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  #11  
Old 08-09-2018, 10:27 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I think it reads quite well. The one thing that gave me a minor hiccup was the proximity of "of which" and "in which". If you could get rid of one of them, it would be good. The "of which" seems less natural than the "in which", so I'd try to find an alternative there.
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2018, 10:50 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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Roger, thank you. I don't think I can get rid of "of which I dream". I am considering revising, at your suggestion, the lines above from:

I have to rake and shovel to regain
bits of the sodden soil in which the rain
dug holes (each one as spacious as a tomb).

to

I have to rake and shovel to regain
bits of the sodden topsoil, where the rain
dug holes (each one as spacious as a tomb).

Hmn? Hmn?
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:34 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Baudelaire is a fan of precise and tangible vocabulary - la pelle et le rateau. I think he'd be happy with topsoil, and plus it solves the which question. I like topsoil myself - good word, and precise.

Cheers,
John
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:53 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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Is "bits" (of soil) adequate if the holes are as big as graves/tombs?

I'm not sure about "topsoil"; it may make it sound too superficial.

Last edited by Kevin Rainbow; 08-09-2018 at 01:02 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-09-2018, 02:21 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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Hmn, I think I still prefer "sodden soil in which. . ." It flows better than "sodden topsoil, where. . ."

Hmn.
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  #16  
Old 08-09-2018, 02:38 PM
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Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Hi Aaron,

This flows very well, and I'm always grateful for an excuse to return to Baudelaire in a fresh, powerful new version. I do have three small nits, though:

Line 8 would be fine without the parantheses. I'm guessing that they're there to suggest the enclosure of the tomb, but the text itself is enough, I think.

In line 9, would you consider putting back the stronger "know" (sait) for the sound-alike "say"?

In line 10, I like the literal translation of "wash" for lavé over "soaked," since there is both a contrast to the storms of stanza 1 and a religious connotation of being purified.
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  #17  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:33 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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Thank you, Edward,

I will take your "washed" and I will try getting rid of the parentheses.

I'm not sure about the "know," though, for "say." "Know" strikes me as too heavy for an unstressed syllable and "who can say" is more idiomatic in English.

[Edward: I tried "dug holes, each one as spacious as a tomb" but prefer "dug holes (each one as spacious as a tomb)".

Thank you very much,

Aaron

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 08-09-2018 at 03:37 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-11-2018, 06:37 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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will find in dirt washed as an ocean shore

"like" is grammatically correct here. I wish more could have been done with "ocean shore."

You end with an off-rhymed couplet that is not in the original. I'd think that CB's rhyme scheme would give you more leeway.

Last edited by R. S. Gwynn; 08-11-2018 at 06:39 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2018, 06:43 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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Thank you, Sam. I do prefer "like" to "as" there and will go with it.

I'm quite happy with the closing couplet as it is--it says exactly what the original says.

Best,

Aaron
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