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  #31  
Old 12-05-2011, 12:02 PM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
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Once again, you show yourself a persistent and successful reviser, Lance! Bravo!

Two observations in passing about the sestet...

I have wondered if “attachés” is a pun. “Attacher” is commonly used in the context of the Crucifixion: in Old French, “tache” signified a large nail. (“Attacher” might well be the verb one would use in translating such English expressions as “the clay stuck to my boots” or “the sausages stuck to the pan”.) But another sense is hinted at, too, for “tache” means “mark” or “stain”: for instance, “la tache originelle” is a periphrasis for “le péché originel”. The important senses, then, concern fixing and staining. For all these reasons, I am not convinced that “Your bloody hue shows our iniquity / born by this Lamb the Father hither led” gets things right. (Anyway, shouldn’t “born” be “borne”?) Unfortunately, I have no solution to hand.

Secondly, as to “twigs that stoke the fires of eternity”, I hesitated over “stokes”. To stoke a fire can indeed signify supplying it with fuel; but it also, and perhaps more commonly, signifies poking at it so as to encourage it to burn more strongly. Twigs would not be much use for this purpose. I suggest you might consider “twigs that feed the fires of eternity”. (An aside: I would prefer “sticks” to “twigs” as better suited to the imagery of bonfires.)

I hope this is useful. (Perhaps someone has made these points already.)

Best wishes!

Clive
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  #32  
Old 12-05-2011, 02:50 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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Clive,

Thanks for looking in! This is where we left off, isn't it? Once again I'm up to my neck in a poem I care a great deal about and once again you come forward with exciting new material, plus some wise insights as to using it. Your observations about "attaches" reveal yet another dimension to this rich piece. I had just about called a half-time break but your contribution may inspire me to push on. Let me ponder and push some more clauses around. Many thanks, as always. It's support by stalwart lads like yourself and Adam, Chris, Don and Susan (Sorry abut the sexism, Susan!)that gives fellows like me the confidence to push on even in the face of daunting problems.
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  #33  
Old 12-05-2011, 03:59 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Lance, I had a breakthrough on the nature of the twigs. I thought I remembered seeing the flagellation portrayed with bunches of twigs instead of whips. Sure enough, as I looked into it further, I came upon numerous representations of the beating being done with birch rods (a collection of birch twigs tied together). So though I was originally seeing the twigs as kindling, I am now interpreting them as means of the flogging.

Susan
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  #34  
Old 12-05-2011, 05:47 PM
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Don Jones Don Jones is offline
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Susan,

I had noted as much in an earlier post but failed to draw Lance's attention to its lacking in his translation thus far. Yes, the Savior's back is being whipped by the sticks/twigs (and that's got to hurt, who needs a whip?). The resulting abysses are three things to my mind: the red and bloody lashes, the abysses of Hell itself, and, third, though lost in French and in English via special case for "abyss," an ingenious twist on the idea of a coat of arms introduced in the opening. The first two should come across while the third is just there. Lance did well to get rid of "heraldry."

However, Lance, you have to work in Susan's note. More blood and violence!

Don
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  #35  
Old 03-29-2013, 08:20 AM
moudiwort moudiwort is offline
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I will come back to this because I love the original and dig your translation (a different poem to me). And: it is Ceppède (spelling), I think.

In my opinion the second stanza of the original is pivotal.

Last edited by moudiwort; 03-29-2013 at 08:31 AM.
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