Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Elegies -- Guillevic

Guest poem submitted by Terry Smith, as part of the
'translations' theme', an excerpt from:
(Poem #751) Elegies
 He probably held too tightly
 (In the palm of his hand,
 Looking out on the sea)

 To the sand the wind
 Was taking, grain by grain --

 He who holds a fear
 Of becoming mist.
-- Guillevic
Translated by Terry Smith.

Here's the original:

 Il aura trop tenu
 Dans le fond de sa paume
 En face de la mer

 Du sable que le vent
 Y prenait grain par grain

 Celui que tient la peur
 De devenir nuage.

        -- Guillevic

Apologies for both the format of the submission and the crudeness of the
translation - I think there is a sublety in the grammar of the first line
that I have never quite grasped and I've been modifying my translation of
the poem since I found it. Any comment is appreciated.

I found Eugene Guillevic in a copy of "Contemporary French Poetry" which is
a collection of French work and facing-page translations (so I need to
credit Aspel and Justice for the first iteration of the translation). His
poetry reads beautifully, and simply, in French, but as he revels in the
subtleties of his own language he is very hard to translate into English. I
submitted this poem because the image is so strong, and because every time I
read it with a different voice, the meaning changes.  For a couple of years,
the last two lines were included in my signature as a personal statement.

There is a long review of some translations of Guillevic's work, and some
biographical info, at [broken link]


19 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Kathleen Spencer Chapman said...

Celui que tient la peur
De devenir nuage.

Hi, I just wanted to point out that (if this sentence is spelt
correctly here) this line actually means "he/the one who is held by the fear
of becoming a cloud (or mist if you prefer)" rather than he who holds the
fear. If it was "he who holds" it would read "Celui qui tient la peur..."

Maybe Terry would be interested to know this?


Anonymous said...

What's up Dear, are you really visiting this website regularly, if so afterward you will absolutely get nice knowledge.

Here is my blog post :: cheap nike free run

Anonymous said...

You made some good points there. I looked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found
most people will go along with your views on this web site.

Also visit my web site ... long distance running

Anonymous said...

Hi there to every body, it's my first visit of this web site; this webpage includes remarkable and genuinely good information designed for readers.

Also visit my homepage ... monogram vernis brea pm red handbag

Anonymous said...

Normally I don't learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.

Here is my blog ... Cheap Ray Bans

Anonymous said...

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to
make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on
just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something
enlightening to read?

Check out my website :: polo outlet online

Packers And Movers Pune said...

Packers and Movers Pune Provide High Quality ***Household Shifting, Home/Office Relocation, Insurance, Packing, Loading, ###Car Transportation Service Pune and High experiences, Top Rated, Safe and Reliable, Best and Secure Packers and Movers Pune Team List. Get ✔✔✔Affordable Rate Charts and Compare Quotation and Save Money and Time. @ Packers and Movers Pune

totosafesite said...

I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.

gwolf said...

I'm looking for a good blog site.I found you and your blog site. I was looking for a search engine.

bacarasite said...

The cool things here. I am very satisfied to see. Thank you for your writing.

Jakari said...

I respect your piece of work, thanks for all the informative blog posts.

Simmons said...

Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time

Reagan said...

Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job

Varro said...

I am happy reading your article. The web site taste is perfect

Reid said...

The web site taste is perfect, the articles is truly great!

Camacho said...

I surprise how much effort you place to make the sort of magnificent informative site.

Post a Comment