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Unread 07-17-2020, 09:28 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Default Garcilaso, Sonnet 23

Garcilaso de la Vega (Spain, c. 1501-36)

DRAFT FIVE

Sonnet 23: “En tanto que de rosa y de azucena...”

While hues of rose and lily are displayed
within your features, and your guileless eyes—
with ardency their candor can’t disguise—
ignite the heart, yet keep its urgings stayed;

and while your hair, which goldmines must have made
by veining, flutters quickly as it flies
across your raised, white neck’s delightful rise
when wind-unfurled and moved and disarrayed:

enjoy your happy springtime’s sweetness—gather
its fruit—before time’s weather grows annoyed
and covers up your lovely peak with snow.

The frosty wind will force the rose to wither;
swift age will change all things, and thus avoid
all changes to the way it tends to go.


Q2 was:
and while your hair, confined to goldmines’ shade
no longer, flutters quickly as it flies
along your firm, white neck’s delightful rise
when wind-unfurled and moved and disarrayed:


Drafts One through Four are below.


SPANISH ORIGINAL
Literal English prose crib

En tanto que de rosa y de azucena
se muestra la color en vuestro gesto,
y que vestro mirar ardiente, honesto,
enciende al corazón y lo refrena;


As long as of rose and of lily
the color shows in your face/expression,
and your gaze, (which is both) ardent (and) honest/decent,
both kindles the/my heart and restrains it;

y en tanto que el cabello, que en la vena
del oro se escogió, con vuelo presto,
por el hermoso cuello blanco, enhiesto,
el viento mueve, esparce y desordena:


and so long as your hair (which in the vein
of gold was mined/picked out), with swift flight,
over your beautiful, white, upright neck
the wind moves, spreads, and disorders:

coged de vuestra alegre primavera
el dulce fruto, antes que el tiempo airado
cubra de nieve la hermosa cumbre.


pick/harvest/gather from your happy spring
the sweet fruit, before angry time
covers with snow your beautiful summit.

Marchitará la rosa el viento helado,
todo lo mudará la edad ligera
por no hacer mudanza en su costumbre.


It will wither the rose, the icy wind (will),
it will change everything, swift age (will),
in order not to make a change in its habit/custom.


Text: Herrera’s edition, reproduced in Antonio Gallego Morell’s Garcilaso de la Vega y sus comentaristas (Granada, 1966), p. 98. There's another version of this sonnet with a different L4.


DRAFT FOUR with extensive tweaks

Sonnet 23: “En tanto que de rosa y de azucena...”

While hues of rose and lily are displayed
within your features, and your guileless eyes—
with ardency their candor can’t disguise—
ignite the heart their innocence keeps stayed;

and while your hair, confined to goldmines’ shade
no longer, flutters quickly as it flies
along your firm, white neck’s delightful rise
when wind-unfurled and moved and disarrayed:

enjoy your happy springtime’s sweetness—gather
its fruit—before time’s weather grows annoyed
and covers up your lovely peak with snow.

The icy wind will cause the rose to wither;
swift age will change all things, and thus avoid
all changes to its chosen way to go.


L2 was:
in your expressions; while your guileless eyes—
within your face; and while your guileless eyes—
within your blushes, and your guileless eyes—
L4 was:
ignite the heart their innocence keeps stayed;
ignite the heart, yet keep its will delayed;
L5 was:
and while your hair, which goldmines’ veining made,
and while your hair, from goldmines’ veins conveyed,
L6 was:
is still worn loose, to flutter as it flies
is still worn loose, and flutters as it flies
L7 was:
across your high, white neck’s delightful rise
L12 was:
and covers up your lovely peak with snows.
L13 was:
swift age will change all things, to thus avoid
as age quick-changes all, to thus avoid
L14 was:
all changes to the only way it knows.
the need to change the way it always goes.
all changes to the way it tends to go.


DRAFT THREE

Sonnet 23 “En tanto que de rosa y de azucena...”

So long as rose and lily are displayed
together in the colors of your face,
and ardency and innocence yet grace
your eyes, to ignite the heart, yet keep it stayed,

and while your hair, which goldmines must have made,
is still worn loose, to flutter, rapid-pace,
across your lovely, upright neck’s white space
when teased by the wind, and moved, and disarrayed:

enjoy your happy springtime’s sweetness—gather
its fruit—before time’s temper, soon annoyed,
covers up your lovely peak with snows.

The icy wind will cause the rose to wither.
Age swiftly changes all, to thus avoid
all changes to the way it always goes.


LL3-4 were:
and ardency and innocence both grace
your eyes, to ignite my heart, yet keep it stayed,
L4 was:
your eyes, to kindle my heart, yet keep it staid;
your eyes, to kindle my heart, yet keep me staid;

Alt LL4-5:
your eyes, to spark the heart I must keep staid; //
and while your hair, which rich-veined goldmines made,


L6 was:
is still worn loose, to flutter, rapid-pace,
is still worn loose, and flutters, rapid-pace,

LL10-11 were:
its fruit—before time’s temper turns annoyed
and covers your lovely summit with its snows.
LL13-14 were:
as age, impulsive, changes all, to avoid
all changes to the way it always goes.

Alt LL11&14:
and covers up your lovely peak with snow.
[...]
all changes to the way it likes to go.



DRAFT TWO

Sonnet 23 “En tanto que de rosa y de azucena...”

