Winter Evening - Émile Nelligan

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Tchocolatl
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Winter Evening - Émile Nelligan

Postby Tchocolatl » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:52 am

Émile Nelligan

Winter Evening

Oh! How the snow’s been snowing!
My window pane is a garden of frost.
Oh! How the snow’s been snowing!
What is the the spasm of living
to the painful grief I have, I have!

All the ponds are lying frozen,
Where is my life? My soul is black
And all her hopes are lying frozen;
Where do I go? I’m the New Norway
Wherefrom blond skies have gone away.

Cry, birds of February,
Cry at the sinister chill of things.
Cry, birds of February,
Cry my tears and cry my roses
At the branches of the juniper, cry.

Oh! How the snow’s been snowing!
My window pane is a garden of frost.
Oh! How the snow’s been snowing!
What is the the spasm of living
To all the boredom I have, I have!…


Translation by Loup Kibiloki

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"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Loup Kibiloki
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:37 pm

Re: Winter Evening - Émile Nelligan

Postby Loup Kibiloki » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:46 pm

Thanks : ) Btw, there is an audio-video interpretation of this poem, can be watched here :

http://electrodes.wordpress.com/2009/02 ... r-evening/

Have a good winter ..
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: Winter Evening - Émile Nelligan

Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:03 am

Thanks! :D

I like your translation. I have read another one, with more pretention to lyricism, but where most of the images/feelings do not appear. For example "oiseaux de février" was translated "winter birds". February being the shortest and the longest month in winter, and providing the winter blues (or SAD, seasonal affective disorder) for many people, it can not be mistaken for another part of the winter. Just like Inuits have 10 to 20 words to talk about the snow, according to Steven Spinker, there is winter birds and winter birds. 8)

As it is impossible not to lost something in translation(1), I do prefer to have the images/feelings. It is a personal taste.




1-
MISHLOVE: Well, language, of course is more than just words. A language has a cadence. It has certain sounds and pitches and timbres. Don't you think these things may affect the environment in which we think?

PINKER: Well, those are certainly what make for great literature and poetry and prose, and artists and writers take advantage of those things to get across a certain emotional effect. And I think that's why great poetry and great literature is often very hard to translate, because even if you translate the meaning you're not getting the resonances of the sounds. You might have like a harsh staccato set of sounds in one language, and their exact translation might be something very mellow and smooth, and so you might lose that extra layer of meaning that resonates with the literal meaning. But the fact that you can translate at all, when you think about it, shows that there's got to be something other than words, because what would it mean for two sentences in different languages to be translations of each other, if not for the fact that both of them have the same meaning, where the meaning isn't exactly the same as either string of words? When we translate, it's obviously not like one of those phrase books, where it's, "How do I get to the train station?" and then you find the equivalent in Hungarian, because if you know two languages, you can translate an unlimited number of sentences. There has got to be something, I think, underneath it, something like a set of propositions that don't really have sounds, that don't have any left-to-right linear order the way language does, but that has a web of connections between concepts, and that are also connected with other aspects of experience -- with visual images, with body sensations.
Source : http://www.williamjames.com/transcripts/pinker1.htm
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Loup Kibiloki
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:37 pm

Re: Winter Evening - Émile Nelligan

Postby Loup Kibiloki » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:51 am

Actually, it's quite warm here : - )) .. And I share your views on translation. Ciao :)

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