Dienstag, 26. Januar 2016

William Blake - Autumn


William Blake

Autumn

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained 
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit 
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest, 
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe, 
And all the daughters of the year shall dance! 
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

"The narrow bud opens her beauties to 
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins; 
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and 
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve, 
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing, 
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.

"The spirits of the air live on the smells 
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round 
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees." 
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat; 
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak 
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load. 


Der Herbst

Oh Herbst, früchtebeladen, beträuft
mit der Rebe Blut: Bleib hier und sitze
im Schatten bei mir, gönn Dir die Rast!
Dann stimm' Dein lustvoll Lied zu meiner Pfeif'
und lad' des Jahres Töchter all zum Tanz:
Sing uns das Lied der Lust von Frucht und Blüten!

"Die enge Knospe öffnet ihre Schönheiten
der Sonne zu, und Liebe pulst in ihrem Blut;
Blüten verzier'n des Morgens Lider und
träufeln hinab der keuschen Eva Wangen -
bis einend der Gesang erschallt des Sommers
und Federwölkchen ihr die Stirn bekränzen.

Der Lüfte Geister leben in dem Duft
der Frucht, und leichtbeschwingte Freude schwebt
durch alle Gärten, oder singt vom Baum."
So sang der frohe Herbst auf seiner Rast,
stand auf dann, gürtet sich, und über düst're Hügel
entfloh - doch ließ uns gold'ne Fracht.
Übersetzung von Walter A. Aue

So übersetzt uns Prof. Aue aus Canada, ehemals Wien, William Blake. Ich habe kürzlich Herrn Blake regelmäßig für meine Jung-Beiträge mißbraucht, und wo ich gerade über dem nächsten nachgrübele, lieber eben doch dies. Bebildert mit einer sehr eigenen Herbsterinnerung.

Kommentare:

naturgesetz hat gesagt…

I always enjoy seeing Prof. Aue's translations. Either I know the German words he has chosen and marvel at how skillfully he has kept both the meaning and the meter, or I learn a bit more of the language. I hope you'll continue to share his excellent work. This time, however, I wonder if he might agree that "Eve" corresponds (in parallel with "Morning") to Abend rather than Eva.

MartininBroda hat gesagt…

I should have done it more, but I have the firm intention to introduce some pieces again. Hopefully he will explain this to us, because – indeed.

Walter A. Aue hat gesagt…

Very interesting! My gratitude to Naturgesetz for his kind words as well as kudos for his careful reading! The argument that morning asks for evening - or morn for eve - is a very cogent one indeed. I believe Naturgesetz is correct in saying that I have not properly taken care it.

Here is the original stanza:

"The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.

Since Morning is capitalized, so would be Evening or Eve, hence one cannot take the capital letter of Eve as proof that Adam's (second?) wife is mentioned here.

True, the personal pronoun "her" in the last line suggests Eve, the person. However, it may well be that Blake in his imagination sees Morning and Evening as allegorical figures, hence also persons (usually depicted as female). Also, the personal pronoun in old England, just as capitalization, was used a bit freer (and perhaps closer to what one finds in today's German).

An even weaker argument would be to ask why Blake did not use a similar-sounding pair, i.e. Morning/Evening or Morn/Eve, if he wanted to stress the juxtaposition. But that might have to do with prosody and the way he wanted the meter.

A further question to add would be whether Blake did not indeed use the double meaning of "Eve" on purpose. An evening can be "modest", but the word is more often used - and so would likely be the reaction of the reader - for the proper behaviour of a shy and well-bred young female.

Of these pros and cons, I consider Naturgesetz's argument based on the side-by-side Morning-Evening pair the strongest, and I should have seen and taken care of it. Here is the corresponding translation into German:

"Die enge Knospe öffnet ihre Schönheiten
der Sonne zu, und Liebe pulst in ihrem Blut;
Blüten verzier'n des Morgens Lider und
ziehn hinab des keuschen Abends Wangen -
bis einend der Gesang erschallt des Sommers
und Federwölkchen ihr die Stirn bekränzen.

Now here are the relevant problems with the German: I have left the translation of "her" to "ihr", but the question is to what noun this pronoun refers to in English and German. Clearly they would fit Eve, the person. If the seasons and times of day are seen as female impersonations, "her" could fit them as well.

In German, the female nouns occur mostly at the beginning: Knospe, Schoenheit, Sonne, Liebe, Bluete. Morgen, Abend and Sommer are males. That would suggest that "ihr" harks back to "Knospe", the bud that opens. That may seem alright. The stanza does allude several times to corporeal sensuality, particularly the first two lines. (Eve, the person, would incorporate such sensualities just by the way we are used to seeing her.) "The narrow bud opens her beauties....." needs no Freudian explanation in its clear suggestion to the reader.

In summary, Naturgesetz has made an excellent point, and I therefore chose his arguments over mine in the above version of the poem.

I haven't touched my translation site in several years, and there are also problems with the Dalhousie server. I had, however, planned to change these poems from a personally HTML-coded pages to pdf-format for including the poems and their translations in the Dalhousie Archives. I do not know whether I'll ever get to it, but if I do, I shall of course include a proper note with proper credit to Naturgesetz for the alternative reading.

MartininBroda hat gesagt…

@naturgesetz He just did :)

MartininBroda hat gesagt…

@Prof. Aue Vielen Dank! Ich habe gerade Frau W. unter Mühen zu Bett gebracht und werde jetzt versuchen, ein wenig weiter zu schreiben.

naturgesetz hat gesagt…

@MartininBroda — I'm a little alarmed to read "unter Mühen." I hope it's nothing to serious and that your mother will be well soon, if not already.

MartininBroda hat gesagt…

@naturgesetz Thanks, I'm not sure to answer this here, but anyway. She is suffering for years from arthritis and rheumatism, last fall were added a few things as well, Christmas was difficult, and since January I can only move her in a wheelchair. Next week she should “go” to the hospital for some tests etc., so it has recommended her concerned doctor; but she is reluctant to do so.