Sunday, July 08, 2007

I need to cleanse my mind and soul now

And what better to do it with than art (or love, I suppose)? So here's a love poem by the recently-deceased Jarkko Laine. I thought it was lovely:

Noël Coward laulaa We Were Young

Olen hulluna sinuun, oma pieni marsilaiseni.
Suutelen uimarannalla hiekkaa jossa istuit.
Jokaisen hiekanjyvän joka ihosi tunsi, minä talletan kieleni alle.
Tämä kivi tässä - sulana vieläkin, keskikesän lumikide,
merestä palavana noussut, Airiston kuukivi.
Jos ilmaa voisi koota syliinsä,
viesin kotiin jokaisen kuution jossa sinä viivyit.
Rantakadun asfaltista lohkon irti jalkojesi jäljet.

Sinä sanot että rakastan sinua liikaa.
Miten se olisi mahdollista?
Mikä mies minä sinulle jos en ylitse sinun miehesi?

Oletko koskaan nähnyt kissan pääkalloa?
Niin hauras on minun maailmani. Runoutta kyllä, siroutta,
mutta hetkessä mureniksi murskattavaa.

Miten osaisin sen sanoa:
unikuvien laatijalle vain väärentämätön kylliksi.
Utumies kaipaa käsin kosketeltavia asioita.

Älä väisty pois, jää auringon eteen. Sinä olet valoni.

Noël Coward sings We Were Young

I am mad about you, my own little Martian.
On the beach, I kiss the sand where you sat.
Every grain of sand which felt your skin I will store beneath my tongue.
This stone here - still molten, a midsummer snow crystal,
risen, burning, from the sea, a moonstone of Airisto.
If you could gather air into your arms,
I would take home every cubic metre where you stayed.
From the tarmac of the seaside street I chisel off the marks of your feet.

You say I love you too much.
How could that be possible?
What man would I be for you, if not more than your man?

Have you ever seen the skull of a cat?
So fragile is my world. Poetry, yes, gracefulness,
but crushable to crumbs within a moment.

How could I say it:
for the maker of dream images, only what is genuine will do.
The man of mist misses tangible things.

Do not move away, stay in front of the sun. You are my light.

- Jarkko Laine -

The translation being mine, and a quick one at that - some words are not right, but what do you know. And, sorry - but I couldn't find We Were Young to link to...

If I keep on doing this, sooner or later someone will sue me for copyright infringement, or alternatively, offer me work as a translator. Place your bets, please.


Anna MR said...

Damn - on the beach, or at the beach? The forrin geerl is in a tizzy...

Merkin said...

Context, always context, pal.

R.H. said...

Wooh!- that Jarrko could sure pour it on! It makes my
'Season(ing)s of Love' like a breakfast food ad.

How do you get so firey up north?

Passion on ice!

Anna MR said...

Merkin - thank you for your grammatical advice. For good measure, I have used both forms in the translation. (Please god, don't let the official translators' board look here, they'd take away my certificate.)

R.H. - glad you liked the poem. I think it's wonderful. As regards the see, when god created Finns, he took all the passion normally spread out relatively evenly amongst a population and put it all in our poets, for safe keeping.

Merkin said...

Always happy to give my tuppence worth.
I met her at the beach and I shagged her on the beach.
When I was abroad, I used to play with one band which played Chris Rea's 'On The Beach'.
It always caused some amusement amongst those locals who had a pronounced European 'ee' for 'i'.
Monday Trivia - can't beat it.

Anna MR said...

Well, Merkin - whenever I flail with my prepositions, I shall make sure to think of the wild life of and on the beach.

Reading the Signs said...

This is lovely. Good translation. Not that I know a word of Finnish, but it doesn't feel like "translation."

Anna MR said...

Alright, Signs - I shall have to go and hide now with all this praise you are heaping upon my introverted little head.

(but thank you xx)

R.H. said...

'On The Beach' was an end-of-the-world movie, made here in Melbourne during the 1950's with an all American cast. It starred Fred Astaire, Ava Gardner (woo-woo!), and Gregory Peck. Melbourne at the time was a city with everyone in bed at 8pm. Ava Gardner remarked on it: "I've never seen a better place to make a movie about the end of the world."

How unkind.

Yes well she's dead now -but for that, never forgotten. Not here.

Reading the Signs said...

Actually, I just have to come back here and correct what I said: I do know a word or two of Finnish, I can say "hei" and "kolmio" and mutter something about wolf-spirits. This might not get me very far when trying to chat up the talent in a Finnish bar, but then I might be able to bare my teeth and yodel something about leather whips and growl a word or two about snake venom.

But anyway. I can still say it's a good translation. One can just tell.

Anna MR said...

R.H. - clearly, Ava had it coming to her.

Empty beaches with everyone else in bed doesn't sound like a bad thing, though, to me. Not a bad thing at all.

Anna MR said...

Signs, Our Lady of the Kolmio - greetings. I think I shall have to hereby present you with Honorary Finnishness-ship. This is a highly special thing, previously only handed to the worthy Ponipoika, as you may or may not be aware. I know you'll appreciate it, though - but beware, it can be a double-edged sword and a mixed blessing. Much melancholia comes with it, but I know this is something you can not only handle but also appreciate as a way of viewing the world through the eyes of the sad beauty of knowledge,

or the sad knowledge of beauty

or the knowledge of sad beauty

or similar.


(Thank you for your compliments, again.)

But Why? said...


Very lovely poem, but I have to take issue with kissing the sand. Getting bits of sand stuck under my tongue doesn't strike me as a particularly pleasant sensation, but the description in the poem is beautiful - I have high praise to the poet for making it sound like a good idea (!)

But x

Anna MR said...

Hei But, shhhhh...don't tell Signs (above) that I said this (she's a poet), but I think poets are people who do odd things and make the rest of us think they sound lovely.

Glad you liked the poem.