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K. Renato Lings ©

Poems Translated


Danish Title:
Måske en martsnat
Author:
Grethe Risbjerg Thomsen
20th Century


English translations:
© K. Renato Lings 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DANISH

Måske en martsnat

 Jeg dør en lille smule
 for hvert sekund der går.
 Jeg bærer døden med mig
 igennem livets år.

 En nat, måske en martsnat
 så mild af regn og tø
 skal jeg gå bort i mørket
 og holde op at dø.


LITERAL TRANSLATION

Perhaps a Night in March

I am dying a little bit
With every passing second.
I carry death with me
Through the years of life.

One night, perhaps a night in March
So mild with rain and thaw
I shall go away in the dark
And stop dying.



METERED TRANSLATION

For this unrhymed version
I have followed the cadence of
the original, which alternates
between seven and six syllables. 


PERHAPS A NIGHT IN MARCH

  I'm dying just a little
  As seconds tick away
  My death I have to carry
  All through the years of life.

  Some balmy night with showers
  Perhaps a night in March
  Into the dark I'll wander

  And leave dying behind.

 



Original Spanish Composition by 
Lope de Vega 
 


¿Qué tengo yo que mi amistad procuras?
¿Qué interés se te sigue, Jesús mío,
que a mi puerta, cubierto de rocío,
pasas las noches del invierno oscuras?
 O, cuánto fueron mis entrañas duras,
pues no te abrí, qué extraño desvarío,
si de mi ingratitud el hielo frío
secó las llagas de tus plantas puras.
Cuántas veces el ángel me decía:
"Alma, asómate ahora a la ventana,
verás con cuánto amor llamar porfía".
Y cuántas, hermosura soberana,
"Mañana le abriremos", respondía,
para lo mismo responder mañana.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Tentative, unrhymed translation.
The eleven-syllable cadence is retained.



 What have I got that makes you seek my friendship?
 What are you hoping to gain, my dear Jesus
 To make you spend the long dark nights of winter
 Copiously covered in dew on my doorstep?
 Oh how hard indeed were these entrails of mine
 For I did not open. Such strange craziness
 That the icy frost of my ungratefulness
 Should dry the wounds on the pure soles of your feet.
 How many times did the angel say to me,
 "Soul, now come over, look out of the window
 And see with what great love he keeps on knocking."
 How many times, incomparable beauty,
 Did I answer, "Tomorrow we will open,"
 Only to give the same answer tomorrow.


Sonnet by
LOPE DE VEGA
(17th century)

Lope's original was included in his Rimas sacras (Sacred Rhymes).
The rhyming pattern in the Spanish is ABBA ABBA CDCDCD.

 

Original by K. Renato Lings
1990


REACHING

 Did ever your arms
 Reach out
 To bid a stranger goodbye
 Only to find that his heart
 Reached back
 To welcome you?