Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus

WHAT WILL HER ANSWER BE


waxwings

Recommended Posts

Within life’s hurried, quick, relentless stream,

what is, for me, a slow and endless night

is but a blink, mere trifle of a dream,

that tiny silver pin she took, star-bright

like my soul’s agony now made sublime,

pinned by her careless hand to quake in fright

on that cold, dark and boundless cloth of time.

Edited by waxwings
Link to post
Share on other sites
Within life's hurried, quick, relentless stream,

what is, for me, a slow and endless night

is but a blink, mere trifle of a dream,

that tiny silver pin she took, star-bright

like my soul's agony now made sublime,

pinned by her careless hand to quake in fright

on that cold, dark and boundless cloth of time.

 

Good to see you posting poems WW. The word 'canopus' certainly had me googling and there is a grandeur to the writing with the theme of time and eternity, the Romantic word choice of 'sublime' and the phrase 'cloth of time'. I particularly enjoyed 'pinned by her careless hand'. Encapsulated the indifference. 'endless night' reminded me of some favourite lines from Blake:

 

Every night and every morn

Some to misery are born.

Every morn and every night

Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,

Some are born to endless night.

 

badge

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your reaction pleases me, for this is another of my poems originally written in Latvian ca. 1947. The English version original is from 1974 and has been reworked a zillion times. When I wrote that I had a hard time finding a decent phrase to 'frame' sublime with, for I knew it is potentially a shopworn poeticism which I sorely needed to meet the prescribed rhyme scheme and make the translation/transposition be sufficiently true to the original. Translating poems from other languages into English is a hobby for me. Word has gotten out at the local state U, and I get invites to read the last three years in November. I am now sweating bullets to have another one or two poems done by fall.

 

Do you think "made sublime" is a passable image? My biggest worry is that since it is my soulchild I may be most nearsighted re its syntactical and grammatical shortcomings. I therefore beg of you to try to look past your enjoyment of the contents to see if my worries can be laid aside somewhat. I know that in spite of my apparent learnedness I am still not a native speaker.

Edited by waxwings
Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel an amazing grace of this poem. What her answer will be? She must be grateful for the unfading memory of the silver pin she pinned. with the little background I’ve read, the cold, dark and boundless cloth of time implies unending hard time, corresponding to a slow and endless night.

 

For the sublimed agony, I can picture how it hangs above, star-bright.

Within life’s hurried, quick, relentless stream
,

 

hurried and quick are synonymous, are they used for emphasis? How about the word torrential?

Within life’s torrential, relentless stream, this line doesn’t look or sound conflicting with the lines succeeding IMO.

Edited by worm
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi waxwings,

 

I admire your skill in poem translation, loyal to the original and at the same time retaining the rhyme scheme. I am wondering if you have tried to write a poem in different languages instead of translating, that way you'll have more freedom.

 

The word "is" in L2 and L3 did stumble me a little; but the more I read it, the clearer it reads to me. I've never read "time" described as a piece of cloth, so it is original.

 

All the best,

 

Lake

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Ike,

 

Worm mentioned L1, and I had gotten the same impression when I first read this. I offer but a few ideas in the form of slight modifications:

 

 

Within life’s hurried and relentless stream,

that which for me seemed like an endless night

was but a blink, an inkling of a dream.

She took the tiny silver pin, star-bright

like my soul’s pain reduced to the sublime,

and pinned it, carelessly, to quake in fright

on a cold, dark, and boundless cloth of time.

 

 

In the first three lines I think I kept your meaning. As for the last four lines, I'm not so sure, because I don't know whether I entirely caught the meaning. It is the pin that quakes in fright on her blouse, is it not? I like it with and without the commas around "carelessly." (Forgive me, if I've overstepped.)

 

In any case, I love the poem and it's concept: waiting for her answer. It seems the wait is unbearable.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel an amazing grace of this poem. What her answer will be? She must be grateful for the unfading memory of the silver pin she pinned. with the little background I’ve read, the cold, dark and boundless cloth of time implies unending hard time, corresponding to a slow and endless night.

 

For the sublimed agony, I can picture how it hangs above, star-bright.

Within life’s hurried, quick, relentless stream
,

 

hurried and quick are synonymous, are they used for emphasis? How about the word torrential?

Within life’s torrential, relentless stream, this line doesn’t look or sound conflicting with the lines succeeding IMO.

 

Thanks, worm. Isn't amazing grace a bit high minded for this? However, your desire to show your liking is sincere and appreciated. You are reading this well, and it was intended to be an uncomplicated poem. It is a bit denser than I would like, esp. about L4.

 

Hurried and quick are not listed as synonyms in the dictionary. A hurried agent is one forced to move with haste, not necessarily with great speed and is error prone, while a quick one able to move with great speed, is not forced to do so and is not necessarily prone to make errors.

 

Of course, I could have used other words, but the three do (so I've been told) form a crescendo, and using another word seI would loose that slightly modulated but syllable-count-wise perfect iambic pentameter.

