Thursday, 25 July 2013

Rilke's Rose Poems In Translation, VIII

J W Waterhouse, The Soul of the Rose, 1908.

This painting by Waterhouse, The Soul of the Rose, is itself apparently inspired by a line in a poem, 'Come Into the Garden, Maud' by Tennyson - "And the soul of the rose went into my blood". You can read the whole poem here.

Here's the latest of my translation of Rilke's French Roses poems. I'm really not sure about this one (although I couldn't see to improve it) and am wondering if I should just go to sleep and give up translation, at least for tonight.

THE ROSES (Rainer Maria Rilke, translated from French by Clarissa Aykroyd)


From within a crowded dream
where you were one of many flowers,
soaked as though by tears
you reach towards the dawn.

With uncertain desire
your gentle, sleeping powers
develop tender forms
resembling cheeks, or breasts.



De ton rêve trop plein,
fleur en dedans nombreuse,
mouillée comme une pleureuse,
tu te penches sur le matin.

Tes douces forces qui dorment,
dans un désir incertain,
développent ces tendres formes
entre joues et seins.

Translation © Clarissa Aykroyd, 2013.  

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