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Subject:

Re: Haviaras translation

From:

Rebecca Seiferle <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 14 Jan 2005 12:03:55 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1 lines)

Interesting questions, Doug, and I don't know! "The Vow" for instance doesn't 

have the caesurae in the online Greek original version I googled, but it might be 

_heard_ there; I don't know Greek so can't speak to the aural qualities of the 

verse. Though the Shearsman review which takes a look at the previous Keeley 

translations seems to find them somewhat clunky and wooden. Well, I'm having 

lunch next week with my friend who's returned from Greece with the Haviaras 

book in hand, so perhaps I'll know more then and have read more of the book 

itself. Just in general, I've noticed that when it's possible for me to read the 

original that there's often a moment in which in reading a somewhat impassable 

translation where I just shift to the other page and find myself reading the 

original. There's a new translation of Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus by Willis 

Barnstone that arrived from the publisher the other day and I found myself 

doing that with his translations, turning without being aware of it to the German 

even though my German isn't so great, and to think about why? requires 

unraveling a sort of intuitive response, like explaining a gesture. The 

translations are ok but in thinking about it, the Rilke seems _homogenized_, 

flattened of edge. 



Oh, and stay warm, that is some cold wind blowing your way up there! 



Best,



Rebecca





---- Original message ----

>Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 08:57:35 -0700

>From: Douglas Barbour <[log in to unmask]>  

>Subject: Re: Haviaras translation  

>To: [log in to unmask]

>

>I'm intrigued by those midline spaced caesurae, Rebecca. Are they in  

>the Greek originals? What did that person find wrong with thte earlier  

>English translations?

>

>These are interesting, but I suspect one needs to see the whole book to  

>get a full sense of how they _feel_.

>

>Doug

>On 13-Jan-05, at 11:07 AM, Rebecca Seiferle wrote:

>

>> Someone, who has previously been able to only read Cavafy in the Greek  

>> finding

>> the English translations somehow impassable, sent me a couple of  

>> translations

>> by Stratis Haviaras from his new translation of Cavafy's _The Canon_.  

>> I'm not

>> sure about getting the book here, though it may be more readily  

>> available in the

>> UK, and will be out here in the near future. So a sample from the  

>> Haviaras

>> translation.

>>

>> best,

>>

>> Rebecca

>>

>>

>> He Vows

>>

>> Every so often he vows      to lead a better life.

>> But when night comes again      bearing its own counsel,

>> and its own allowances      and its assurances,

>> when night comes again      with its own energies,

>> he falls back, beaten down, back to the deadly joy.

>>

>>

>>  

>> For Them To Be Summoned

>>  

>>

>> One candle is enough.      Its gentle light

>>

>> is more fitting,      it will be more seemly

>>

>> when the Shadows come,      the Shadows of love.

>>

>>  

>> One candle is enough.      Tonight the room

>>

>> must not have too much light.      In deep reverie

>>

>> and evocation,      and in that subtle light,

>>

>> here in the grip of deep reverie,      I will conjure visions

>>

>> so that the Shadows may come,      the shadows of love.

>>

>>  

>>

>>  

>>

>>                                                                       t 

>> rans.  Stratis Haviaras

>>

>>

>

>

>Douglas Barbour

>Department of English

>University of Alberta

>Edmonton  Alberta  T6G 2E5 Canada

>(780) 436 3320

>http://www.ualberta.ca/~dbarbour/dbhome.htm

>

>The poet is ecstatic, having dreamt of this visit for weeks.

>He takes Erato’s face, dribbling and wild, between his hands

>

>and kisses her gently as if she were a runaway teenager.

>

>                        Diana Hartog

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