая
Звенящий бег.
Живу, не видя дня позабывая
Число и век.

На, кажется, надрезанном канате
Я- маленький плясун.
Я- тень от чьей-то тени. Я- лунатик
Двух темных лун.

Literal translation

Not I think, not I complain, not I argue.
Not I sleep.
Not I long for neither to sun, nor to moon, nor to sea,
nor to ship.

Not I feel, how in these walls warm,
how green in garden.
Long ago wished-for and waited-for present
not I await.

Not gladdens neither morning, nor tram's
clanging run.
I live, not seeing day,forgetting
date and century.

On, it seems, notched rope
I-small dancer(noun in masculine gender).
I-shadow from someone's shadow. I-lunatic
of two dark moons.

Free translation.

I do not think, or argue, or complain.
I do not sleep.
I long for neither sun, nor moon,
nor sea, nor ship.

I do not sense how warm it is within these walls,
or how green the garden;
the hoped-for gift, long desired, well
beyond regarding.

Neither morning nor the tramcar's
clanging race
make me glad. I live, not seeing daytime stir,
forgetting century and date.

I seem to be a tiny dancer on a rope
half-sawn through.
I am a shadow of someone's shadow, mad dupe
of two dark moons.
Last edited by cynwulf on Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I do not think Marina Tsvetaeva

Postby David » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:52 pm

Ah, I do like these Russian translations of yours, C. And always Marina Tsvetaeva? She does seem a great poet, from what I can (obscurely) see.

It's a good translation, too. Typically, though, I will carp about a few things, and - as usual, I think - it's about the need not to upgrade words unnecessarily (in my mind, anyway).

So, long is better than yearn , and feel is better than sense. (Or is it? May not be sure about that one.) And lunatic is better than dupe (and unavoidable with those moons, surely?)

And tiny dancer has for lots of people, including me - but possibly not you? - an Elton John connotation.

But I do like this one.


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Re: I do not think Marina Tsvetaeva

Postby Macavity » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:14 pm

hi C.

Agree with David on yearn/sense though not that keen on the plain alternatives either, but do like dupe, and my music preferences don't include EJ.


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Re: I do not think Marina Tsvetaeva

Postby Antcliff » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:31 pm

Enjoyed it, C. As I do with your translations.

I wondered about "beyond regarding". I tend to link "regarding" with judgement....hold in "high regard" etc...and so read "beyond regarding" as suggesting being even beyond assessing thought. But is such a strong implication intended? I may be wrong.

We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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Re: I do not think Marina Tsvetaeva

Postby cynwulf » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:38 pm

I am grateful for your comments, always good to get some feedback.

I am sure you're right, David, about the danger of upgrading words. It's rare to get a one to one relation in meaning as there are different clouds of connotation
around near synonyms between languages. the word I have translated literally as 'longs' is also literally translatable as 'die for', but I agree 'longs' is a better register here and will edit in. I stick by 'sense' though, as 'feel' to me has a tactile/ mechano-temperature receptor or emotional quality, I used a more general word to cover the visual quality in greenness. I tried to keep lunatic,but failed to keep any suggestion of rhyme if I did-there's a lot of chiming in the Russian of the last verse-plyasoon (dancer), loonatik and loon (genitive plural of moon), I tried to get near the effect with sawn, someone's, moons. I'd missed the EJ link.

Thanks mac. I've replied (I hope) to your points in my answer to David.

Ah yes, Seth... 'words strain, crack...' I've just looked up 'regard' in the OED- it gives 12 distinct meanings, including yours. I intended the cloud round 'pay attention to, take into account, consider..' . Thanks for your appreciation.

Best wishes,c.
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