translation

New Spring

english translation

New Spring

original German poem

Neuer Frühling

  XL

Die holden Wünsche blühen,
Und welken wieder ab,
Und blühen und welken wieder—
So geht es bis ans Grab.

Das weiß ich, und das vertrübet
Mir alle Lieb und Lust;
Mein Herz ist so klug und witzig,
Und verblutet in meiner Brust.

 

In the Dream

english translation

In the Dream

original German poem

Im Traum sah ich ein Männchen klein und putzig

Im Traum sah ich ein Männchen klein und putzig,
     Das ging auf Stelzen, Schritte ellenweit,
     Trug weiße Wäsche und ein feines Kleid,
     Inwendig aber war es grob und schmutzig.

Inwendig war es jämmerlich, nichtsnutzig,
     Jedoch von außen voller Würdigkeit;
     Von der Courage sprach es lang und breit,
     Und tat sogar recht trutzig und recht stutzig.

„Und weißt du, wer das ist? Komm her und schau!“
     So sprach der Traumgott, und er zeigt mir schlau
     Die Bilderfluth in eines Spiegels Rahmen.

Vor einem Altar stand das Männchen da,
     Mein Lieb daneben, beide sprachen: Ja!
     Und tausend Teufel riefen lachend: Amen!

 

Terese Coe

Terese Coe’s poems and translations have appeared in Able Muse, Agenda, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, the Moth, New American Writing, New Writing Scotland, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Review, Stinging Fly, Threepenny Review, and the TLS, among many other journals. Her collection Shot Silk was listed for the 2017 Poets Prize, and she has received grants from Giorno Poetry Systems and Vermont Studio Center. Copies of her poem “More” were heli-dropped across London as part of the 2012 Olympics Rain of Poems.

 

Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in either 1797 or 1799. In 1831 he took exile in France, where he often struggled financially despite irregular patronage from a millionaire uncle. With freedom of speech, he developed an international reputation for the lyricism, wordplay, irony, and excoriating satire of his poems, and was called the last of the Romantics. In 1841 he married Crescence Eugénie Mirat (“Mathilde”), who cared for him during eight years of paralysis; he wrote from bed until his death in 1856.

 

My Bohemia

english translation

My Bohemia

original French poem

Ma bohème

Je m’en allais, les poings dans mes poches crevées ;
Mon paletot aussi devenait idéal ;
J’allais sous le ciel, Muse! Et j’étais ton féal ;
Oh! là là! que d’amours splendides j’ai rêvées !

Mon unique culotte avait un large trou.
—Petit Poucet rêveur, j’égrenais dans ma course
Des rimes. Mon auberge était à la Grande-Ourse.
—Mes étoiles au ciel avaient un doux frou-frou

Et je les écoutais, assis au bord des routes,
Ces bons soirs de septembre où je sentais des gouttes
De rosée à mon front, comme un vin de vigueur ;

Où, rimant au milieu des ombres fantastiques,
Comme des lyres, je tirais les élastiques
De mes souliers blessés, un pied près de mon cœur !

 

The Enemy

english translation

The Enemy

original French poem

L’Ennemi

Ma jeunesse ne fut qu’un ténébreux orage,
Traversé ça et là par de brillants soleils ;
Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage,
Qu’il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils.

Voilà que j’ai touché l’automne des idées,
Et qu’il faut employer la pelle et les râteaux
Pour rassembler à neuf les terres inondées,
Où l’eau creuse des trous grands comme des tombeaux.

Et qui sait si les fleurs nouvelles que je rêve
Trouveront dans ce sol lavé comme une grève
Le mystique aliment qui ferait leur vigueur ?

—Ô douleur ! ô douleur ! Le Temps mange la vie,
Et l’obscur Ennemi qui nous ronge le cœur
Du sang que nous perdons croît et se fortifie !

 

Catullus iii

english translation

Catullus iii

original Latin poem

Catullus iii

Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque
et quantum est hominum venustiorum!
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat;
nam mellitus erat, suamque norat
ipsa tam bene quam puella matrem,
nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
illuc unde negant redire quemquam.
at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis;
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis.
o factum male! o miselle passer!
tua nunc opera meae puellae
flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.

 

Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus)

Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 BC – 54 BC) was a Latin poet of the late Roman Republic whose work had a profound influence on later Latin poets, including Ovid, Horace, and Virgil. Approximately 116 of Catullus’s often-translated poems have survived.

 

 

Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud (1854 – 1891) was a French poet who wrote some of the most remarkable poetry and prose of the nineteenth century. He prefigured Surrealism and free verse, and was a major figure in Symbolism. Precocious and miserable in provincial France, he ran away to Paris at sixteen, where he read voraciously and lived in alcoholic squalor, sometimes with Paul Verlaine. Widely regarded as a prodigy, he wrote all of his poetry in the space of less than five years. Before age twenty-one, he burned his last manuscripts and is not known to have written other work.

 

Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1897) holds the most wide-ranging influence of the French Symbolist poets. A respected reviewer and critic whose translations of Edgar Allan Poe were much admired in his time, he died young, at only forty-six, but left behind a legacy of work at the center of which stands his masterpiece, the poems of Les Fleurs du mal, first published in 1857 to shock and acclaim.

 

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