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Old 09-10-2018, 01:25 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Location: NY, USA
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Default September (Září) by Karel Kryl

September

August is bringing
........September from the west.
A tuft of asters
........blooms under the rowans--
the serrated sun
........beats without interest
on stands with papers,
........flowers, and ice cream cones.

ref:
Some fools are risking
........their necks to bear witness--
an early autumn
........vainly waits for the snow.
We don’t meddle in
........other peoples’ business.
As for our own, we
........know we don’t want to know.
........
And lazy clouds like
........caravels sail across
the various skies
........above various lands--
courage weighs and waits,
........weighs, above the abyss,
memories of those
........who remember mere remnants.

**************
Recording the song in the studio:
https://youtu.be/oGcLp0TKAjc

**************

Changes: (Thank you A. Sterling and Don)
The last two lines of S1 were:
on kiosks selling
........hot dogs and ice cream cones.
The last two lines of the refrain were:
as for our own, we
........don’t want even to know.
S2 was:
And lazy clouds like
........caravels sail across
varied skies and lands,
........crossing all September,
courage weighs and waits,
........weighs, above the abyss,
memories of those
........who barely can remember.

I have repunctuated the whole song after finding the correct original punctuation (see note below)*,
and some more following Don's suggestions; thank you Don.

Possible alternates:
S1L(6-8) (Thanks Aaron):
........beats on the shopfront glass—
on kiosks selling
........papers and ice cream cones.

S2:
And lazy clouds like
........caravels sail across
varied skies and lands
........with various laments.
Courage weighs and waits,
........weighs, above the abyss,
memories of those
........who remember mere remnants.
or, closer to the original:
And lazy clouds like
........caravels sail across
the various skies
........of various homelands.
Courage weighs and waits,
........weighs above the abyss
memories of those
........who remember mere remnants.

**************
Crib:

September

August brought September from the west.
A clump/tuft of asters blooms under the rowans--
a toothy/serrated/jagged sun beats on vitrines--
on stands with hotdogs, flowers, newspapers.

ref:
A number of fools carry [their] skin to the market [risk their necks]--
and early autumn waits futilely for the snow:
We don’t meddle in foreign affairs/others’ things--
and even less -- actually -- in our own.

And clouds like caravels drift/sail
from sky to sky of various nations/lands--
courage hesitates/weighs, hesitates/weighs above the abyss
memories of those, who barely remember.

[ref:]x2


Original:
Září

Přinesl srpen září od Západu.
Trs aster kvete pod jeřabinami—
zubaté slunce bije do výkladů—
do stánků s buřty, květy, novinami.

ref:
Několik bláznů na trh kůži nese—
a časný podzim marně čeká na sníh:
…Do cizích věcí nevměšujeme se —
a ještě méně — vlastně — do těch vlastních.

A mraky jako Karavely plují
od nebe k nebi přerozličných vlastí—
odvaha váhá, váhá nad propastí
paměti těch, kdo sotva pamatují.

[ref:]x2


Notes:

A short, late Kryl song with a light melody and playfully bitter words.

I have posted some possible alternates -- any comments would be much appreciated.

*I have repunctuated the Czech text, as I had originally taken the punctuation from a songbook, and now I have replaced it with the published text. I have also repunctuated the crib and my translation.
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