Saturday, 27 April 2019

A few last poems

As I said last time, I have the poem translations to finish off. So we have translations of Homer, which are the next three posts, then a lot of Sappho, which is the post after those, and then we have a number of other poems which I will throw into this post, which will therefore admittedly be a huge mishmash. Let me list those poems.

  1. London by Blake, which I translated to Italian, verse 3 between 22 and 23 Sep 2011, verses 2 and 4 on Jan 22 2012, and verse 1 on May 8 2012, keeping the rhyme scheme but using hendecasyllabics instead of the 9-syllable lines that would correspond to the original meter;
  2. Correspondances by Baudelaire, which I translated to English and Chinese, keeping the meter (and the rhymes in English too), sometime after Easter 2012 and before that summer;
  3. The final couplet of Shakespeare's "When I do count the clock that tells the time", which I translated to Italian on Sep 16 or 17 2010; fun fact: IIRC it is this sonnet that I completely transcribed into IPA according to what I could reconstruct to be Shakespeare's pronunciation from the Great Vowel Shift diagram on Wikipedia;
  4. Ellens dritter Gesang verse 1, aka verse 1 of the original text of Schubert's Hail Mary, which I translated musically (and almost keeping the rhymes) into Italian on Feb 6 2011, with edits on Feb 21;
  5. Modern English version of the first few lines of the Geste of Robyn Hode and his meiny, which I translated sometime in spring/summer 2009, after bumping into the poem while doing research on Robin Hood for an English project and deciding to translate it integrally; the meter and rhymes were kept (modulo some eye-rhymes), and some edits were done in the summer of 2012;
  6. Chantars no pot gaire valer, aka verse 1 of a poem by Bernart de Ventadorn, which I translated into Italian hendecasyllabics and English octosyllabes, both keeping the rhymes, either between Feb 4 and 5, or in the morning of Feb 4, in 2010, while lying in bed; that neapolitanism in the Italian is a real pity, but I found no other way to make the rhyme.

The only part of the order that isn't random is that "Chantars no pot gaire valer" is the last one, because it has two translations only and I'm too lazy to do two tables to have the centered second translation in the middle of the two-column part :). Let's see all of that!


I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most, thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot’s curse
Blasts the new born Infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.




La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles ;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.

Comme des long échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.

Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
Et d’autres, corrompus, riches, et triomphants,

Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.


自然是一个寺,那里生活着桓
有时候让些困惑的言语出来;
人类那里穿过符号的森,并来
被那里的符号用熟悉的眼看。

就像悠长的回声无法被分清
当从远处来,晦涩深奥统一里,
浩渺如黑夜与光般一样,每一
美味,色彩和声音都交相呼应。

有如婴儿嫩肉般新鲜的美气,
如草原般青绿,双簧管般甜蜜,
还别的,腐败的,丰富以及凯欢

有着无边无际的事物的扩展,
就像琥珀,麝香,安息香和香息:
它们歌颂精神和意识的狂喜。




And nothing ’gainst time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed to brave him when he takes thee hence.




Ave Maria! Jungfrau mild.
Erhöre einer Jungfrau flehen
Aus diesem Felsen starr und wild,
Soll mein Gebet zu dir hinwehen.
Wir schlafen sicher bis zum Morgen,
Ob Menschen noch so grausam sind,
O Jungfrau, sieh der Jungfrau Sorgen,
O Mutter, hör ein bittend Kind!
Ave Maria!




LITHE and listen, Gentlemen,
That be of free-born blood:
I shall you tell of a good yeoman,
His name was Robin Hood.
Robin was a proud outlaw,
The while he walked on ground;
So courteous an outlaw as he was one
Was never none y-found.
Robin stood in Barnèsdale,
And leaned him to a tree;
And by him stood Little John,
A good yeoman was he.
And also did good Scathèlock,
And Much, the miller’s son;
There was none inch of his body,
But it was worth a groom.
Then bespake him Little John
All unto Robin Hood:
‘Master, an ye would dine betimes
It would do you much good.’
Then bespake him good Robin:
‘To dine I have no lest,
Till that I have some bold baron,
Or some uncouth guest,
Till that I have some bold baron
That may pay for the best,
Or else some knight, or some squièr
That dwelleth here by West.’
A good mannèr then had Robin;
In land where that he were,
Every day ere he would dine
Three masses would he hear:
The one in worship of the Father,
The other of the Holy Ghost,
The third was of Our dear Lady
That he loved alder-most.