Edited by waxwings
Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi waxwings,

 

I admire your skill in poem translation, loyal to the original and at the same time retaining the rhyme scheme. I am wondering if you have tried to write a poem in different languages instead of translating, that way you'll have more freedom.

 

The word "is" in L2 and L3 did stumble me a little; but the more I read it, the clearer it reads to me. I've never read "time" described as a piece of cloth, so it is original.

 

All the best,

 

Lake

 

I have written original poems in other languages, English being the major one. Please note that my translations are not actually translations just recreations of a given poem in another tongue. I prefer to call them 'transposed' rather than translated because I am not afraid to take the necessary liberties such as omitting some words of the original altogether and adding words that are not in the original. That is especially true when dealing with rhymes.

 

In latvian I use a word that ttranslates as 'a weaving' of time, not cloth, and the silver pin is 'a miniscule, slightly tarnished silver brooch' that 'trembles' rather than 'quakes'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good of you tony to give this poem some thought. More generallyyou are right, and I very much like your version. It certainly is a good poem in its own right because it shows your ability to substitute just the right alternate feet into iambic.. I have made some insertions in your post to save space while giving my arguments for not doing so in my poem.

 

Dear Ike,

 

Worm mentioned L1, and I had gotten the same impression when I first read this. I offer but a few ideas in the form of slight modifications:

------------------------------------see my response to worm's kind reaction

 

 

Within life’s hurried and relentless stream,

that which for me seemed like an endless night

was but a blink, an inkling of a dream.

She took the tiny silver pin, star-bright

like my soul’s pain reduced to the sublime,--------------Using the noun not an adjective makes it an archaism.

and pinned it, carelessly, to quake in fright

on a cold, dark, and boundless cloth of time.

 

 

In the first three lines I think I kept your meaning. As for the last four lines, I'm not so sure, because I don't know whether I entirely caught the meaning. It is the pin that quakes in fright on her blouse, is it not? I like it with and without the commas around "carelessly." (Forgive me, if I've overstepped.)

-------------------------------------------------------------commas are good to control haste.

In any case, I love the poem and it's concept: waiting for her answer. It seems the wait is unbearable.

 

Tony

Edited by waxwings
Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, worm. Isn't amazing grace a bit high minded for this? However, your desire to show your liking is sincere and appreciated. You are reading this well, and it was intended to be an uncomplicated poem. It is a bit denser than I would like, esp. about L4.

 

Hi waxwings, thanks for your agreement of the sincerity and appreciation. Your words are supporting. In my first read, this poem is mysteriously impressive, like a legend story. I too googled canopus. ever since pin has been brightly imprinted in my mind of night-time sky.

 

 

Hurried and quick are not listed as synonyms in the dictionary. A hurried agent is one forced to move with haste, not necessarily with great speed and is error prone, while a quick one able to move with great speed, is not forced to do so and is not necessarily prone to make errors.

 

Of course, I could have used other words, but the three do (so I've been told) form a crescendo, and using another word seI would loose that slightly modulated but syllable-count-wise perfect iambic pentameter.

 

I see the big difference between hurried and quick through your explanation and understand the wording for crescendo, which has already been read in your smitten I am confused. I sigh, I laugh, I moon. It is very effective. When I suggest torrential I know it's syllable-count-wise, not true of the tempo in the original. I guess there would be some other choice to achieve the crescendo for a most powerful effect as well.

 

 

Tony's version inspires me. If possible I would change is in L2 into seems to avoid the confusion with another is in L3, then it reads,

what seems for me, a slow and endless night

is but a blink, mere trifle of a dream

 

Comparing with Tony's recomposed poem, I like his take of inkling and L6 with commas also favors me.

 

Never tired of the read. Thanks waxwings for posting!

Edited by worm
Link to post
Share on other sites
I have written original poems in other languages, English being the major one.

 

No doubt about that. What I meant is write the same poem in different languages. :icon_cool:

Is that even possible? I'm sure it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have written original poems in other languages, English being the major one.

 

No doubt about that. What I meant is write the same poem in different languages. :icon_cool:

Is that even possible? I'm sure it is.

 

Depends on what do you mean by same poem. It is not possible, if you mean verbatim or close to it. In Latvian, 'love' rhymes with 'token' or ' past tense 3rd person singular of 'betray/disappoint'; 'honey' with 'ice' and 'blossom' with 'shards'. However, the essential story/plot can be transposed and so can most images. It is very seldom that the absolute poetic effect is carried as well, but enough of it does to say it is a poem, whatever that is. Yes, I cannot define a poem no more than I can poetry. But I know it when I read one.

 

I will post something shortly to demo.

Edited by waxwings
Link to post
Share on other sites
Worm mentioned L1, and I had gotten the same impression when I first read this. I offer but a few ideas in the form of slight modifications:

------------------------------------see my response to worm's kind reaction

Yes. In that case, I can see that the three adjectives would work together and be devoid of redundancy. Thanks for the clarification.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.