28 tammikuuta 2018

Mit den Worten des anderen

As you know I am a manic reader and have told you before that I listened (by a mistake) a program of Goethe Institute at the Helsinki book fair. The aim of the institute is to promote the German language in Finland. There were Kathrin Schmidt and Ulrike Draesner reading their texts. Later on I read in Finnish Du stirbst nicht  by Schmidt. I did not like too much of the novel, although it is based on tough personal experience. From my library I found this poetry anthology With Words of the Other - Mit den Worten des anderen:

The German poets: Ulrike Draesner (b. 1962), Elke Erb (b. 1938), Kathrin Schmidt (b.1958) and Jan Wagner (b. 1971) 
The Finnish poets: Olli Heikkonen (b. 1965), Jukka Koskelainen (b. 1961), Timo Lappalainen (b. 1959) and Merja Virolainen (b.1962) 
Published in cooperation with The Goethe Institute



I make it short: the poems were very different from each other, so pretty hard reading. My German allows me to read fluently but to write is impossible. Of the German poets I liked best the youngest one, Jan Wagner. The most interesting thing was to see the poems in both languages and to compare the translations! Really fascinating. I'm no writer and no expert in German but I could not help trying to translate one poem of Wagner:

DAS LEXIKON DES ABERGLAUBENS
du mußt das rotschwänzchen vom dach verjagen.
stattdessen sitzt du mit dem kalten blick
des  fensters im rücken und hältst dich fest an jenem
dünnen haselnußzweig.

der himmel, ganz mit schwarzem tuch verhangen.
dahinter rollt man die fässer mit schwerem wein.
das langgezogene stöhnen der bäume, als schwanke
ein schafott in ihnen.

und du mit dem rücken zum fenster... vor der scheibe
klappt der blitz die weiße klinge aus
mit flinker hand. das rotschwänzchen, du hättest
es verjagen sollen.
- Jan Wagner

DICTIONARY OF SUPERSTITION
you have to shoo the redstart away from the roof.
instead you sit there, the cold gaze of the window 
behind your back and stick to that thin hazel twig.

the sky is totally draped with a black cloth.
behind it rolling barrels of painful wine.
groaning trees, as if a scaffold swinging on their branches.

and you there with back against the window... 
in front of the frame a quick snap of a pocketknife's 
white blade. the redstart, you ought to have 
shooed it off.
- translated by riitta k

TAIKAUSKON SANAKIRJA
sinun täytyy hätistää leppälintu katolta.
sen sijaan istut siinä takanasi ikkunan kylmä katse
ja pidät kiinni tuosta ohuesta pähkinäpuun oksasta.

musta kangas on ripustettu koko taivaan ylle.
sen takana vieritetään tynnyreissä raskasta viiniä.
puut ovat voihkineet kauan, kuin oksillaan keinuisi mestauslava.

ja sinä selkä ikkunaan päin... ruudun edessä
välähtää nopeasti esiin taskuveitsen 
valkea terä. leppälintu, sinun olisi pitänyt
häätää se.
- riitta k

It was really interesting to see how the modern German poets did not stick to the German grammar but started substantives with lower case letters, instead of capitals.

At the Helsinki book fair I attended also a programmme called Translation Slam. There were these brilliant translators Kersti Juva and Juhani Lindholm. They translated the same text, hosted by a third translator and poet, Kasper Salonen.
These three were  all so accurate in their translations and did express the original text in a different way. I just admired - Good discussion followed!

I don't expect you to find or read this anthology, but maybe my post interests my German blog friends. There exist all kind of cooperation between the countries of the world!

6 kommenttia:

  1. Kiitos viikon runosta ja käännöksistä Riitta. Alkuperäisen lukeminen takkusi pahasti. Parasta sunnuntain jatkoa.

    VastaaPoista
  2. Eine interessante Idee, aber ich verstehe leider nicht alles im Text. Mein englisch ist zu schlecht.
    Löst in Translation.
    Greetings
    Susa

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. So ist es - und ich kann leider nicht auf Deutsch schreiben :) Schönen Abend Suza!

      Poista
  3. Such interesting experience; it must be wonderful to have a great opportunity to listen poetry or to translate poems in different languages! I know about your passion...oh, how nice...indeed, that among flowers and other things, literature is another passion of yours!
    A very wonderful new week to you!

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. Thank you Alexa for your nice words 💕 Beautiful new week for you too!

      Poista
  4. Me encanta la poesía, Rafael Alberti, Machado, Miguel Hernandez y otros. Besitos.

    VastaaPoista

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