Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-23-2017, 06:04 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 809
Default Tao Yuanming, Drinking Wine No. 1

Stricter Translation
Drinking Wine, No. 1

Declining and thriving have no fixed existence:
Now he, now she, endure them each in turn.

Master Shao within his melon patch
Little resembles Lord Shao in the eastern hills.

Cold displaces heat, and heat, cold—
The human way is no different than this.

Reflective people understand all this
And move along without compounding doubts.

Suddenly, I’m offered a cup of wine
And cling to it: day and night, filled with joy.

Edits:

S1L2: Each one altogether replaces the other --> Now he, now she, endure them each in turn
S2L2: the lord --> Lord Shao


Looser transmogrification
Declining and thriving flicker like fire;
Each wears the other as its mask.

Master Shao among his melons
Little resembles the man in the hills.

Heat and cold are each other's deaths—
The human way is just the same.

Reflective people comprehend this
And pass without compounding doubts.

Suddenly, I'm offered wine—
Sun and sunset joyously deadlock.

Original
衰 荣 无 定 在
彼 此 更 共 之
邵 生 瓜 田 中
宁 似 东 陵 时
寒 暑 有 代 谢
人 道 每 如 兹
达 人 解 其 会
逝 将 不 复 疑
忽 与 一 觞 酒
日 夕 欢 相 持

Crib
Decline growth without stable place
One another replace altogether [ ]
Shao mister melon field middle
How appear east hill time
cold hot have supersession
human way each time like this
intelligent people understand this
pass will not compound doubt
suddenly offer a cup wine
day night happily [ ] grasp

Burton Watson


David Hinton

Last edited by Aaron Novick; 11-06-2017 at 07:20 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-23-2017, 08:23 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 596
Default

Aaron,

I'm a big fan of Tao Yuanming (though I knew him, until now, only as T'ao Ch'ien since it was through the Hinton translation).

There's a lot of good here. I like that your five-beat lines here work towards replicating the original.

But some places for improvement. First, "Decline and thriving" have a wonderful assonance, but I don't think they are ill-suited pairs grammatically. Either two gerunds, or two standard nouns, I think.
The human way is ever the same as this.
The "ever the same" feels like an old idiom, and it lacks freshness. I like the Hinton better than the Watson because it feels more modern.

Also, the last lines are meant to have a cause/effect sort of thing going on, it seems (no punctuation), and I think you do a bit of disservice by severing them.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:17 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 809
Default

Thanks, Andrew. I made some changes to the two lines you highlighted.

I got the last line embarrassingly wrong (though, poetically, I liked my error), so it's now wholly replaced, which should solve your issue there. Though I hate what I currently have—I hope I think of something better.

Hinton takes his license as a translator to extremes here. It's a good English poem, but I want to stay closer to the construction of the original.

Last edited by Aaron Novick; 09-25-2017 at 08:02 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:35 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 809
Default

In fact, I like my error so much that I've written an extremely loose "translation" that uses it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-24-2017, 11:59 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,852
Default

I am interested in the character 荣, which, it seems, can mean “vigor” and “prosperity.” Your “thriving” is a good rendering of it, I think. Your accentual five-beat lines are a good choice for the five-sound lines of the original. I’m afraid I must come down on the side of the Hinton for line four—his is the translation that tells me what the “hills” or “eastern hills” mean—the court. Your translation would require a footnote. I would suggest “joyfully” for “joyously” in the last line if only because the “-full-“ in “joyfully” picks up on the liquid image of the wine.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-25-2017, 08:02 AM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 809
Default

Thanks, Aaron. I've relented a bit on literality in the fourth line to address your concern. (Added bonus: the English is smoother.)

I like your point about "joyfully" but found that word a bit too thick (if that makes sense) to fit into the line, so I found a different way to work that image in.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-25-2017, 10:25 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,852
Default

Hey! your translation, I think, is now better than Watson's and Hinton's. Your revision to line 4 is simple and inspired--the best kind. We'll see what other think.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-25-2017, 05:04 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 596
Default

Aaron,

I like this newer one better. Any reason you aren't bringing the dash over from your looser one? I still think those two finals lines should have a closer connection grammatically than what you have here.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-25-2017, 05:40 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 809
Default

Aaron, thanks. That's high praise!

Andrew, thanks for returning. A dash didn't make sense to me between the two lines as I had them, but here's a tentative revision of the last couplet that brings the lines closer together in a different way.

I'm also considering a dash where the colon is.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-26-2017, 10:45 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 596
Default

Aaron,

I'm a fan of all these revisions. I think this is really rounding out nice. I'm not sure you need a dash rather than a colon, though the colon feels a little formal for the drinking party.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,842
Total Threads: 18,824
Total Posts: 243,138
There are 104 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online