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  #21  
Unread 07-13-2020, 03:17 AM
Kevin Rainbow's Avatar
Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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I don't really see how the German wording points in that direction. Can you demonstrate what you are going by in the German to connect the two? In English "I am" can, because "I am" is how God's name is translated in Exodus 3:14. But the German wording in the poem doesn't seem to match the biblical wording at all.

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But the suggestion that Mary now feels eternal means that in a small way she is sharing in God's being
Not sure about that. It is hard to imagine Mary playing with God's name that way - using it to refer to herself or liken herself to God. It seems a devout Jewess of those days would be more likely to consider it as bordering on blasphemous, and therefore not something she would be willing to do.

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Last edited by Kevin Rainbow; 07-13-2020 at 03:31 AM.
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  #22  
Unread 07-13-2020, 08:01 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Kevin, as I said before, I don't think the double meaning is necessarily there in Rilke's version, but I think the sense of wonder is. By ending the sentence with "I am," I am trying to tap in to that sense of wonder for English-speaking readers. Rilke is never trying to be biblically accurate in his retellings. He is always putting his own spin on the stories.

Susan
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  #23  
Unread 07-13-2020, 08:39 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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As an aside, I want to congratulate and encourage Susan for frequent posting of very worthwhile translations and poems to consider in this period when so much activity on Eratosphere is devoted to other topics which, however worthy they may be, are extraneous to Eratosphere’s main function. She is not alone in this, Rick Mullin deserves my praise for the same thing. As for me, I’m focused off-line a lot now, and hope to post more than commentary like this when I can.
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  #24  
Unread 07-13-2020, 01:35 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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Kevin, as I said before, I don't think the double meaning is necessarily there in Rilke's version, but I think the sense of wonder is.
I agree. I don't think the sense of wonder is from an allusion to God's name in the German itself. But you added it as a potential allusion in the English. Not that big of a deal. It is merely a potential allusion. Many readers probably won't think of it as having anything to do with "God's name". They will probably be more likely to notice how little "am" "gleam" and "time" rhyme, if they grew up (as I did) reading poetry where rhymes actually sound like rhymes.

I think there's enough wonder without you injecting an allusion to God's name in the translation. But it is good to see you willing to be a little less literal and more daring to use poetic license.

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Last edited by Kevin Rainbow; 07-13-2020 at 04:29 PM.
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