SHEVCHENKO'S POETRY IN ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS



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SHEVCHENKO'S POETRY IN ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS



MY TESTAMENT

When I am dead, bury me

In my beloved Ukraine,

My tomb upon a grave mound high

Amid the spreading plain,

So that the fields, the boundless steppes,

The Dnieper's plunging shore

My eyes could see, my ears could hear

The mighty river roar.

When from Ukraine the Dnieper bears

Into the deep blue sea

The blood of foes... then will I leave

These hills and fertile fields -

I'll leave them all and fly away

To the abode of God,

And then I'll pray.... But till that day

I nothing know of God.

Oh bury me, then rise ye up

And break your heavy chains

And water with the tyrants' blood

The freedom you have gained.

And in the great new family,

The family of the free,

With softly spoken, kindly word

Remember also me.

Pereyaslav, December 25, 1845

Translated by John Weir Toronto, 1961


 




Day dawns, then comes the twilight grey,

The limit of the live-long day; For weary people sleep seems best And all God's creatures go to rest. I, only, grieve like one accursed, Through all the hours both last and first, Sad at the crossroads, day and night, With no one there to see my plight; No one can see me, no one knows me; All men are deaf, no ears disclose me; Men stand and trade their mutual chains And barter truth for filthy gains, Committing shame against the Lord By harnessing for black reward People in yokes and sowing evil In fields commissioned by the Devil... And what will sprout? You soon will see What kind of harvest there will be! Come to your senses, ruthless ones, О stupid children, Folly's sons! And bring that peaceful paradise, Your own Ukraine, before your eyes; Then let your heart, in love sincere, Embrace her mighty ruin here! Break then your chains, in love unite, Nor seek in foreign lands the sight Of things not even found above, Still less in lands that strangers love... Then in your own house you will see


True justice, strength, and liberty!

Gain knowledge, brothers! Think and read,

And to your neighbours' gifts pay heed, -

Yet do not thus neglect your own:

For he who is forgetful shown

Of his own mother, graceless elf,

Is punished by our God Himself.

Strangers will turn from such as he

And grudge him hospitality -

Nay, his own children grow estranged;

Though one so evil may have ranged

The whole wide earth, he shall not find

A home to give him peace of mind.

Sadly I weep when I recall

The unforgotten deeds of all

Our ancestors: their toilsome deeds!

Could I forget their pangs and needs,

I, as my price, would than suppress

Half of my own life's happiness...

Such is our glory, sad and plain,

The glory of our own Ukraine!

I would advise you so to read

That you may see, in very deed,

No dream but all the wrongs of old

That burial mounds might here unfold

Before your eyes in martyred hosts,

That you might ask those grisly ghosts:

Who were the tortured ones, in fact,

And why, and when, were they so racked?...


 




Then o my brothers, as a start, Come, clasp your brothers to your heart, -So let your mother smile with joy And dry her tears without annoy. Blest be your children in these lands By touch of your toil-hardened hands, And, duly washed, kissed let them be With lips that speak of liberty! Then all the shame of days of old, Forgotten, shall no more be told; Then shall our day of hope arrive, Ukrainian glory shall revive, No twilight but the dawn shall render And break forth into novel splendour.... Brother, embrace! Your hopes possess, I beg you in all eagerness!

Viunishcha, December 14, 1845 Translated by C. H. Andrusyshen & W. Kirkconnell


IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO ME

It makes no difference to me, If I shall live or not in Ukraine Or whether any one shall think Of me 'mid foreign snow and rain. It makes no difference to me. In slavery I grew 'mid strangers, Unwept by any kin of mine; In slavery I now will die And vanish without any sign. I shall not leave the slightest trace Upon our glorious Ukraine, Our land, but not as ours known. No father will remind his son Or say to him, «Repeat one prayer, One prayer for him; for our Ukraine They tortured him in their foul lair.» It makes no difference to me, If that son says a prayer or not. It makes great difference to me That evil folk and wicked men Attack our Ukraine, once so free, And rob and plunder it at will. That makes great difference to me.

