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  #11  
Old 11-26-2011, 04:07 AM
Adam Elgar Adam Elgar is offline
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I've finally tracked down a ref to "carmes" = "carmelites apostoliques", so I'm on board with that. Sorry for being slow to get there. Still odd, though, as Chris is saying.

re. the tear-drenching, I'm pretty sure that the ex-Catholic Donne has a holy sonnet in which Christ's tears are saving blood, and I have no doubt that a French Catholic poet would be happy to take on those bloody tears himself.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2011, 08:50 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Since the Carmelites wore white robes, he may just be saying that the tracks of blood from his eyes will bloody his white robes. I don't know whether he was actually a monk, but many people would stay at monasteries as a sort of religious retreat. They may have worn the monk's robes while there (though this is just a guess).

Susan
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2011, 05:44 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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Thanks all for your insights. You're such a needed encouragement. "Sang trait" seems to be a key here and I'll be drawn and quartered, but I can't find what it means. If anyone knows any 16th century French scholars... "Blood line"' is all I can come up with and I'm having a devil of a time fitting that in. I do know La Ceppede was connected with a Carmelite monastery in Aix-en-Provence so Susan's "white" suggestion may bear fruit. Also, Adam, I think you grasp just how OTT these 16th century French Catholics could go in their devotional practices so I'll be looking for more insights from your corner. But it's grades time, so I'm super busy, but a revision is on its way. Fear not.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:01 PM
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Chris Childers Chris Childers is offline
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I assumed it was a past participle of some verb deriving from trahere (perhaps traire, though my French-English dictionary gives me for that only 'to milk'), and that it means "with blood drawn from my eyes." But Medieval French scholar I am not.

Chris
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:02 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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Chris,

Thanks much. By the time trahere gets into Old French from Latin it's also
apparently picked up the idea of "betrayal". Thus, "traitor." But as you see clearly, I'm grasping at straws. I do think that ultimately your "blood drawn from the eyes" or something close to it may well be the ticket. Thanks again for your generosity. I'm still shifting clauses around.
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2011, 04:57 AM
Adam Elgar Adam Elgar is offline
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I've no doubt that "Du sang trait de mes yeux" means "with the blood drawn from my eyes".
I'm sure the poet is asking Christ to supply his eyes with blood for purifying tears, which he'll then pour over the carmelites. As to why it's his job to do that, well... that's above my theological pay grade!
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2011, 02:12 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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I've posted version #2. What's the verdict?
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2011, 08:49 PM
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Chris Childers Chris Childers is offline
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Still pretty rough, Lance, with lots of straining after rhyme. In S1, I really feel you need to rethink the 'evidence/prince' rhyme. You have a convoluted first sentence where the French is straightforward and clear. Though you lose the repetition of 'justement' in S1 you still have 6 beats in line 3. "Weaponed mockers" is odd and strained--why not just "mocking soldiers?" "Covering" is quite vague and fails to anticipate the appearance of the "cloak" at the end.

S2 strikes me as now the most successful part of the revision, though I would suggest 'a thousand tears will pour forth to imbue' for line 7. The rhymes here are good and do not feel strained. The only question I have is whether you diverge too far from the meaning of the original in line 6.

In S3 why make "hues" plural? "Show" I suppose is okay though something more like 'represents' or 'images' or 'figures' would be preferable for meaning's sake. The meter is awkward in line 10 with "as you lie" and "the Father chose" is all wrong for 'par le Pere attaches.' I would cut the "And" at the start of line 11. I'm not sure I'm fond of the change from "crimes" to "penalty" though it is true that Christ bore both.

In the last stanza I am not sure you should spell out 'heraldry'--it was a great insight by Don but the pun on 'abyss' is valid in both languages. Metrically I would prefer "I pray" for "I beg you" in line 12. Finally, I don't think "enfleshed repose" is going to cut it. That comes rather out of nowhere and falls flat. I would really suggest you allow yourself three rhyme sounds rather than two in the sestet here.

In general, the French is bloody, yes, but it also has a straightforwardness and elegance your version has yet to achieve. At times the strain shows through in vagueness of expression (e.g., lines 1, 10, 14), at others in metrical roughness (line 3 & 10-14). Version 2 is definitely better than 1 but I still think it has a long way to go.

Chris
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2011, 08:12 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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New version. Took a chance in S1 and explicitly addressed the irony.
In the last sestet I also drew out the parenthetical implication.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2011, 01:40 PM
Adam Elgar Adam Elgar is offline
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This noble enterprise is coming on well, Lance. Still some struggles to be had, but I’m more than happy with the second quatrain, and with most of the first tercet.

In line 9, I don’t understand the change to “reveals” (which disrupts the metre) from “show” (which didn’t). Either singular or plural “hue” is fine by me, so with “show” or “shows” this tercet is done.

There’s probably no way around “abyss” if it’s a technical term in heraldry. A footnote seems unavoidable.
As for what it does, I don’t think you can justify “speak” since there’s no equivalent in the original. Is there some other impact the heraldic sign can have?

The “bloody coat” doesn’t scan well, and the repeated use of “side” for the rhyme is unconvincing. I suppose you could use “hide”again, this time as noun, in a rhyme riche. Such a concrete, unglamorous word would probably fit the mindset of the poet, and its shock value is fitting. Ceppede’s own rhyme is strange. I take it that “-er” endings of verbs rhymed with “-air” back then. Either way, you have the poet’s licence to use three rhyming pairs, if that makes your life any easier. Stampa and Foscolo sometimes do that, and I jump at the opportunity.

The first quatrain remains a problem, but I think you’re nearly there. It’s really the scansion of lines 3-4 that needs sorting out, although I wonder if Jesus can be “fashioned” by the soldiers? They merely confirm his pre-existent royalty.
For line 4 maybe
“a glorious prince, ennobling mockery.”
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