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  #1  
Unread 10-11-2019, 06:20 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Default Heine: Ein Weib

[Translation]

A WOMAN

The pair loved each other so ardently.
A hussy she was, a thief was he.
If he did his roguish larking,
She'd leap on the mattress laughing.

The day they passed in mirth and lust;
The nights she spent across his chest.
When he went to jail, on parting,
She stood at the window laughing.

He sent her a letter, O do come here,
I yearn and long to see you dear,
I’m calling to you, my darling.
She waggled her head, still laughing.

At six in the morning he was hanged.
At seven he lay where he belonged.
She, though, by eight was quaffing
Tarty red wine and laughing.



S1/L1: Was "The pair of them doted so ardently"
S1/L3: "If he did his roguish larking" was "When he would come home from snarfing"
S1/L4: "She'd leap" was "She rolled"
S2/L4: "day" was "days"; "mirth" was "joy"
S3/L2,3: were "I’m longing so to see you, dear.
I’m pining for you, I’m smarting."
S4/L4: "Tarty red " was "A bold."


[Vernacular version]

A BROAD

The dip loved the moll with a passion
And she loved him too, in her fashion.
When he acted like a galoot,
She laughed from the bed, looking cute.

The days she would play with her fellow,
The nights with his chest as her pillow.
And when the fuzz nicked him at last,
She stood at the window and laughed.

From jail he wrote, pleading and whining:
"O come to me, darling -- I'm pining.
I'm yearning to hold you,” she read,
And laughed with a shake of her head.

At six the dude swung from a rope.
At seven they buried the dope.
By eight she was downing a fruity
Rough red, and guffawing: "So shoot me!"

[Original]

Ein Weib

Sie hatten sich beide so herzlich lieb,
Spitzbübin war sie, er war ein Dieb.
Wenn er Schelmenstreiche machte,
Sie warf sich aufs Bett und lachte.

Der Tag verging in Freud und Lust,
Des Nachts lag sie an seiner Brust.
Als man ins Gefängnis ihn brachte,
Sie stand am Fenster und lachte.

Er ließ ihr sagen: O komm zu mir,
Ich sehne mich so sehr nach dir,
Ich rufe nach dir, ich schmachte -
Sie schüttelt’ das Haupt und lachte.

Um sechse des Morgens ward er gehenkt
Um sieben ward er ins Grab gesenkt
Sie aber schon um achte
Trank roten Wein und lachte.

[Crib]

They both loved each other so much,
She was a scoundrel, he was a thief.
When he did roguish tricks,
She threw herself on the bed and laughed.

The day passed in joy and Lust,
She was lying by his chest at night.
When they brought him to prison,
She stood by the window and laughed.

He told her: come to me,
I long for you so much,
I'm calling for you, I'm languishing-
She shakes her head and laughed.

Around six in the Morning, he was hanged
At seven he was lowered into the grave
But she already at eight
Drank red wine and laughed.

oOOo

Last edited by Spindleshanks; 10-19-2019 at 10:28 AM. Reason: S1/L1: "moll" for "doll"; S2/L3 for "when he was imprisoned at last"
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  #2  
Unread 10-11-2019, 08:21 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Very nice! I think you've caught Heine's tone here. The one word I might look at replacing is imprisoned - surely there's a cant word that could do the trick there. I don't think either protagonist would use it.
Thanks for the read!

Cheers,
John

Update: maybe even "A Broad" as title. Coming back around.

Last edited by John Isbell; 10-11-2019 at 11:13 PM.
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  #3  
Unread 10-12-2019, 08:07 PM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Thanks for the suggestion John. I've edited accordingly. I'll stay with Heine's title, though I've sacrificed the alliteration and gone with "moll" ilo "doll", L1.

Peter
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Unread 10-12-2019, 08:25 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Peter,

Yes, I do like nicked!