St. Petersburg Citadel Prison May, 1847


Translated by Clarence A. Manning Columbia University New York, 1944




I WAS THIRTEEN

I was thirteen. I herded lambs

Beyond the village on the lea.

The magic of the sun, perhaps,

Or what was it affected me?

I felt with joy all overcome,

As though with God....

The time for lunch had long passed by,

And still among the weeds I lay

And prayed to God.... I know not why

It was so pleasant then to pray

For me, an orphan peasant boy,

Or why such bliss so filled me there?

The sky seemed bright, the village fair,

The very lambs seemed to rejoice!

The sun's rays warmed but did not sear!

But not for long the sun stayed kind,

Not long in bliss I prayed....

It turned into a ball of fire

And set the world ablaze.

As though just wakened up, I gaze:

The hamlet's drab and poor,

And God's blue heavens -even they

Are glorious no more.

I look upon the lambs I tend -

Those lambs are not my own!

I eye the hut wherein I dwell -

I do not have a home!

God gave me nothing, naught at all....

I bowed my head and wept

Such bitter tears.... And then a lass57

Who had been sorting hemp


Not far from there, down by the path,

Heard my lament and came

Across the field to comfort me;

She spoke a soothing phrase

And gendy dried my weeping eyes

And kissed my tear-wet face....

It was as though the sun had smiled,

As though all things on earth were mine,

My own.... the orchards, fields and groves!...

And, laughing merrily the while,

The master's lambs to drink we drove.

Oh, how disgusting!... Yet, when I

Recall those days, my heart is sore

That there my brief life's span the Lord

Did not grant me to live and die.

There, plowing, I'd have passed away,

With ignorance my life-long lot,

I'd not an outcast be today,

I'd not be cursing Man and God!...

Orsk Fortress, 1847

Translated by John Weir Toronto, 1961


 


57 Oksana Kovalenko to whom Shevchenko dedicated the Poem to Oksana, May 1847 while in prison in the St. Petersburg Citadel.



SHEVCHENKO'S LAST POEM

Should we not then cease, my friend,

My poor dear neighbour, make an end

Of versifying useless rhymes?

Prepare our waggons for the time

When we that longest road must wend?

Into the other world, my friend,

To God, we'll hasten to our rest...

We have grown weary, utter-tired,

A little wisdom we've acquired,

It should suffice! To sleep is best,

Let us now go home to rest...

A home of gladness, you may know!

No, let us not depart, nor go —

It is early still,

We shall yet take walks together,

Sit, and gaze our fill,

Gaze upon the world, my fortune,

See how wide it spreads,

Wide and joyful, it is both

Bright, and of great depth!

We shall yet take walks my star,

On a hill climb high,

And take our rest together.. And

Your sister-stars, meanwhile, The ageless ones, will start to shine, Through the heavens glide... Let us linger then, my sister,


Thou, my holy bride,

And with lips unsullied we shall

Make our prayer to God,

And then set out quietly

On that longest road,

Over Lethe's plumbless depths,

Waters dark and swarthy,

Grant me then thy blessing, friend,

With thy holy glory.

While this and that and all such wear on,

Straight let us go, as the crow flies,

To Aesculapeus for advice,

If he can outwit old Charon

And spinning Fate... And then, as long as

The old sage would change his purpose,

We would create, reclining there,

An epic, soaring everywhere

Above the earth, hexameters

We'd twine, and up the attic stairs

Take them for mice to gnaw. Then we

Would sing prose, yet with harmony

And not haphazard.

Holy friend,

Companion to my journey's end,

Before the fire has ceased to glow,

Let us to Charon, rather, go!

Over Lethe's plumbless depths,

Waters dark and swarthy,

Let us sail, let us bear


 




With us holy glory,

Ageless, young for evermore...

