I forgot to add this preface so here it is now: I needed a translation for Tristan Tzara’s Song 5, but I couldn’t find any. So I went about it on my own. And, of course, whenever i translate a poem, and end up having at least two translations. So here are my two translations.
Tristan Tzara’s in the original
Si les mots n’étaient que signes timbres-poste sur les choses qu’est-ce qu’il en resterait poussières gestes temps perdu il n’y aurait ni joi ni peine par ce monde farfelu
A literal translation or what Ezra Pound would call a logopoeia translation.
If words were only signs postage stamps on things what would remain dust gestures lost time – there would be neither pain nor joy in this wacky world
A contemporized in-the-spirit-of translation or what Ezra Pound would call a contemporized phanopoeia translation.
If words are only signs or post-it notes on items what remains? lists listlessness things to do empty timelines – there would be neither deadlines or relief in this bustling world