Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

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

Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

Postby cynwulf » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:31 am

ВСТУПЛЕНИЕ I

Уводили тебя на рассвете,
за тобой, как на выносе, шла,
в темной горнице плакали дети,
у божницы свеча оплила.
На губах твоих холод иконки.
Смертный пот на челе...Не забыть!
Буду я, как стрелецкие женки,
под кремлевскими башнями выть.
Москва, осень 1935

Literal Translation
PROLOGUE I

They took you away at dawn,
behind you, like on bearing out (corpse), I walked,
in dark front room cried children,
by shrine candle guttered.
On lips your cold small ikons.
Mortal sweat on brow...not to forget! (a very emphatic form of the imperative, not the usual form)
Shall be I,like the Strelitz' poor little wives,
under Kremlin turrets to wail.
Moscow, Autumn 1935

Interpretation
PROLOGUE I

They carried you away at first light,
I followed, like one at a funeral rite,
in the dark front room children wept,
by the shrine the candle dripped.
Small ikons lay cold across your lips.
Death's sweat on your brow...I daren't forget!
Like the desolate wives of Peter's troops,
I'll wait and keen under the Kremlin turrets
Moscow, Autumn 1935
cynwulf
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:20 pm

Re: Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

Postby Macavity » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:40 pm

Shall I be like Strelitz' poor little wives,
under Kremlin's turrets to wail.


In general, I found the interpretation more readable, except for the above which I felt you could have just tweaked a little. I guess fluidity is what prompts you to an 'interpretation'. A full-stop after rite?

hope that helps some

mac
Macavity
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
 
Posts: 4546
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

Postby David » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:08 pm

Very good. Sometimes I think that your literal translation has qualities that get lost in the more polished "interpretation", but I don't feel that here at all.

Admirable rhyming too! Hard to rhyme convincingly in translation, I think, but you seem to manage it here.

Cheers

David

P.S. Is there a YouTube reading of this? I like to know how things sound.
David
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 13117
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

Postby Antcliff » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:13 am

I vote for the Interpretation as well. Far more readable.

Why the shift from the presumably more specific "Strelitz" to "Peter's"?

SEth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur
Antcliff
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6600
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:35 am
Location: At the end of stanza 3

Re: Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

Postby cynwulf » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:29 am

Thank you for commenting and making me ponder.

mac, your comment is backed by Seth so perhaps the last two lines need another look. It wd be fairly easy to recast this I think--perhaps
I'll be like the widows of the Strelitz,
wailing by the Kremlin turrets. tho that may be a little too trochaic.
I felt that while a Russian reader wd understand the reference to the torture and brutal executions of the Strelitz following their rebellion against Peter the Great in 1698 it wd be lost on most western readers, and so I tried to make the Strelitz reference specific to Peter's time.

I haven't found a reading of just this section, David, but there are some of the whole of Rekviem:
[youtube]https://youtu.be/P-7yKgBfro[/youtube] has the poet herself reading . The bit I have translated comes after 4 minutes or so. The sound 'marooce' is prominent at the end of the previous section so you may be able to pick it up from there. The 2nd line of the actual extract is easy to recognise from the prominent 'taboy' at the start and 'shla' at the end of this line. If this link doesn't work you can get the video by typing Golos Akhmatovoy Rekviem on Youtube which brings up an English version, the version you need is on the side bar probably 2nd down , loaded by ytrickbuy, the Russian title of the clip is
Голос Ахматовой Реквием.

Seth, I put the literal translation on to let readers see whether I'm departing too much from the original and getting too near writing my own poem, and losing the original intent of the author. I hope my reply to mac answers your question.

Best wishes, c.
cynwulf
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:20 pm

Re: Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

Postby oggiesnr » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:20 pm

Of the two versions I prefer the interpretation for many of the reasons already given.

My one reservation is the change of "dawn" to "first light". The whole idea of the dawn raid is very powerful (and has given rise to a host of literature and song) and I think that you lose those connations by the change.

Steve
oggiesnr
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:28 pm

Re: Fm Rekviem, Akhmatova

Postby cynwulf » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:17 pm

Thank you for your comment, Steve. Certainly, Kunitz and most other translators use 'dawn' . The first two lines could be tweaked, trying to retain A's rhyme scheme, to something like:

They carried you off at dawn
I walked behind like one who mourns

While gaining the connotations you mention, I think this revision loses something of the formal tragedy of the processional scene.

Regards, c.
cynwulf
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:20 pm


Return to Post-a-Translation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group