Montag, 4. Juni 2012

Dichtung &

Dieses erste Bild kommt übertrieben daher, versuchen wir also etwas, den Tonfall zu dämpfen, um zu sagen: Dichtung erinnert einen Menschen daran, daß er eine Seele hat oder hatte. Wo ich mit 2 anderen Themen kämpfe, warf ich mir gerade vor, warum teile ich nicht mit meinen geschätzten Lesern, daß der hochverehrte Herr Prof. Aue einiges neu übersetzt hat, das mir verblüffend nachgeht (obwohl ich das Original kenne oder kennen sollte... wie auch immer). Das Stück, das mich zuerst und noch immer beeindruckt, ist ausgerechnet nicht deutscher Herkunft, das englische Original (nebst den üblichen selbst herabsetzenden Bemerkungen) findet man hier. Es ist, als ob der Dichter/Übersetzer besagte Seele angestoßen hätte und nun redet sie sich ein, sie wäre vielleicht eine Art Glocke, seltsam:

Mark Strand

In einem Felde...

In einem Felde
bin ich das Fehlen
des Feldes.
Das ist
immer so.
Immer wenn ich bin,
bin ich was fehlt.

Wenn ich gehe,
teile ich die Luft
und immer
kommt die Luft herein,
den Raum zu füllen
wo mein Körper war.

Wir alle haben Gründe
zur Bewegung.
Ich bewege mich,
damit die Dinge ganz bleiben.

Translation / Übersetzung 

Und dann hat es mich nahezu sprachlos gemacht (das trifft es, glaube ich), wie er Theodor Storms bekanntem Gedicht „Am grauen Strand, am grauen Meer“ soviel Worttreue in seiner Übersetzung zueignen konnte (ich verstehe das Englische zwar kaum, aber ich ahne, wieviel da in eine fremde Sprache hinübergerettet wurde):

Theodor Storm

The Town

Off greyish strands, off greyish sea, 
and sideways lies the town; 
its roof are fog-fraught constantly 
and through the silence roars the sea 
forever round the town.

No forest sounds, no bird alights 
for vernal songs above the sand; 
but migrant geese cry in their flights 
and pass the town in autumn nights; 
the grass waves on the strand.

And yet my whole heart's drawn to you, 
you grey town by the sea; 
Youth's magic rests forever new 
and smiling still on you, on you, 
you grey town by the sea.  

Translation / Übersetzung 


naturgesetz hat gesagt…

My problem is that I try to take poetry literally. Even if at first I find a poem striking, as was the case with the Mark Strand poem, instead of staying with the feeling it has evoked, I have to go back and analyze it logically (and so conclude that the first and third stanzas are nonsense and the second is a truism.

But something like the Storm poem works better for me. The imagery is evocative enough, and the nostalgia is understandable. Of course nothing would do but that I look up the German original, then Theodor Storm, and finally Husum (not far from where Morgenländer grew up it seems, but because it is nearer the ocean probably foggier).

I wonder if Mark Strand's name unconsciously (or even consciously) led you to "Am grauen Strand" for your second example of Prof. Aue's fine work.

Walter A. Aue hat gesagt…

@ Naturgesetz:

Thanks! Your comments were very interesting to me, so I shall indulge in a bit of explanation:

Mark Strand was born on the "strand" of Prince Edward Island in 1934 and much of his poetry, in fact, reflects this Maritime heritage. But there was no eponymous connection: I picked his poem as my number one choice (for translating) from a heavy modern anthology. The Storm poem, on the other hand, was on my wish list long before I slogged through the anthology.
Being closer to the content than the mood of a poem often distinguishes the anglophone from the teutonic reader. But I beg to differ in regard to the first and last stanzas of Mark Strand. To me, in fact, it is the meaning rather than the word that resonates here. My argument is involved and not yet clear to me - unsuitable for a blog - so I'll try to write it up for the website. Soon to come to that theatre!

naturgesetz hat gesagt…

@ Walter A. Aue —

It's always interesting to find that someone or something has a PEI connection. My grandmother was born there in the 1880's. The last of my mother's cousins on the Island died a year ago, but I have several second cousins there, and I've visited about five times in the past eight years.

I thought it was Martin who chose to put the two "Strand" poems together in the post.

MartininBroda hat gesagt…

@ both How strange to take poetry literally as a way to understand it. But honestly, I think (good) poetry is a way to enunciate infinitely more than prose, with same words. It is related to the language of the old dogmas, orbiting something barely expressible, and at the end there is a picture in mind.
The reason why I have chosen these two poems? I was overwhelmed from the (orginal) Mark Strand poem & the translation of Storm’s well known work. By the way, Morgenländer told me recently “I just read Aue’s translations again, admirable, especially - as I mentioned before - Storms 'Grey City'. Could you tell him that on occasion with my best wishes?” Maybe it’s not polite to do this in a comment, but it’s late and I’m tired.

Walter A. Aue hat gesagt…

My appreciation to Mr. Morgenländer; it was very kind of him to say so and - let's make no bones about it - this is part of what one might call translator's remuneration. Thanks!

If we could express in our defining language what our poetry (and our music) expresses, there would not be a need for poetry (and music), not really anyway.

I stand corrected re who stranded on the Strand: my old eyes just misread, sorry!

I think there is only one way "to take poetry literally as a way to understand it", and that is to consider it as/like mythos, which also defies and exceeds the language in which it is written in its quest to describe/guide/better the human condition. We sense in poetry, in Joseph Campbell's words about myth, "what never [outside] was and forever [inside] will be".

Morgenländer hat gesagt…


Well, from my village to Husum it's little more than fifty kilometers, so the distance is not far, but the landscape is quite different:

Husum is a town at the rather stormy North Sea, my village is near a fjord which flows into the calm Baltic Sea.

@Walter A. Aue:

Your translation of "Die Stadt" is a feat for which I admire you indeed.

Kind regards