Or -friend, let it be!

I will do without the glory,

Ifthey grant it me,

There on the banks of Phlegethon,

Or beside the Styx, in heaven,

As if by the broad Dnipro, there

In a grove, a grove primaeval,

A little house I'll build, and make

An orchard all around it growing,

And you'll fly to me in the shades,

There, like a beauty, I'll enthrone you;

Dnipro and Ukraina we

Shall recollect, gay villages

In woodlands, gravehills in the steppes,

And we shall sing right merrily.

February 14-15, 1861 St. Petersburg

Translated by Vera Rich London, 1961


A REFLECTION

The river empties to the sea,

But out it never flows;

The Cossack lad his fortune seeks,

But never fortune knows.

The Cossack lad has left his home,

He's left his kith and kind;

The blue sea's waters splash and foam,

Sad thoughts disturb his mind:

«Why, heedless, did you go away?

For what did you forsake

Your father old, your mother grey,

Your sweetheart, to their fate?

In foreign lands live foreign folks,

Their ways are not your way:

There will be none to share your woes

Or pass the time of day.»

Across the sea, the Cossack rests —

The choppy sea's distraught.

He thought with fortune to be blessed —

Misfortune is his lot.

In vee-formation, 'cross the waves

The cranes are off for home.

The Cossack weeps - his beaten paths

With weeds are overgrown...

St. Petersburg, 1838

Translated by John Weir Toronto

 


 




MYTHOUGHTS

My thorny thoughts, my thorny thoughts,

You bring me only woe!

Why do you on the paper stand

So sadly row on row?...

Why did the winds not scatter you

Like dust across the steppes?

Why did ill-luck not cradle you

To sleep upon its breast?...

My thoughts, my melancholy thoughts,

My children, tender shoots!

I nursed you, brought you up - and now

What shall I do with you?...

Go to Ukraine, my homeless waifs!

Your way make to Ukraine

Along back roads like vagabonds,

But I'm doomed here to stay.

There you will find a heart that's true

And words of welcome kind,

There honesty, unvarnished truth

And, maybe, fame you'll find...

So welcome them, my Motherland,

Ukraine, into your home!

Accept my guileless, simple brood

And take them for your own!

St. Petersburg, 1839. Translated by John Weir


RUDYARD KIPLING IF

If you can keep your head when all

about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on

you,

If you can trust yourself when all

men doubt you,

But make allowance for their

doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by

waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in

lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to

hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor

talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make

dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make

thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and

Disaster

And treat those two imposters just

the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth

you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap

for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your

life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with

worn-out tools;


РЕДЬЯРД КІПЛІНҐ ЯКЩО

Як вистоїш, коли всі проти тебе-Упали духом і тебе кленуть, і Як всупереч усім ти віриш в себе, А з їх невіри також візьмеш суть;

Якщо чекати зможеш ти не­втомно,

Оббріханий - мовчати і пройти Під поглядом ненависті, прито­му Не грати цноти ані доброти;

Як зможеш мріять -в мрійництво не впасти, І думать - не творити думки культ,

Якщо Тріумф, зарівно як Не­щастя, Сприймеш як дим і вітер на віку;

Якщо стерпиш, як з правди тво­го слова

Пройдисвіт ставить пастку на простих,

Якщо впаде все, чим ти жив, і знову Зумієш все почати - і звести;


 




       
 
 
   


If you can make one heap of all

your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch and

toss,

And lose, and start again at your

beginnings

And never breathe a word about

your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is noth­ing in you

Except the Will which says to them: «Hold on!»

If you can talk with crowds and

keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings - nor lose the

common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends

can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none

too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving min­ute

With sixty seconds' worth of dis­tance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!