Chantars no pot gaire valer,
Si dins dal cor no mou lo chans;
Ni chans no pot dal cor mover,
Si no i es fin'amors coraus.
Per so es mos chantars cabaus
Qu'en joi d'amor ai et enten
La boch'e·ls olhs e·l cor e·l sen.
Vago per ogni strada cartierata,
Vicino al letto del Tamigi, e vedo
Che dal dolore ogni faccia è segnata
E dalla debolezza, e ben lo credo!

In ogni grido d’Uomo, in ogni strillo
Di terrore d’Infante, in ogni voce,
In ogni divïeto, odo lo squillo
Delle manette che la mente cuoce.

Come il grido dello spazzacamino
Spaventa ogni Chiesa che s’annerisce;
E il sospir del soldato dal destino
Mal, dal Palazzo in sangue giù finisce.

Ma il peggio, a mezzanotte in strada sento
Giovani troie urlar maledizioni
Al pianto dei neonati e, come un vento,
Con piaghe rovinari i matrimoni.




Nature a temple is where living pillars will
From time to time a few confusèd words let out;
Man through forests of symbols there doth walk about
That him observe with looks that are familiar still.

Just like long echoes that mix up from far away
Within a tenebrous and profound unity,
As vast as night and light unto the mortal eye,
Good scents, colours and sounds to one another say.

There’s scents that are as fresh as infant flesh can be,
As sweet as oboes, and as green as grasslands are,
And others, rich, triumphant, and corrupted, see,

That, just like infinite things, expand to way afar,
Like amber, musk, benzoin and frankincense: those we
Can hear the transports sing that senses and spirit see.


Zìrán shì yī gè sì, nàlǐ shēnghuózhe huán
Yǒu shíhou ràng xiē kùnhuò de yányǔ chūlái;
Rénlèi nàlǐ chuānguò fúhào de sēn, bìng lái
Bèi nàlǐ de fúhào yòng shúxī de yǎn kàn.

Jiùxiàng yōucháng de huíshēng wúfǎ bèi fēnqīng
Dāng cóng yuǎn chù lái, huìsè shēn’ào tǒngyī lǐ,
Hàomiǎo rú hēiyè yǔ guāng bān yīyàng, měi yī
Měiwèi, sècǎi hé shēngyīn dōu jiāo xiāng hūyìng.

Yǒu rú yīng’ér nèn ròu bān xīnxiān de měi qì,
Rú cǎoyuán bān qīnglǜ, shuānghuángguǎn bān tiánmì,
Hái bié de, fǔbài de, fēngfù yǐjí kǎihuan

Yǒuzhe wúbiān-wújì de shìwù de kuòzhǎn,
Jiùxiàng hǔpò, shèxiāng, ānxíxiāng hé xiāngxī:
Tāmen gēsòng jīngshén hé yìshí de kuángxǐ.




E nulla contro ’l tempo ti difende:
Sol prole che lo sfidi se ti prende.




Ave Maria! Mitē vērgīne.
Ascolta una vergin che ti prega
Da quella āspra rūpe, deh,
Che la preghiēra mïa ti vēda.
Dormiam fino al mattin sicūre,
Per quanto uōm crudēl può far,
O Vergin, guarda a vērginali cūre,
O Madre, ōdi un bimbo pregar!
Ave Maria!




Hearken and listen, Gentlemen,
that be of free-born blood:
I shall tell you of a good yeoman,
his name was Robin Hood.
Robin was a proud outlaw,
The while he walked on ground;
so courteous an outlaw as he was one
was never ever found.
Robin stood in Barnèsdale,
and leaned against a tree;
and by him stood Little John,
a good yeoman was he.
And all so did good Scathèlok,
and Much, the miller’s son;
there wasn’t an inch of his body,
That wasn't worth a groom.
And then spoke up our Little John
All unto Robin Hood:
“Master, if you would dine soon
it would do you much good”.
Good Robin then spoke up, and said:
“To dine I have no lust,
Until I have some bold baron
or some unknown guest,
Until I have some bold baron
that may pay for the best,
or else some knight or some squire
that dwells here in the West”.
A good manner had Robin then:
whate'er land he was in,
every day before he dined
three masses he would hear:
one in worship of the Father,
the other of the Holy Ghost,
the third was for our dear Lady
that he loved all the most.




A song cannot be worth a lot
If from the heart it does not move.
And song move from the heart cannot
If perfect love does not live there.
Thus is my song perfect and rare:
In joy of love I have and fit
My mouth and eyes and heart and wit.


Non può valer gran cosa il poetare
Se non muove dal cuor profondo il canto.
Né canto fuor dal cuor non puote andare
Se non vi posa fino amor sincero.
Perciò perfetto è ’l mio cantar davvero,
Ché nel gaudio d’Amore ordino e tenno
La bocca, gl’occhi, l’animo ed il senno.

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