Icarus and Other Poems

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When the houses and the landscape become unfixed and lose their clear limits, so do the verses, thus the more apparent enjambment in the second half of the poem. As for the use of the sonnet form, it is useful to remember the discussion on intertextuality in the literature review. There is a relationship between the poem and the kind of text that it is exemplifies, what Genette defined as architextuality. Therefore, the use of a sonnet connects us both to the idea of the sonnet and to all previous and future examples of the form. Therefore, when the reader encounters the poem and sees that it is a sonnet, it will trigger associations.

The first one will be an awareness that this poem is written in the most classic of all English poetic forms, one that has been used since far into the past until today. Perhaps more strongly, the reader will remember that this was the form often used by the great poets of the Elizabethan era. The effect, hopefully, will be awareness that this form is an appropriate vehicle to travel back towards the past, towards a seemingly untouched natural landscape, as this poem does. With this in mind, I endeavoured to preserve the form of a rhyming sonnet.

Add to this the fact that very early on, I attempted non-rhyming versions, but they proved unsatisfactory. Therefore, these attempts no longer exist. I also attempted to use the more classic Spanish meter of the hendecasyllable as a fit for iambic pentameter, but the fact that Spanish words tend to be longer than English words meant that too much was lost by restricting syllable count.

The final, hopefully successful version, is more liberal with meter, although little by little it became imperfect Spanish alexandrines. However, the alexandrine is still a medieval meter and a sonnet is still a sonnet, not to mention that the rhyme scheme shows the reader that the poem is an imitation of the English original sonnet, so the final form remains an appropriate vehicle for our travel into the past.

As the translation formed, the effect of the enjambment was lost. It is evident between lines 2 and 3 of the target text. I attempted to compensate this in two ways. On the subject of Bly, his sixth step of preserving sonority was also important. Notably, I attempted to capture the strong sonority of the first line by making the words heavy. Something else of note is that in the first two lines there is a stronger sense of a list of nominal clauses, unlike the original, which opens with a full sentence.

The result is a sense of staccato which is meant to add to the solidity of the verses. The desire to preserve sonority also led me to moving the verses in the second half so that the final syllables in lines 10 and 12 were stressed. This eliminates some of the enjambment, but it is both closer to the sonority that is felt at the end of the iambic pentameter lines in the original and a more graceful verse on its own.

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The final result is instead based on a personal conversation with the author, where he told me he had written the line thinking of the workers that built the house, who would have attended the dance-hall and would therefore whistle the tunes they had heard there while working. Some may criticize this, as the final result is based on outside information rather than the poem itself. However, even if it deviates from the original, I believe it ultimately achieves equivalence effect by presenting the reader with a concrete image of the house turning back in time, making it stronger and more meaningful.

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Other, perhaps less interesting changes were inevitable. The past is no longer unravelling on a stick of string, instead the string of the zodiac is reversing its destiny. The journey to the past is simultaneous, rather than step by step.


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Air is absent from the final line. Throughout this project I have attempted what many consider to be an impossible task: translating poetry. Whether I have achieved such a lofty objective depends on what one means by translation. If one sees translation as providing the same as in the source text but in a different language, then perhaps it truly is an impossible task: in all poems there were clear elements of difference, clear examples of deviation. The target texts are not exactly the source text.

But then again, this is not exclusive to poetry. As Robinson , p. This is a better conception of the activity of translation, even beyond poetry. Ours is a creative act, a remaking rather than a passive rendering of what has already been said. Even when there has been loss, it has been for the sake of such an approach to translation, and, hopefully, for the betterment of the resulting poem. In this activity of remaking I have followed Bly and I have attempted to make the poems be in the living and spoken Latin American Spanish, I have tried to retain meaning, tone and sonority, and I have tried to achieve an equivalent effect.

Six Poems about Icarus - Williams, Auden, Spender, Sexton, Field, and Rukeyser

I have also paid close attention to the workings of intertextuality and to the translation of culture-specific elements. I leave the final judgement to the reader. Translation Studies. Revised Edition.

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London: Routledge, BLY, Robert. The Eight Stages of Translation. The Kenyon Review. Discourse and the Translator. New York: Longman, On linguistic aspects of translation. The Translation Studies Reader. London: Routledge , , p. Literary Translation: a Practical Guide. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, Translating Poetry: Seven Strategies and a Blueprint. Assen: Van Gorcum, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , p. Third Thoughts On Translating Poetry. On Translation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, , p. Selected Poems. Manchester: Carcanet Press, Accessed 28 August NIDA, Eugene.

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PAZ, Octavio. Barcelona: Tusquets, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, New York: Moyer Bell Limited, If you know the book but cannot find it on AbeBooks, we can automatically search for it on your behalf as new inventory is added. If it is added to AbeBooks by one of our member booksellers, we will notify you! Arthur Knowles Sabin ; Dante Alighieri. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original.

And had he told them They would have answered with a shocked, uncomprehending stare. No, he could not disturb their neat front yards; Yet all his books insisted that this was a horrible mistake: What was he doing aging in a suburb? Can the genius of the hero fall To the middling stature of the merely talented?

Icarus and Other Poems by Pradeep Chaswal

And nightly Icarus probes his wound And daily in his workshop, curtains carefully drawn, Constructs small wings and tries to fly To the lighting fixture on the ceiling: Fails every time and hates himself for trying. He had thought himself a hero, had acted heroically, And now dreamt of his fall, the tragic fall of the hero; But now rides commuter trains, Serves on various committees, And wishes he had drowned. I would have liked to try those wings myself.

It would have been better than this. Muriel Rukeyser Inclusion of this poem was kindly suggested by Nancy Schadt. The text of the following poem has been seen on my site since its first publication, and can now be heard in audio. It is an important poem in the scheme of things at the dawn of twenty-first century American poetry. Note especially the "white-hot" energy of the next to last stanza. It was his idea, this flying thing. We collected feathers at night, stuffing our pockets with mourning dove down.

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By day, we'd weave and glue them with the wax I stole after we'd shooed the bees away. Oh, how it felt, finally, to blow off Crete leaving a labyrinth of dead-ends: my clumsiness with figures, father's calm impatience, cool logic, interminable devising. The sea wind touched my face like balm. He thought I'd tag along as usual, in the wake of his careful scheme bound by the string connecting father and son, invisible thread I tried for years to untie.

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I ached to be a good-for-something on my own. I didn't know I'd get drunk with the heat, flying high, too much a son to return. Poor Daedelus, his mouth an O below, his hands outstretched to catch the rain of wax.

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He still doesn't know. My wings fell, yes - I saw him hover over the tiny splash - but by then I'd been swallowed into love's eye, the light I've come to see as home, drowning in the yes, this swirling white-hot where night will never find me. And now when my father wakes each morning, his bones still sore from his one-time flight, his confidence undone because the master plan fell through, he rises to a light he never knew, his son.

Did he blame Daedalus, his father? How could he have known that this time the old man really meant it? Wendy A. Shaffer is a graduate in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

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