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  #21  
Old 12-03-2011, 12:58 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Lance, this poem captured my imagination, and I could not resist trying my own version of it. In doing so, I had to make some of the same decisions you have made, and I did not conclude that "abysses" was primarily an allusion to heraldry, but to hell. Likewise, I think the "brindelles" are twigs rather than branches, and since they are likened to red sins, one could imagine them as bloody switches with which Christ was beaten or as kindling for the fires of hell.

I feel a bit guilty at poaching on your territory, but I hate to pass up inspiration when it calls. I do not wish to compete with your own translation.

Susan
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2011, 01:35 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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The octave is about there, I think. The second tercet is just going to be flawed, I'm afraid. That infernal (abime) image either requires a footnote or an explanation within the poem. I've chosen the latter, for the time being. Adam how do you serious translators cope with the frustration? I'm off to the gym to beat up a helpless leather bag.

Thanks so much to all, Adam, Chris (always diligent), and Don with his heraldry.
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  #23  
Old 12-03-2011, 01:49 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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Susan,

I think you're on to something! As erudite as the heraldry idea seems, it doesn't quite snap shut for me. Is La Ceppede saying that the sins (peches) are twigs IN the abyss (of Hell)? Of course, the twigs would be burning and that idea--that they are burning--fits an RC view of the afterlife. (Actually it fits mine, too). That solution has the grammatical high ground, as well. The brindelles in the parenthesis clearly are meant to refer to the peches.

I have no qualms about you joining in--if you'll permit me to try this idea.

Poeta aliorum auxilium poetarum semper accipiat!

Lance
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  #24  
Old 12-03-2011, 02:34 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Lance,
I mentioned the ideas in the hope of helping you, since I doubt that I would have come across this poem on my own. Also, I think the coat of arms that is mentioned in the first line is literally a sleeveless coat with heraldic devices, worn over a suit of armor in battle.

Susan
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  #25  
Old 12-03-2011, 06:04 PM
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Don Jones Don Jones is offline
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Lance,

You don't have to keep the heraldry association. I believe it is there, the escutcheon on his back for his woes that are a result of all our sins, which is a steep contrast to the red of the conquering monarchs' coat of arms who rule the world. Etc.. In any case, "abysses" to refer to heraldry is arcane in both languages- or at least in our age. You would have to make it explicit to fit the metaphor at the expense of the French you have. Forget about veering away from the French and go for the French.

That said, your S2 is outstanding. S1 doesn't do it for me with "blazonry." Also, I don't get enough of the difference or demarcation that de la Ceppede immediately sets up in S1. That is why there can be association with heraldry later on. The coat of arms is the first item on the menu.

"The victorious prince is not like those whose coat of arms reflect their conquering greatness. No, he is not like them and his coat of arms will be such and such purple, mocked and scorned, and with red abysses of wounds across his back, signalling his pedigree as the highest, beyond all kings. Truly beyond purple."

Just a thought or two, Lance. It's coming along. Just punch the bag furiously, then forget about it and then come back to it.

Don
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  #26  
Old 12-03-2011, 10:24 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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Don

You're on target. I just read an essay about La Ceppede's irony.
It's on display here in S1 where the soldiers have no idea who the real king is.
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  #27  
Old 12-04-2011, 04:30 AM
Adam Elgar Adam Elgar is offline
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Lance, you're fighting the good fight with supreme commitment. This poem is like the garment Susan describes - a virtual straitjacket to the translator. None of us translators can bear the frustration, I believe. That's why I do so little of it!
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  #28  
Old 12-04-2011, 02:35 PM
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Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Hi Lance,

The views of this poem are foreign to me, but I still find your latest version compelling. It’s getting close to being very good indeed.

I don’t think the first stanza is quite there yet, though it’s improving with each rendition. Right now I think the “blazonry-mockery” rhyme that’s holding you back (the French emphasizes “glorieux” through its rhyme). Perhaps something around “victorious / glorious” might work. I also think that “buffoon” isn’t the right word in line 3. You have brought out the essential contrast well, though.

In the final line, I don’t understand the idea of how a bloody mantle can become Christ’s skin. Maybe something straightforward like your crib—“Within the bloody mantle of your skin.”—might work.
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  #29  
Old 12-04-2011, 05:04 PM
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Chris Childers Chris Childers is offline
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Hi Lance,

I certainly agree with the others that this is moving in the right direction, but still isn't quite there yet. I don't care for ll.3-4; "buffoon" is a stretch & the repetition of "mockery" in l.4 has no parallel in the French. While I don't mind "blazonry" per se it may be, as someone else has said, that you need a new rhyme. Anyway further work is called for in S1.

In S3, "at our origin" is a stretch, both metrically (6 beats) and in the interpolated meaning; "the Father has attached to this Lamb's side" was a better line, though "side" posed a rhyme problem--maybe give yourself three rhymes for the sestet?

I agree with the others that you ought not to mention "heraldry" in S4, and that your last line is still rather convoluted--I second Edward's suggestion. Excelsior!

Chris

PS.: Since Susan has come clean, I will admit to having done my own version as well.
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  #30  
Old 12-05-2011, 10:02 AM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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Version #4 up--which may be the last for the time being. I went with Susan's "Hell" finally, in paraphrase. Par le Pere attache: I'm going with Born by this Lamb the Father hither led. The attaching, I assume, takes place while The Lamb is being led.

Thanks again to all. BTW: What would it take to coax out some of these other versions?
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