Jan. 6th, 2012

esperante: (Default)
[personal profile] esperante
समाधी - लेख

रस तो अनंत था, अंजूरी भर ही पिया
जी में वसंत था, एक ही फूल दिया

मिटने के दिन आज मुझको यह सोच है
कैसे बड़े युग में
कैसा छोटा जीवन जिया.

-- भारत भूषण अग्रवाल

hindi transliteration )


The nectar flowed freely, yet I tasted only a drop
Spring flourished in my heart, yet there bloomed only a flower

On this day of departure it occurs to me
it was a time for such greatness
and yet, I led such a trivial life.

-- Bharat Bhushan Agrawal


Last semester, I took a class on Translation Theory and Practice at my university, and for the 'practice' part of the course our professor insisted that each person in the class translate one poem (from any language, into English) everyday and read it aloud. Poems are the hardest and best ways to understand the joys and pains of translation, he said, and he was right. Reading aloud is of course, the best way to enjoy poetry, and the class discussions that followed would be about the specific problems to each language and to the poem in question. Though mostly we talked about how the cadences and vocabulary of English were often so utterly inadequate for the idioms of Indian languages, and how really we were doing English a favour by leaving some words untranslated, or forcing English into specific-language!rhythms ;)

Our prof has worked on translating poems by the Hindi poet Bharat Bhushan Agrawal (he might have published a book, iirc) and he said 'Samadhi Lekh' had been the greatest thorn in his side. He has it up on a poster in his office, and he offers to students in each batch who are comfortable with Hindi as a challenge. This was my effort for class, and he said it was pretty good, but I'm still not happy with it overall. The effect of its sharp, succinct images and its epic sentiment is so hard to capture in English. Ah, well - I guess the only thing to do is to keep talking to poems like these, and be amazed anew each time.

[thank you to [personal profile] azuire for making me finally post poem, and [personal profile] dhobikikutti for typing up all versions of the poem]

July 2014

6 789101112

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 23rd, 2017 06:35 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios