Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dew Drop

What a beauty
is the ephemeral dew drop,
on the lap of the flower
that'll wither away tonight.


அந்திவரை வாழப்போகும்
பூவின் மடியில்
அந்த காலைப்பொழுதிலேயே
மடிந்துவிடப்போகும்
பனித்துளிதான்
எத்தனை அழகு!

-தேவதேவன்

9 comments:

Krishnan said...

Chenthil, it is "wither" I guess.
Beautiful translation.

Chenthil said...

Thanks Krishnan, corrected it.

Anonymous said...

The poem does not being with "what a beauty" -- it ends with "how beautiful". What is "ephemeral" a translation of? "Anthivarai vazhppOkum" isn't "wither tonight" -- the emphasis is on living, not withering, and where is the "varai".

On one hand, you have some kind of enthusiasm for translating poetry, but on the other hand, it seems to me that you have no respect for the strategies of those poems, and I end up feeling sorry for the poets. Poor Devadevan, who thought he was achieving something by deferring the subject until L5 and the implied verb until the last line, and by choosing factual description over abstractions like "ephemeral".

Ela said...

Chenthil, I don't know who this Anonymous is but i kind of agree with him/her... the poem speaks of beauty and when i finish reading it, the overwhelming sense of beauty only remains with me not the short lifespan of it... while the translation does not leave me with the same feeling!

Chenthil said...

Anon - thanks for the detailed criticism. My wife too said that the translation sucked. I used ephemeral for "அந்த காலைப்பொழுதிலேயே
மடிந்துவிடப்போகும்". I agree that the translation hardly does justice to the original. I try, is all I can say in my defence.

Ela - true. I am attempting it again.

Anonymous said...

I always end up saying the same things about your translations -- too much eagerness to identify the "karuththu", too little attention to the original text, how it moves from line to line, its formal qualities, its diction etc.

Anonymous said...

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http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30080

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Prabhakar said...

I too had a shot at it!I found the result no better!here goes:
How lovely
Is this dewdrop
Nestled in the flower
Both marked for death
One at sunrise
The other when the sun sets