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

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 02-21-2019, 11:07 AM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,336
Default Kateřina (Karel Kryl)

Rev. 1:

Katrina

When Sunday lazily
has slumbered the whole day through,
timidly, crazily,
Katrina, I’ll write to you.
Hunched by my table lamp,
I’ll note beneath the stamp
that you didn’t guess that you … were my everything.

When dawn’s pink clouds set sail
my tears will stain the letter.
I’ll drop it in the mail,
and won’t say “See you later”,
the first stone that I’ll see
I’ll question quietly,
why didn’t she guess that she … was my everything.

And when the sun is high,
I’ll buy a bottle of rum.
I’ll shake my head and sigh,
writing that letter was dumb.
Rereading ruefully,
I’ll get drunk mournfully
so she won’t ever guess she … was my everything … was my everything.

Recording:
https://youtu.be/JjZp6KDwzro

Rev. 0:

Katrina

Sunday has lazily
slept in my bed until two.
Timidly, crazily,
Katrina, I’ll write to you
then on the envelope
I’ll write a little note
as you didn’t guess that you … were my everything.

When dawn comes pink as phlox,
my tears will stain the letter.
I’ll drop it in the box,
and won’t say “See you later”,
the first stone that I’ll see
I’ll question quietly,
why didn’t she guess that she … was my everything.

And when the sun is high,
I’ll buy a bottle of rum.
I’ll shake my head and sigh,
writing that letter was dumb.
Rereading ruefully,
I’ll get drunk mournfully
so she won’t ever guess she … was my everything … was my everything.

Original Czech:

Kateřina

Až mine neděle
a usne na peřině,
k zbláznění nesměle
napíšu Kateřině
a potom pod známku
doplním poznámku,
že asi netušila, že mi byla vším.

S ranními červánky
na dopis slzy skanou,
vhodím ho do schránky,
neřeknu "nashledanou",
prvnímu oblázku
položím otázku,
proč asi netušila, že mi byla vším.

A když se rozední,
koupím si láhev rumu,
ten dopis poslední
napsal jsem z nerozumu,
nad jeho kopií
tiše se opiji,
to aby netušila, že mi byla vším, že mi byla vším.

Literal Translation:

Katherine

When Sunday has passed
and falls asleep on the comforter
crazily timidly
I’ll write to Katherine
and then under the stamp
I’ll fill in a comment
that she probably didn’t suspect that she was everything to me.

With morning’s rosy clouds
tears will fall on the letter,
I’ll throw it in the mailbox
I won’t say “see you later”,
to the first pebble
I will ask [literally: I will lay the question]
why probably didn’t she suspect that she was everything to me.

And when the day begins
I’ll buy myself a bottle of rum,
that last letter
I wrote out of unreasonableness
above a copy of it
quietly I’ll get drunk
so that she won’t suspect that, she was everything to me, she was everything to me.

Notes:
This is an early song by Kryl--written when he was only 18. It isn't political, and mostly lacks the vivid imagery of his later songs, but already has his clever rhymes.

Recording:
https://youtu.be/JjZp6KDwzro
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 02-22-2019, 09:51 PM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 5,619
Default

Hey, Martin! I enjoyed the song very much. Letter/later works for me.

The first two lines are a bit too far from the original for my comfort. I get the sense from the prose crib that Sunday is over now, and sleeps on the bedspread, while the narrator does not, because he's obsessing over the letter, and the woman.

"The on the envelope I'll write a small note" is technically true, but the prose crib makes clear that this message is actually under the stamp, where the recipient is unlikely to see it unless she knows to look. That's probably why she doesn't know that she's his everything.

"Pink as phlox" seems to introduce an oddly specific image.

I hope these thoughts are helpful.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 02-23-2019, 05:27 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,336
Default

Hi Julie,
thank you so much for reading and commenting. You have picked out a lot of weak spots--most of them rhyme driven. Since I think some of Kryl's choices were also rhyme driven, I don't feel that it is entirely wrong, but I do want to improve things.

I like your interpretation of the opening, and am thinking about how to get to it. "until two" is purely rhyme driven, and I'm struggling to find an alternative.

I think I have a nice solution to the note--instead of "I'll add a little note", how about "I'll hide a little note".

"phlox" is again rhyme driven; an alternative to "box" is "slot"--but so far, I haven't found a way to take advantage of that.

Thanks again, and any suggestions will be much appreciated!

Martin

P.S. I decided to combine all my responses to Julie's much appreciated comments:

Julie,
I've come in addition to the change in S1L6, I have eliminated "phlox" and come up with a new S2L1-3. I'm still trying to fix the beginning of S1.

Any more thoughts or comments would be most appreciated!

Martin

P.P.S.

OK, I have a complete revision up (thanks Julie for that initial push). I am very unsure if the new S1L2 works or is too contorted. Any comments would be most appreciated!

Martin
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 02-27-2019, 07:32 AM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 5,619
Default

Better, I think. But I also think that you need to convey that he's only telling her that she's his everything in his tiny, hidden message under the stamp. Could you say that the message he wrote was "cramped," for the rhyme?

When I was a girl, I read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, and was taken by her description of hiding tiny messages to her ring of people-smugglers (in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands) under the stamps of seemingly-innocuous letters, to get that information past the censors. I started doing that on my thank-you notes to my grandparents. But despite my telephoned reminders to them to check under the stamp for my secret messages, none of them ever remembered to before throwing the envelope away.

Anyway, the "under the stamp" reference might be a familiar concept to Kryl's Postwar audience.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 02-27-2019 at 07:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 02-27-2019, 11:01 AM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,336
Default

Julie,
thank you so much for coming back. To be honest, I didn't interpret Kryl's line as literally under the stamp, but rather on the envelope below the stamp--language is ambiguous here in both English and Czech. But I like your interpretation a great deal, and have tried to adopt it. What do you think?

Thank you again for reading and commenting, and look forward to reading what you think of this version.

Martin
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: 7,960
Total Threads: 19,422
Total Posts: 248,676
There are 133 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