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  #1  
Unread 11-09-2019, 10:37 PM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Default Heine: Ich möchte weinen, doch ich kann es nicht

Ich möchte weinen, doch ich kann es nicht

I want to cry but find that I cannot;
I want to soar on high, be elevated,
But I cannot, I’m stuck among this fetid
Writhing brood, this croaking, hissing lot.

I’d gladly have my life's uplifting light,
My dear beloved, hovering around me,
To live with her sweet, blessed breath about me—
But I cannot. I’m broken, sick at heart.

And from my broken heart I feel the coursing
Of my impassioned blood; I feel I’m failing,
And know my eyes will soon grow dim and dimmer.

And so I yearn for—though within I shiver—
The realm beyond the mist, and calm shades curling
Soft arms about me, loving and embracing.


S1, "this" was "these"; "Writhing brood" was "begotten worms"
S2, "gladly" was "rather"; "life's uplifting" was "bright and lively"; "To live with" was "alive to"; installed a comma
S3, "failing" was "fading"
S4, ejected the uninvited space before the comma; "circling" was "girding". "Circling" now "curling", "Soft" was "Their."



[Original]

Ich möchte weinen, doch ich kann es nicht;
Ich möcht mich rüstig in die Höhe heben,
Doch kann ichs nicht; am Boden muß ich kleben,
Umkrächzt, umzischt von eklem Wurmgezücht.

Ich möchte gern mein heitres Lebenslicht,
Mein schönes Lieb, allüberall umschweben,
In ihrem selig süßen Hauche leben —
Doch kann ichs nicht, mein krankes Herze bricht.

Aus dem gebrochnen Herzen fühl ich fließen
Mein heißes Blut, ich fühle mich ermatten,
Und vor den Augen wirds mir trüb und trüber.

Und heimlich schauernd sehn ich mich hinüber
Nach jenem Nebelreich, wo stille Schatten
Mit weichen Armen liebend mich umschließen.


[Crib]


I want to cry, but I can not;
I want to lift myself vigorously,
But I can not do it; I have to stick to the floor,
To croaks, to hiss from disgusting worm brood.

I would like to have my cheerful life light,
My lovely love, floating around everywhere,
Livened in her blessed sweet breaths—
But I can not, my sick heart breaks.

From the broken heart, I feel flowing
My fervent blood, I feel tired,
And before my eyes, I feel dull and duller

And secretly shuddering, I yearn for over there
Beyond that fog kingdom, where quiet shades
With soft loving arms to enclose me

oOOo

Last edited by Spindleshanks; 11-13-2019 at 06:36 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 11-11-2019, 04:08 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Peter, worms neither croak nor hiss, so I think Heine in S1 is using "Wurm" in its meaning of "snake" and including, in the whole worm brood, things like frogs, which croak. Hissing and croaking are the sorts of sounds that are considered derisive, so Heine feels he is surrounded by negative, critical people. I discovered on Wikipedia under "Snake" that until 1825 reptiles and amphibians were considered part of the same group of creatures, so that is probably how Heine thought about them.

Susan
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Unread 11-11-2019, 07:30 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Thanks, Susan. I was puzzled by what appeared to be an inaccurate description of worms, but assumed Heine may have been identifying some separate disgusting characteristics he had observed in the rabble surrounding him. Your explanation has clarified it. The revision has introduced a headless iamb, but I'm happy with that.
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Unread 11-13-2019, 03:28 AM
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I've made a further minor running change to S2 in the interest of accuracy.
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Unread 11-13-2019, 04:31 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Peter, if you want to make S2 even more accurate, you could slightly change your adjectives "lively" and "alive" to make them the noun and verb that they are in the original. Something like this might work:

S2L1 I’d gladly have my life's uplifting light,

S2L3 to live with her sweet, blessed breath about me—

Also, in S4L2, you have a space you don't need before the comma. I really dislike "girding." I am sure you can find a word that will sound more natural there. Perhaps you could change "I feel I'm fading" to something like "I feel worn down" or "I'm feeling drained."

Susan

Last edited by Susan McLean; 11-13-2019 at 04:37 AM.
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Unread 11-13-2019, 06:11 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Thank you Susan. I've adopted your suggestions verbatim for S2, and revised the fading/girding pairing to failing/circling, the softer consonants offering a more elegiac tone appropriate to the piece.

Peter
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Unread 11-13-2019, 07:36 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Peter, I think you have a typo in S3L3 of the German. Shouldn't "wirds" be "wird's"? I think "failing/circling" is a disappointing rhyme. How about something like "I feel I'm trickling / away, my eyes becoming dim and dimmer"?

Susan

P.S., how about "soft arms" instead of "their arms" in the last line?

Last edited by Susan McLean; 11-13-2019 at 07:39 AM.
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  #8  
Unread 11-13-2019, 06:33 PM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
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Thanks again, Susan. Typo fixed in the German. I take your point about the failing/circling combo, but "trickling" doesn't appeal as an alternative, so I've gone for "curling" ilo "circling". And yes, "soft" is good.
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  #9  
Unread 11-14-2019, 08:14 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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"Curling" works for me.

Susan
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  #10  
Unread 11-14-2019, 08:41 AM
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Good, I'm going to call it a wrap. Thank you for your help.

Peter
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