Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Poem Re-Draft and Two New Poem Drafts

I have to say that I like how the re-draft, the first one, has shaped up. It's a translation, with some poetic license, of a famous sonnet by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Sor Juana is extraordinarily difficult to translate well, because her poetry has a virtuouso complexity. But this has turned out fairly well. You can read the Spanish and my very first draft of it here. The other two are quite new and need work.

In which she rebukes a rose, and in it those like it

Divine rose, you are grown in grace,
with all your fragrant subtleness,
teacher with scarlet beauty blessed,
winter lesson in lovely face,

twin of human frame and doom,
example of a graciousness vain,
in whom are unified these twain:
happy cradle, grieving tomb.

Such haughtiness in pomp, such pride,
such presumption! Disdaining mortal fate,
later you are dismayed and hide

when you show in illness a withered state
of which, by learnéd death and foolish life,
alive you lied, but dying demonstrate!

The Hunt

The sad moon shines on the fields below with a soft and lunatic light, but the dark and cold themselves are chilled by the sound of the darkest knight. The clip of hoof of the herald-horse, the call of the ram-theft horn, bring terror to hearts of every folk who on the earth are born. Like famine, conquest, slaughter, the hunter leads endless hell, and the pallid steed leads pallid hounds in a hunt beyond all pale.

Black Lilies

The lilies that bloom in depths of hell
(black their petals, with twilight stripes),
miswrought scions of Asphodel
whose seeds, born by the winds of fire,
spread out through the realms of night,
send forth a scent of death and mire
and rotting corpses on the plain
where rusted blood is washed by rain.
Beware! That scent which cloys the air
of realms that know no life or light
will catch the mind and hold it there,
in shade and endless sleep to lie.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.