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  #11  
Old 08-18-2018, 02:57 PM
Kevin Rainbow's Avatar
Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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An admirable translation for the most part.



"Stunner", as Andrew mentioned, immediately stands out as rather contrived, for the sake of the rhyme. It is a position that doesn't offer many options. Maybe -


When you shall sleep, my beauty tenebrous,
in the dark stone of your memorial
and own as bed, bedroom and manorhouse
only a leaky vault and funeral hole


I'm not sure why you go with "this" and "these" in lines 5 and 6; to me "your", as used in the original, seems better and more natural in English too. Maybe it's just my own preference.

L7 strikes me as going overboard with "and". I wonder if something like this would be worthy consideration:

Halt your heart's beat and wishes, and arrest

Or

to halt your heart and longings and arrest




Quote:
your ignorance of what the dead ones weep?

"Weep" alone, instead of "weep over" or "weep about" "weep for", isn't used very often for this meaning. It doesn't necessarily matter much, but it may make some people pause and think "what" is supposed to be "why" "Why" may be better for clarity, or you could omit "ones" and go for "what the dead beweep".

.

Last edited by Kevin Rainbow; 08-18-2018 at 03:07 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2018, 06:59 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, all, for commenting. I like "stunner" but only because I am doing these translations more for myself than for publication. Also, yes, I had assumed that the courtesan addressed here is a woman of color (perhaps Jeanne Duval), so "dusky" both refers to her complexion and anticipates the darkness of the grace.

Still, I will see what I can do with stunner.

Thanks, all,

aron
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2018, 07:05 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Alright, screw it: "my swarthy sweet."

When you have gone to sleep, my swarthy sweet,
in the dark stone of your memorial
and come to own as bedroom and estate
only a leaky vault and funeral hole,

Screw it again--here's the second quatrain:

when, by squeezing tight your panting breast
and supple, sloth-graced haunches, slabs annul
your heartbeats and decisions and arrest
feet prone to go out looking for a thrill,

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 08-18-2018 at 07:57 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-18-2018, 08:16 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Aaron,

I think you might want to take another look at your original quatrains. I'm not a big fan of "Sloth-graced haunches," for instance (though I did like "apathy"). Trust your gut.

Cheers,
John
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2018, 09:06 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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John, I think I am committed to the grammatical structure of the most recent revision. I am still massaging the "haunches"--I could think about them all day (and night) long. They are supple; they are attractively/charmingly apathetic/lethargic. Hmn. I am going for "lithe, sloth-graceful haunches."
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2018, 09:26 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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OK! As you say, this is for your own pleasure. I do prefer "lithe, sloth-graceful haunches" to its predecessor.

Cheers,
John
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