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  #1  
Unread 07-05-2021, 12:26 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Default Rilke, The Parks, I

The Parks
by Rainer Maria Rilke

I

Inexorably, the manor parks arise
from the soft decaying of what passes on,
overheaped with heavens, handed down
by ultra-strong traditions, which survive

so that upon the openness of lawns
they may spread out and draw themselves apart,
always with the selfsame sovereign
extravagance, as though secured by it,

and still increasing their unfailing earnings
to vaster, more monarchical dimensions,
arising from them and to them returning:
gracious, resplendent, purple, and pretentious.


Revisions:
S1L1 was "Inescapably, the parks arise"
S1L3 was "heaped up with heavens, safely handed down"
S1L4 "ultra-strong" was "super-strong" was "powerful" was "very strong"


Die Parke

I

Unaufhaltsam heben sich die Parke
aus dem sanft zerfallenden Vergehn;
überhäuft mit Himmeln, überstarke
Überlieferte, die überstehn,

um sich auf den klaren Rasenplänen
auszubreiten und zurückzuziehen,
immer mit demselben souveränen
Aufwand, wie beschützt durch ihn,

und den unerschöpflichen Erlös
königlicher Größe noch vermehrend,
aus sich steigend, in sich wiederkehrend:
huldvoll, prunkend, purpurn und pompös.


Literal translation:
The Parks

I

The parks inexorably arise
from the gentle decaying of transience,
overfilled with heavens, powerfully
handed down, which survive

in order, on the clear expanses of lawns,
to spread themselves out and withdraw,
always with the same sovereign
extravagance, as though protected by it,

and still increasing the inexhaustible
profits to more regal extent,
arising from them and returning to them:
gracious, splendid, purple, and grandiose.

Last edited by Susan McLean; 07-08-2021 at 01:27 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 07-05-2021, 05:14 AM
mignon ledgard mignon ledgard is offline
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Default Susan McLean - Rilke - The Parks I

Dear Susan,

This is lovely. I wonder which parks inspired Rilke to write this poem. It sounds like a 'natural' park, whereas most parks today seem tailored by man.

Thank you, thank you!
~mignon
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  #3  
Unread 07-05-2021, 08:41 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Mignon, I think that Rilke is describing not public parks, but the grounds of grand inherited estates, many of which he lived on during his time of being supported by noble patrons. I don't think there is any clear evidence in the poems themselves of which estates are being described.

Susan
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Unread 07-05-2021, 09:39 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Susan,

Very nice indeed! Nits: I don’t think you’ve caught the four uebers, and very strong seems somehow weak there to me for ueberstark. Otherwise, yes.

Cheers,
John
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Unread 07-05-2021, 01:15 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Good point, John. I have done some fiddling with the wording to make it more emphatic, but I can't capture all four uses of "über-" in English. I will keep thinking of ways to express the excessiveness implied.

Susan
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Unread 07-06-2021, 04:47 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Susan,

I like overheaped a good deal. Might extra- or super-strong work?

Cheers,
John
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Unread 07-07-2021, 08:06 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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John, I have gone with "super-strong." Thanks.

Susan
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Unread 07-07-2021, 08:29 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Glad to have been of help!

John
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Unread 07-07-2021, 10:20 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I don't think "inescapably" is quite right. As the crib has it, "inexorably" is the truer meaning, or perhaps "unstoppably". To say something is inescapable suggests something more like it cannot be ignored or denied, not that it will continue to happen without cease.
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Unread 07-08-2021, 12:46 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Roger, you are right. I originally had "inexorably," but was driven to change it by the needs of rhyme and meter. However, I have tried to restore it, while also making clearer what kind of parks are being described.

Susan
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