> I started to do it, but the last line... It sounds good and definitely > conveys a mood in English, but I just don't *get* what it means. I > hate to analyze poetry. I think it sucks the magic out of it. But in > this case I think it's needed. > > Is the essence of this that you experienced an ecstatic creation > process but in the end what you created was broken, or that what you > created was just a series of repetitions? Or is the line break > between the last two lines more of a comma, indicating that you wrote > yourself and you were a series of repeated events unable to progress? > Your concerns are what made me leery of trying to translate it in the first place, for the same reasons you outlined. That's because I am not sure what it means either. Poetry is extremely hard to translate between any languages in my opinion, and the perspective of the translator will inevitably be stamped on the resulting text. This is evident in my translation from Angosey, where the idiom "broken record" does not exist; I chose to interpret it as my creation being broken. > > Without understanding if you wrote yourself and you were a "broken > record" or if you wrote a "broken record" for yourself it's difficult > translate those last two lines at anything beyond the level of a > series of isolated words. > Correct. As a translator, you would need to decide whether "broken record" has a meaning along the lines of "he sounded like a broken record" or "a [written] record that is broken/incomplete/flawed." I understand your concern about not "getting" the poem but in the end, it is the reader, not the writer, who creates meaning. Perhaps it is a dissonance in the poem that makes it difficult for you to decide (I make no claims that this is a "good" poem). > > I'm going with the standard meaning of "broken record" here: one that > keeps skipping back, repeating the same sounds but never making any > forward progress. Of course, it could be literal but that makes even > less sense... > I posted this to the list intending for that line to be ambiguous. The entire poem does heavily depend on English idiom ("broken record") and unusual wording ("strange ecstasy of creation"). It is not like translating a technical manual, or even a prose story. The question then might become: how do we translate something that is so clearly depends on English usage to be understood? Or, how do we translate a line that in English can mean two different things when we have no clue as to which one it is? > > -Kate > -- Ayryea zakayro al Gayaltha al halath zirathna eme ndatsa. Kou eleo haraya el isha, Sa vathna sey elenanara sia.