13
Oct
12

Tristan Tzara’s Song 5 (Two Translations)

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

//


1 Response to “Tristan Tzara’s Song 5 (Two Translations)”


  1. October 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Learn something new every day!


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