Якщо ти зможеш в пориві од­ному

Поставить все на карту - і про­грать,

А потім - все спочатку, і нікому Про втрати й слова навіть не сказать;

Якщо ти змусиш Серце, Нерви, Жили

Служити ще, коли уже в тобі Усе згоріло, вигасло - лишилась Одна лиш Воля - встоять в бо­ротьбі;

Як зможеш гідно річ вести з юр­бою

І з Королем не втратиш просто­ти,

Якщо усі рахуються з тобою -На відстані, яку відміриш ти;

Якщо ущерть наповниш біг хви­лини

Снагою дум, енергією дій, Тоді весь світ тобі належить, си­ну, І більше: ти - Людина, сину мій.

Переклад Євгена Сверстюка


ЛІНА КОСТЕНКО

Затінок, сутінок, день золотий. Плачуть і моляться білі тро­янди.

Може це я, або хто, або ти ось там сидить у куточку ве­ранди.

Може, він плаче, а може, він жде-

кроки почулись чи скрипнула хвіртка.

Може, він встане, чолом при­паде,

там, на веранді, чолом до одвірка.

Де ж ви, ті люди, що в хаті жили?

Світку мій білий, яке тут роз­долля!

Смуток нащадків - як танець бджоли,

танець бджоли до безсмертно­го поля. Може, це вже через тисячу літ

я і не я вже, розбуджена в ге­нах,

тут на землі я шукаю хоч слід роду мого у плачах та леген­дах!

Голос криниці, чого ж ти за­мовк?

Руки шовковиць, чого ж ви заклякли? Вікна забиті, і висить замок -


LINAKOSTENKO

A shady spot, twilight, a golden day.

White roses cry and pray.

Perhaps it's me, or someone, or you

over there sitting in a corner of the

veranda.

Perhaps he's crying, or waiting -

he heard footsteps, or the wicket gate

squeaked.

Perhaps he'll get up, hang his head,

there, on the veranda, pressed to the

door.

Where are you, people, who used to

live in this house?

My wide world, what flat lands lie

here all around!

The sadness of posterity - like the

dance of a bee,

the dance of the bee to the immortal

field.

Perhaps after a thousand years -

I will not be me, but awakened in

genes,

here on the earth I will seek out the

trace

of my lineage at least in laments and

legends!

Voice of the well, why have you gone

silent?

Arms of mulberry trees, why have you

grown stiff with cold?

Windows nailed shut, and the lock

hanging -

a rusty ring above the claw of the

knob.


ржава сережка над кігтиком клямки.

Білий причілок оббила сльота. Хто там квилить у цій хаті но­чами?

Може, живе там сама самота, соває пустку у піч рогачами. Може, це біль наш, а може, вина,

може, бальзам на занедбані душі-

спогад криниці і спогад вікна, спогад стежини і дикої груші...


Rainy weather beats the white side of

the building.

Who wails there in this house in the

nights?

Perhaps loneliness lives there alone,

stuffing the empty house in the oven

with tongs.

Perhaps this is our pain, perhaps our

guilt,

perhaps a balsam for neglected souls -

memory of a well and memory of a

window,

memory of a path and a wild pear...

Translated by Michael M. Naydan


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE........................................................................................................................... 5

Lecture 1. LANGUAGE AND EXTRALINGUISTIC WORLD......................................... 7

Lecture 2. LANGUAGE SYSTEM: PARADIGMS AND SYNTAGMAS......................... 14

Lecture 3. LANGUAGE AS A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION................................... 21

Lecture 4. TRANSLATION DEFINITION...................................................................... 30

Lecture 5. BASIC TRANSLATION THEORIES............................................................. 40

Lecture 6. TRANSLATION RANKING........................................................................... 49

Lecture 7. TRANSLATION EQUIVALENCE AND EQUIVALENTS........................... 58

Lecture 8. TRANSLATION AND STYLE....................................................................... 68

Lecture 9. TRANSFORMATIONS IN TRANSLATION................................................. 78

Lecture 10. BASIC TRANSLATION DEVICES.............................................................. 90



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