So long as rose and lily hues are found
together in the colors of your face,
and innocence and ardency both grace
your eyes, to inflame my heart, yet hold it bound;

and while your hair—mined loose from an underground
vein of gold—can billow, rapid-pace,
across your unyielding neck’s white, lovely space,
while spread by the wind, and mussed, and moved around;

collect your happy springtime’s sweetness, gather
its fruit, before time’s temper turns annoyed
and veils your beauty's highest point, by snowing.

The chilling wind will cause the rose to wither.
Swift age will change all things, and so avoid
the need to change the way it’s used to going.


DRAFT ONE

Sonnet 23 “En tanto que de rosa y de azucena...”

While both these things—the lily and the rose—
are present in the colors of your face;
while innocence and ardency both grace
your eyes, so that my held-back heart-fire grows;

and while your hair—which gold mines’ veins enclose
no longer—billows fast, as breezes race
across your firm and lovely neck’s blank space
to move and tease and muss your tresses’ flows:

Enjoy your springtime’s crop of ripe, sweet fruit,
before ill-tempered time adjusts the season
and snows upon your summit’s lovely scene.

Chill, wilting winds will make the rose transmute.
Swift age will change all things, for no good reason
except to never change its own routine.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 08-10-2020 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Draft Five new Q2 posted
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  #2  
Unread 07-17-2020, 09:48 AM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
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Hi Julie,
At this moment I know no other language apart from English, so I probably won't be posting a lot on these threads. I thought I'd just say that your translation is very good indeed, I do not know how close it is to the original version (though from the literal English it seems very close) but it really works to capture an atmosphere and message. One wishes that more translators were so formally adept as you are here. The only line that sounded off was the phrasing of "held back "heart-fire grows" which requires I believe unnecessary thinking when heard aloud to work out whether you mean "held back heart fire grows", or the meaning that is shown on the page.

HOPE this helps.
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Unread 07-17-2020, 10:43 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Maybe I’m missing something dreadful, but no nits on a fast read. This is pretty it.
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Unread 07-17-2020, 11:51 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Julie, your rhyming here is impressive, but it probably won't surprise you to hear that, if I were you, I would make small changes to the rhyme scheme in order to achieve more natural wording that is closer to the original. For me, particular weak spots are L4 "so that my held-back heart-fire grows"; L5-6 "which gold mines’ veins enclose / no longer"; L7 "your firm and lovely neck’s blank space"; L8 "your tresses’ flows"; L11 "snows upon your summit’s lovely scene"; L12 "make the rose transmute." Each of these either sounds unnatural, does not convey the same message as the original, or brings in ideas that don't appear in the original, just to hit the rhyme. Obviously, one is forced into all sorts of accommodations when translating poetry, but I think preserving the rhyme scheme exactly is lower on the hierarchy of needs than being clear and sounding natural. The great thing about sonnets is that there are so many acceptable rhyme schemes that departing from the original's scheme can go almost unnoticed. Most readers of poetry read for content and sound, and only a few poetic sticklers will know or care that you altered the rhyme scheme. That said, I fully acknowledge that many different approaches to translation are possible and justifiable, so you should not change yours if you are committed to it.

Susan
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Unread 07-17-2020, 11:59 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi Julie,

You always do such lovely things with Spanish.

Two quick thoughts: "are present in" is pretty bland, particularly since se muestra has more of a sense of showing. It also leads to two prepositional phrases in that line, which is less ideal.

"transmute" is off register and brings in an alchemical undertone at odds with the very straight-forward marchitará.
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Unread 07-17-2020, 12:42 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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This for the most part seems gracefully done.

The only things that bother me a bit are

"Tresses' flows" - I misread "flows" as "flow" the first time and think "flow" may be the better option to avoid the not-very-natural "flows".

The insertion of the adjective "good". I wonder if "for no real reason" or "with nary/ne'er a reason" may be more appropriate to avoid saying that never changing a routine is a "good" reason.

The split infinitive "to never change" To remove the split infinitive, consider perhaps "But to keep change out of its own routine" "except the changelessness of its routine"
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Unread 07-17-2020, 01:52 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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Quote:
"transmute" is off register and brings in an alchemical undertone at odds with the very straight-forward marchitará.
I don't think so. "Transmute" is not obligated to have an alchemical undertone. The context of the surrounding words makes sure it is colored with the correct, intended meaning.
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Unread 07-17-2020, 02:56 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Thanks for the encouragement, Cameron and Allen, and thanks for identifying just about every doggone thing I was hoping to get away with, Susan, Andrew, and Kevin!

Garcilaso is the poet I have the hardest time translating, because his vocabulary is so simple and unadorned, and his syntax (except for a bit of hyperbaton here and there) is straightforward when compared with later Siglo de Oro poets, the most ornately Baroque of whom is the sesquipedalian Góngora. Any rhyme-driven padding or non-conversational vocabulary in a Garcilaso translation is going to be spotted and objected to by someone. And I've typically got lots!

I'll spend the weekend on a new version that tries to remedy the trouble spots, and will try to post that Monday. Thanks again, and I'll take any additional comments into account, too.

Kevin, I'm an unrepentant heretic on the subject of split infinitives, which in my opinion (and Fowler's) are often the best way to say something. But I agree with you on everything else.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 07-17-2020 at 03:04 PM.
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Unread 07-17-2020, 03:00 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Kevin, Even if we were to say that "transmute" done not need to suggest alchemy (although in common parlance that's pretty much the standard), we'd have to agree that "transmute" and "wither" of two entirely different registers ("transmute" latinate and very high, "wither" Old English), right?

"Well, the plants have withered" vs. "Well, the plants have transmuted."
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Unread 07-17-2020, 03:06 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Yes, I agree that the register of "transmutes" is out of place. It's gotta go.
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