Cheers,
John
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  #5  
Unread 10-14-2019, 10:11 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Peter, I hesitated to comment on this one because I have translated it myself. There is room for all kinds of different translations of the same poem, but I would say that yours is at the opposite end of the spectrum from mine in terms of style, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I usually stay away from slang, both because not everyone knows the same slang and because it is very local and often dates fast. For instance, I know what "dip" means in American slang, but did not know it could mean "thief." I like "moll" better than "doll" because the overtones seem closer to the original term, but it still is a loose fit. You are capturing the gist of what happens in the original, but the last two lines of the first and last stanzas both depart pretty widely from what the German is saying. I see irony and understatement in Heine, but less in your version, though you do achieve a breezy and conversational tone. "Laughed" is a hard word to rhyme on in English, so I think you were wise to vary it. When I did it, I used "laughed away" to open up more rhyme options so that I could keep the rhyme the same in each stanza.

Susan
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  #6  
Unread 10-14-2019, 12:06 PM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Hi Susan.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Yes, this is quite a departure from bona fide translation. It was a fun exercise and, as stated, more a vernacular version.

I've also produced the following effort, which is somewhat closer to the model in translation, I think:


A HUSSY

The pair of them doted so fiercely.
A hussy she was, a thief was he.
When he would return from his snarfing,
she lay on the mattress laughing.

The days they passed in joy and lust;
The nights she spent across his chest.
When he went to jail, on parting,
she stood at the window laughing.

He sent her word, O do come here,
I’m longing so to see you, dear.
I’m pining for you, I’m smarting.
She waggled her head, still laughing.

At six in the morning he was hanged.
At seven he lay where he belonged.
She, though, by eight was quaffing
a bold Shiraz and laughing.

oOOo

I don't have any German, so rely on a range of online translation resources and any available crit, so your further comments would be welcome.

Peter
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  #7  
Unread 10-16-2019, 05:28 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Peter, for the closer translation you posted, I think you tip your hand too soon by titling it "A Hussy." Heine's term is more neutral and allows the reader more time to assess the woman (which plays into that understatement he uses so well). The meter of your first line is ambiguous (it sounds like anapestic trimeter to me) and has a wrenched rhyme in "fiercely/he." I would suggest something like "The pair of them loved so ardently." I also think you need something more active than "lay" for S1L4. Finally "bold Shiraz" is not only much more specific than the original but also hides what I think is a key term, "red." When we hear "red wine," I think we are supposed to see the resemblance to blood, making her a kind of vampire who lives off men.

Susan
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  #8  
Unread 10-16-2019, 08:55 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Thanks for coming back to this Susan. I've now introduced the true translation as part of the original post, with revisions.
Taking each of your points in turn:

1. Restored the original title and transferred the broader option (I know) to the vernacular.
2. Yes, the metre is a mix. However, it mirrors the Heine. I've striven to stay as close to the original metre and line length as possible, doing a line by line comparison through Google Translate with audio. I think there are few divergences.
3. I've stayed with "doted" for the comparative metre and adopted your excellent "ardently," claiming it as my own.
4. "Lay" has become "rolled"
5. I didn't really expect to get away with Shiraz, which by definition is red. It might be a stretch, I think, to see the association with blood and vampires, and would have preferred "burgundy" which does double duty and obviates the need for "fine" that I was impelled to include for the sake of the metrical length; but I'll go with your suggestion.

Best,
Peter
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  #9  
Unread 10-18-2019, 06:14 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Peter, you might want to choose a different adjective than "fine" for the wine, since I don't think this woman would have access to expensive wine. You could go with something like "bold" or "cheap," something that reflects her character or status.

Susan
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Unread 10-18-2019, 07:07 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Good point Susan. Either suggestions would fit, but I've opted for "bold" which seems to suit the character more than "cheap," just.

**(Added) I've made some other changes for grammatical and accuracy reasons. Also I would like your thoughts on "larking" for "snarfing" (S1/L3), given the possible ambiguity of that line which may simply indicate playing about rather than stealing.

Last edited by Spindleshanks; 10-18-2019 at 08:20 AM.
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