Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Unread 08-05-2023, 04:11 PM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 1,392
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Callin View Post
That's the one that I have, Jim. I love it, although I suspect that Carl (politely) deplores it.
Yes, I deplore all the Merwin/Brown translations I havenít read, but Iím much more positive about the one or two Iíve actually seen.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Unread 08-05-2023, 04:31 PM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: England
Posts: 1,277
Default

I have very mixed feelings about Merwin's Mandelstam (coupled with the fact that there is no copy accessible to me).
On the one hand, I sympathise with what Brodsky says in "Child of Civilisation" greatly. Merwin's sense of rhythm is not Mandelstamian, and, from what I know, rhythm seems everything with Mandelstam. Like Christian Wiman's work, though more insideously, they strike me as interpretation: as the conversion of one rhythm into another.
Although, I might guess that ó though I attempt closer rhythmic echoes ó Carl might contend that my own translations are performing a similar act.
Yet, occasionally, Merwin though he is unable to escape his rhythms seems to escape himself: annihilates himself: and inhabits something like a Mandelstamian region. Just look at the invisible connection: the implicit links and logic of association employed in the opening of Merwin's translation of "Black Earth". In some sense, that is very faithful:


Black Earth
Manured, blackened, worked to a fine tilth, combed
like a stallionís mane, stroked under the wide air,
all the loosened ridges cast up in a single choir,
the damp crumbs of my earth and my freedom!


In the first days of plowing itís so black it looks blue.
Here the labor without tools begins.
A thousand mounds of rumor plowed openóI see
the limits of this have no limits.


Yet the earthís a mistake, the back of an axe;
fall at her feet, she wonít notice.
She pricks up our ears with her rotting flute,
freezes them with the wood-winds of her morning.


How good the fat earth feels on the plowshare.
How still the steppe, turned up to April.
Salutations, black earth. Courage. Keep the eye wide.
Be the dark speech of silence laboring.
ó Osip Mandelstam trans. Clarence Brown and W.S. Merwin
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Unread 08-09-2023, 02:33 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 4,938
Default

For those collecting translations, I just came across a selected poems translated by Ilya Bernstein, called simply "Poems", first published in 2014. The final draft of the book -- well poems anyway -- is online in pdf form here. It looks like you'll have to buy the book if you want the accompanying "extended commentary on the poems and on Mandelstam's poetics".

There's an article about the book in the LA Review of Books, which does, eventually, start to talk about the book.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Unread 08-09-2023, 03:50 PM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 1,392
Default

Thanks, Matt. I usually warn people off translators with Russian names like Ilya because their feel for English is less than perfect. Ilya Bernstein is an exception. He came to the US at the age of nine or ten, I think, and is probably perfectly bilingual. His translations are accurate and inventive and worth reading, though Cameron prefers Greene, and I think I agree with him.

Last edited by Carl Copeland; 08-09-2023 at 06:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Unread 08-12-2023, 06:23 AM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 1,392
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by W T Clark View Post
Just look at the invisible connection: the implicit links and logic of association employed in the opening of Merwin's translation of "Black Earth". In some sense, that is very faithful
I’ve finally had time to look this over and agree that in many ways it’s a fine translation, worth studying. The opening is a reimagining—more in Roger’s line (and yours?). In the first three lines, I count four words left over from the original: “blackened,” “mane,” “air” and “choir.” (It’s actually “withers,” not “mane,” but that’s close enough.) The rest of the translation is accurate, but I’m open to the idea that the reimagined lines are more in the spirit of the original than Robert Tracy’s more accurate rendering (without “withers,” though):

All praised, all black, all cosseted and coddled,
All open air and watchfulness, all ranged in tiny hills,
All pulled apart, all organized in chorus—

I don’t have the ambition or the talent to reimagine Russian poets, though of course all translators do it to one degree or another. If I’m influenced to drift a little more in that direction, I’ll go with it.

Last edited by Carl Copeland; 08-13-2023 at 05:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Unread 09-07-2023, 06:35 AM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 1,392
Default

I didnít know there were voice recordings of Mandelstam. Hereís one (of ten), on a page for a class at Stanford, of Mandelstam reading ďNo, I have never been anyoneís contemporary.Ē Seasickness warning: most Russians chant their poems and write them to be chantable.

https://web.stanford.edu/class/slavi...gda_nichej.mp3
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Unread 09-09-2023, 04:00 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 6,086
Default

Thanks for these links. Iím scarfing them up.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 8,364
Total Threads: 21,837
Total Posts: 272,471
There are 1298 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online