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  #1  
Unread 08-01-2021, 02:58 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
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Default Rilke, The Parks, III

The Parks

III.

The ponds and the small stone-rimmed fish pools are
still kept in unawareness of the trial
of the kings. They wait beneath their veils;
at any moment, Monseigneur the heir

might wander past, and then they want to soften
the mood or melancholy of the sovereign
and from their marble margins once again
allow the tapestries of old reflections

to hang, as if arranged around a square:
on a green ground, with rose-pink, gray, and silver,
the given white and gently mixed-in blue,
and here a king and there a woman, too,
and flowers in the undulating border.


Revisions:
S1L3 "kings" was "king"


III

Den Teichen und den eingerahmten Weihern
verheimlicht man noch immer das Verhör
der Könige. Sie warten unter Schleiern,
und jeden Augenblick kann Monseigneur

vorüberkommen; und dann wollen sie
des Königs Laune oder Trauer mildern
und von den Marmorrändern wieder die
Teppiche mit alten Spiegelbildern

hinunterhängen, wie um einen Platz:
auf grünem Grund, mit Silber, Rosa, Grau,
gewährtem Weiß und leicht gerührtem Blau
und einem Könige und einer Frau
und Blumen in dem wellenden Besatz.


Literal translation:
III.

The ponds and the small bordered pools
still are kept unaware of the trial
of the kings. They wait beneath veils,
and at any moment, Monseigneur might

pass by them, and then they want
to alleviate the king’s mood or sadness
and from their marble edges again
let the tapestries with the old mirror images

hang down, as if around a square:
on a green background, silver, pink, gray,
allowed white and lightly stirred blue
and a king and a woman
and flowers in the rippling border.

Last edited by Susan McLean; 08-01-2021 at 09:20 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 08-01-2021, 08:09 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Location: TX
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Hi Susan,

Yes, pretty much. You've got the German - though der Koenige is plural - and your version has music. I love love love Monseigneur the heir, you are quite correct in that, speaking as an Old Regime scholar. Here you go from the Britannica: "Monseigneur, former French title, appearing without an adjoining proper name, used to refer to or address the dauphin, or grand dauphin, heir apparent to the crown. Monseigneur was first applied to Louis XIV's son Louis de France (d. 1711) and grandson Louis, duc de Bourgogne." I would personally love to see a different final off-rhyme than river-border, which to my ear doesn't cut it, sorry. Nice poem btw!

Cheers,
John
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  #3  
Unread 08-01-2021, 09:45 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
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John, thanks for catching that error. "Silver" famously has no exact rhyme, so I have given it a slant rhyme with "border" because I can't come up with any good equivalent for "Besatz" that I can rhyme at all.

Susan
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  #4  
Unread 08-01-2021, 10:05 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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No problem, Susan.
Doesn’t silver rhyme with orange?

Cheers,
John
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  #5  
Unread 08-08-2021, 02:20 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Susan, this is one of Rilke's that I have paid insufficient attention to. One of his best, and not at all an elegantly disguised explosion of Rilke's horniness. Beyond that, your translation is the loveliest of your recent ones by far. The silver/border fade out is pure Pindar. Pindar.
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