Thursday, March 20, 2008

Me Peacock

What's riches to him
That has made a great peacock
With the pride of his eye?
The wind-beaten, stone-grey,
And desolate Three-rock
Would nourish his whim.
Live he or die

Amid wet rocks and heather,
His ghost will be gay

Adding feather to feather
For the pride of his eye

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939). From Responsibilities and Other Poems, 1916.

21 comments:

Mónica said...

Since we have a new official logo, here is a poetic counterpart from none other than W.B. Yeats, so accurately and eerily channelled by Pound in the recordings we heard in class. This poem apppears in some editions as "Me Peacock" and in others as "The Peacock", one little but important word. Garrett, do you know which one is accurate?

vagoimperial said...

a ver, Mónica por favor, ensáyate una traducción, ¿se podría? para comentar el poema, please! ... creo que me va a costar mucho trabajo esto de la poesía en inglés.....

nanuka said...

...Garrett will come tomorrow to help us (but I still think that Monica´s english is sooo elegant, than she needs no help)

Mónica said...

Jis, te prometo una traducción en unos días. Esto de traducir poesía es todo un reto, mantener el ritmo, la cadencia, el significado evidente, los significados no evidentes. Hice una búsqueda a ver si alguien más lo había ya traducido pero no lo encontré. Falta que busque José Carlos, que es mejor encontrando que yo.

!Diana, me sonrojas!

szalvador said...

De momento y a reserva de esperar esa traducción de MoniC, me aviento insensato a esta intentona:

ZSEBORUCO said...

"Adding feather to feather
For the pride of his eye" padrísimo!

szalvador said...

Pavo real Yo

¿Qué son riquezas para él
Que formó un gran pavo real
Con su altiva mirada?
El borrascoso, desolado
Y gris acantilado de Tres Rocas
Nutrirá su antojo
Viva o muera
Junto a las mojadas piedras
Y el calor
Su espectro vagará contento
Añadiendo plumas a las plumas
Por su altiva mirada.

nanuka said...

...me gustó muchísimo tu traducción Salvador, y esa frase que dijo Serge me parece que en español suena bien y con fuerza
"Añadiendo plumas a las plumas por su altiva mirada"...

garrett said...

(Just back from Semana Santa....)

I've never seen "Me Peacock." The current Collected Works of W. B. Yeats Vol. 1, published by Macmillan, 1990, takes "The Peacock" from the Collected Poems, 1933, which takes its text from the 1914 volume Responsibilities and Other Poems. Yeats made revisions, however, on poems published earlier in his career (though my edition does not note a title "Me Peacock").

And actually, the title is "II. The Peacock," which comes after:

I. The Witch

Toil and grow rich,
What's that but to lie
With a foul witch
And after, drained dry,
To be brought
To the chamber where
Lies one long sought
With despair?

Clearly these two poems belong together.

szalvador said...

Sorry: why? please...

garrett said...

Poets think and write in terms of poems, but also in terms of groups of poems, or series, or cycles, or books - that is, a poem may be part of a larger context. Yeats published two poems in Responsibilities, one titled "I. The Witch," followed immediately by "II. The Peacock." In other words, Yeats intended these to be read as either a two part poem, or two poems vitally linked by their having been numbered. (If I recall correctly, two other poems in Responsibilities are titled in this manner.)

To read one without the other would be like taking half of any two-part work of art and discarding the other half. Why, on the other hand, this two-part poem is a meaningful whole, or what it means that there are two poems that former a larger whole, is an interpretive question. (Personally, I think the peacock poem is strong and the other is weak and the two together, though they are thematically linked, do not form a significantly more meaningful whole.)

szalvador said...

Thanks Garret!

After many lectures, I like both, because with both poems it's more clear the thesis of the whole, which is, in my humble opinion, an appology of freedom against the power of money and the slavery of utilitarian work.

I. La Bruja

Trabaja duro y sé rico
Que es igual
Que acostarse
Con la bruja asquerosa
Para después, agotado
Ser llevado al recinto
En que yace un largo
Mirar desconsolado.

So I like very much these two titles that work as true methafors on the artist's attitude to life:
I. The witch, II. The Peacock
i. e.: The hell and the glory.

(My only doubt is the question mark at the end of I. The witch.
I understand the poem if I read it as an affirmation)

nanuka said...

...I think "The Witch" is stronger...still I told Salvador that I don´t like the word "asquerosa", but I don´t know if the word "foul" sounds this strong in english...

szalvador said...

Y en II. The Peacock quizá debí poner "apetito" en lugar de "antojo"... pero...................................................................................

cometa said...

Mira szalvador, si tomas pride con esta definición: -splendor, magnificence, or pomp-, el poema tiene otra interpretación.
Así lo traduje:

¿Qué es la riqueza para él
Que dio vida a un pavorreal
Con el esplendor de su mirada?

Three Rock, desolada
Gris y por el viento azotada
Su deseo nutría.

Viva o muera
Entre rocas húmedas y brezos,
Su alma estará contenta
Sumando pluma tras pluma
Por el esplendor de su mirada.

Burruchaga said...

The Three Rock is a 450 mts mountain in the east of Dublin. So I think the translation of that paragraph, in order to convey the message to no-irish people, could be as follows:

La alta y gris montaña,
solitaria y tallada por el viento,
alimentaría su avidez

And as for the last sentence, I would prefer “Añadiendo plumas a sus plumas, para el gozo de su mirada”

vagoimperial said...

o sea que es el caso del chamán que "donde pone el ojo pone el pavorreal"?

szalvador said...

Coincido muchachos y gracias, ¡qué sabroso!

szalvador said...

See you on thursday!

vagoimperial said...

remember your place at the back rows, mr. Peacock!

szalvador said...

Oh