Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Unread 11-03-2019, 07:28 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,525
Default

Susan, “really there” is perfect! I like the whole new version. Good job.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Unread 11-03-2019, 11:09 PM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 6,123
Default

Hey, Susan!

I like this very much. A few quibbles:

The statement in L1 that these people are "silent" because the inner walls in their heads have been breached makes no sense to me. Why would that condition correlate with silence? Such people can and do make loud vocalizations on occasion, especially if they are agitated, even if they are non-verbal, and cannot articulate what they are thinking and feeling. Allen made a similar comment on this, too. Rather than being "silent," I think the notion of lacking communicative, comprehensible speech is more what Rilke is getting at. And the loss of inner structure in their minds would certainly account for that speechless state.

Speaking of the garden, "unhoped-for" means nothing to me. "Unexpected" or "surprising," maybe? Perhaps because one would not expect natural beauty--something growing--in what might otherwise be taken for a prison?

I also share Clive's concern that a square conjures a public place, not the private yard of an asylum. I don't think you're obliged to keep the same rhyme as in the previous strophe, since the rhymes on "-ten" in the German are feminine rhymes, and "-ten" is the unstressed syllable.

I hope these thoughts are helpful, even if only for pushing back against.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Unread 11-04-2019, 02:52 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 8,236
Default

Allen, I am glad to hear that you like the revisions.

Julie, I have amended the literal translation of L1 to "say nothing" instead of "are silent." In the literary translation, I already specify that "they do not speak." I'd like to keep the "hope" in "unhoped-for" because a sort of miracle is being described. The patients have no hope, so when they find peace while looking at the garden, it is like an act of grace to them. I could change it to "unlooked-for" but they are looking. I will think some more about possible ways to avoid "square," but rhyming makes it difficult.

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Unread 11-04-2019, 03:30 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 8,236
Default

Clive and Julie, I have now tried a different version of S3L2 that at least adds "courtyard" to the meaning.

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Unread 11-04-2019, 04:38 AM
Spindleshanks's Avatar
Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,063
Default

Susan, your string of explications in defence has brought this to life for me. I now get it.
With "peaceful,' you've lost the comparative sense. Perhaps "now calm"?

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Unread 11-04-2019, 05:12 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,952
Default

Hi Susan,

Just to say I like your courtyard solution for Geviert. I think Clive has a point and it does very likely refer to an inner courtyard. Good to capture that. You've done some nice tightrope walking here.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Unread 11-04-2019, 05:59 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 8,236
Default

Peter, I had been going back and forth between "peaceful" and "calmed-down." The latter is more accurate, so I think I may try substituting it. The two stronger stresses in a row slow the line down, which is not a bad thing, though they also may sound less soothing than "peaceful." "Now calm" would be more ambiguous about where the stresses fall and might sound awkward. I am glad to hear that my explanations made sense to you, though I always try to convey the meaning through the translation alone.

John, I am glad to hear that you approve of "courtyard."

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Unread 11-04-2019, 07:23 AM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 6,123
Default

I like "they do not speak," "calmed-down," and "courtyard." Good solutions.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Unread 11-05-2019, 03:20 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 8,236
Default

Julie, I am glad you approve of the changes.

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Unread 11-05-2019, 09:15 AM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 2,351
Default

You have moved this on well, Susan. Including “courtyard” is clarifying and good. I remain uncertain, however, about some aspects of the last four lines. As I have reflected on these, I am inclined to think part of my problem is with the German. (Heretically perhaps, I have often felt that, celebrated though the two parts of Neue Gedichte are, this should not disallow the view that some – how many? – of the poems are less well-made than Rilke’s high reputation might lead one to expect. Of course, few collections of this length are without some less successful pieces.)

Part of the difficulty for me is in the apparently straightforward verb “weiterwächst”. Certainly this tells us that the “garden … goes on growing”, but I wonder what, exactly, this means. Here again I want to read these lines in the context of the preceding partner-poem, which ends “wie gut das Gras is und wie leis” (how good the grass is and how soft), having described how the inmates “haben, wenn es keiner sieht, / eine verheimlichte, verdrehte / Gebärde für das zarte frühe Gras, / ein prüfendes, verschüchtertes Liebkosen” (… have, when no one is looking, a concealed contorted gesture for the tender early grass, a timid caress checking its feel). In German and English, is there a danger that “weiterwächst / goes on growing” may be taken to refer to the size of the courtyard garden, its area of ground, when it seems to me that Rilke’s point is that the grass (and by extension the other plants in the garden) continue to thrive in a normal way, even if within the context of the “Widerschein der fremden Welten” which afflict or obsess the mentally ill inmates? Of course, the grammatical subject of “weiterwächst” certainly is “Garten” (as it is in the equivalent English), but I wonder if what I take to be the deeper sense could be brought out here and a possible muddle be sidestepped.

By the way, I still do not care for “everywhere” as representing “fremden” or for “frequently defaced” for “oftentstellten” (which in any case as an expression in English strikes my ear as little clumsy). As I have just remarked, it seems to me that Rilke’s point is that, in this unexpected garden, which is so often distorted as it is reflected in the strange mental worlds of the inmates, the reassuring normality of the grass functions as a kind of epiphany – parallel in its way to the fact that earlier the inmates are depicted as, in a calmer mood, in touch with what is concrete (“Ihre Händen liegen im Konkreten…”); and, in this, the ending of the poem is akin to the ending of “Irre im Garten”.

Again, just a few scattered thoughts about the attractive version you have come up with.

Best…

Clive
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 8,021
Total Threads: 19,985
Total Posts: 255,651
There are 168 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online