Friday, April 06, 2007

Let's, like, completely f*ck off all the copyright people,

because I happen to like these poems.

You sought a flower
and found a fruit.
You sought a spring
and found a sea.
You sought a woman
and found a soul -
you are disappointed.

(Sinä etsit kukkaa
ja löysit hedelmän.
Sinä etsit lähdettä
ja löysit meren.
Sinä etsit naista
ja löysit sielun -
olet pettynyt.

Edith Södergran

May I fuck you for ten grand? he said to me
on the bus stop at twelve fortytwo am
the empty streets around us growing frosty.
First I shook my head, but then I said:
Not for money, but if you hoover and wash up.
His turn, now, to refuse
and turn, unhappily, to go.

Saisko kymppitonnilla naia? hän sanoi minulle
bussipysäkillä kello 00.42
tyhjät kadut ympärillämme huurtuvina.
Ensin minä pudistin päätäni, mutta sitten sanoin:
Ei rahasta, mutta jos imuroit ja tiskaat.
Silloin hän vuorostaan kieltäytyi
ja kääntyi alakuloisena mennäkseen pois.

Eeva Kilpi

Originals in italics. The translations are my own, and would be better if they weren't late-at-night, off-the-cuff, on-a-whim jobbies.

PS Later in the day: NB Of course I *know* Edith S. was Finnish-Swedish and consequently wrote the poem in Swedish. My bad, my bad - but it was quite late in the night. This also means I don't just infringe on the copyright of the author, but also of the translator. How exciting.


nmj said...

anna, this is so weird, i forgot that i even knew of eeva kilpi, and you have jogged my memory, i wrote down a snippet of her poetry a couple of years ago & now i will be damned if i can remember it, it was beautiful, whatever it was . . .

The Moon Topples said...

These are very good, Anna. Your translations seem just fine to me.

Anna MR said...

nmj - She (Eeva K.) does have a way with words, I do like her stuff. There are some lovely ones about grandmotherhood, I think they might be my favourites amongst her stuff.

Mr Moon, thank you. I file down and file down and file down when translating, and these are just chucked together, which feels dreadful to a pedantic little so-and-so like me. I want to bend the target language to exactly taste like the source language, and it's really difficult, if not impossible.

bindi said...

Interested as to why you chose these on this particular day, I shall now go back to them and spend a little time considering the effect of their juxtaposition.

nmj said...

the lines i wrote down were something to do with failed love, am sure of it, they were quite brilliant, summing it up in two lines...was it sth about waiting at a door? would love it if you knew!

Anna MR said...

Hei bindi, nice to see you here. The juxtaposition does have its meaning but it's not entirely clear to me either, except in that these two old poem-friends of mine bothered my mind all evening.

nmj, I shall look into the matter. A two line poem about failed love & waiting at the door - I'll get back to you on this.


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