Sunday, 25 November 2012
More of Rilke's Roses in Translation: It's Not Getting Any Easier
I'm still tinkering with translation from French of Rilke's Roses poems. Number V has bested me for now, so here's number VI. And no, it's not getting any easier. A bit more practise would probably help...
I have played merry hell with the order of the ideas, though not, I hope, with the ideas themselves. Please feel free to criticise.
THE ROSES (Rainer Maria Rilke, translated from French by Clarissa Aykroyd)
One rose alone is every rose,
one, but manifold meaning:
perfect and irreplaceable,
framed by words of being.
How could we ever speak
without the rose,
of sweet interludes in constant farewell,
or of our hopes?
Une rose seule, c'est toutes les roses
et celle-ci: l'irremplaçable,
le parfait, le souple vocable
encadré par le texte des choses.
Comment jamais dire sans elle
ce que furent nos espérances,
et les tendres intermittences
dans la partance continuelle.
Translation © Clarissa Aykroyd, 2012