Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ek nanha daanth (translation of A little tooth by Thomas Lux)

एक नन्हा दाँत

तुम्हारी बिटिया उगाती है इक दाँत, फिर दो
और चार, और पाँच, फिर चाहती है कुछ माँस
सीधे हड्डी से. अब सब

ख़तम: वो सीखेगी चाँद शब्द, वो लूडक आएगी
प्यार में किसी नालायाक, निरे मुरख के, कोई मृिदुभाषी
कारावास के पटल पर और तुम

तुम्हारी पत्नी, होंगे बुरे, बेइज़्ज़त, और नहीं
कोई पछतावा. तुमने किया, तुमने चाहा, तुम्हारे पैर
सूज गाये हैं साँझ है बड़ी हो गयी है तुम्हारी बेटी.

Ek nanha daanth

Tumhaari bitiya ugaati hai ikk daanth, fir doe
aur chaar, aur paanch, fir chahaati hai kuchh maans
seedhay haddi se. Ab sab

khatam: woh seekhaygi chand shabd, woh ludak-aegi
pyaar mein kisi nalayak, niray murakh ke, koi mridubhaashi
kaaravaas ke pathh par. Aur tum

tumhaari patni, honge burray, be-izzatt, aur nahin
koi pachhtaava. Tumne kiya, tumne chaahaa, tumhaare pairr
sooj gaye hain. Saanjh hai. Barri ho gayee tumhari beti.

Translator: Vivek

A little tooth *
by Thomas Lux

Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone. It's all

over: she'll learn some words, she'll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker on his way to jail. And you,

your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing. You did, you loved, your feet
are sore. It's dusk. Your daughter's tall.

* From New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995, published by Houghton Mifflin, 1997.


Critiques welcome


Mirage said...

If this wasnt true, I'd probably be laughin!

Vivek said...

Comments from DUD SEA SCRAWLS

Someone give me translation 101!!
By Vivek on Tue, 2006-02-28 03:55

Pradzie, am not a professor yet:)!

I wish someone here could provide me an example of good translation, or what goes into translating well. I thought a lot about this poem, and I am myself unsatisfied with choice of many words. Last stanza is particularly badly translated.

Maybe Fizo-ji or Ardra-ji can help: or Asuph miyan ya Bilbo.
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ya, I agree with Pradzie.
By El enigma on Tue, 2006-02-28 02:01

ya, I agree with Pradzie. The translation is so verbatim, that it has lost the essence of the original poem completely.

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By Pradzie on Mon, 2006-02-27 10:34

translating is not an easy job, its not just translation of words but the poem in its entirety to a differnt set of readers in a diff language. While i dont find anything wrong wit your translation, it would’ve been only more beautiful if you hadn’t translated it word to word but its context…jus my opinion !but this is a very nice attempt buddy!
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wow, you could have added
By mindsmine on Sat, 2006-02-25 22:25

wow, you could have added some more lyricism to the second paragraph I guess, teh orginal poem is beuatiful..
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Vivek said...

from DDS

okie, here's my attempt
By bilbobaggins on Tue, 2006-02-28 07:43

Munni ne ugaya ek daanth
Phir do aur chaar aur phir paanch
Aur phir wo chahe choosna ganna apne aap

turanth hi seekhegi wo kuch bol
Aur chhalti jayegi apni hi ek dagar

Tumhare or tumhari patni ke kesh hue shwet
Hriday mein paschataap kintu kinchit nahin
Aakhir pita ka dayitva hi toh nibhaya
Thak chuke hain charan tumhare, ho rahi hai saanjh
Aur bitiya tumhari ho gayi badi

Have substitued meat from the bone with sugar cane as most indians are still vegetarians. Haven’t mentioned dolts and cretins as an indian dad dreams of marrying his daughter off to a prince or an equivalent there off, and can never even in his wildest imagination think of her associating with men of such ilk Sticking out tongue . She can, however, if capable, carve her own niche in the world. Smiling
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oh man sharmajee
By bilbobaggins on Tue, 2006-02-28 04:53

u put my name in there with all the dss greats. dunno if I should be delirious or running scared. At the moment me vely vely kanfuzed.

though my take on translation is never literal translation but cultural. so if i were to attempt this from english to hindi, i’d translate it so that the common indian dad can identify with it. and i may skip the actual words but attempt to retain that emotion. Smiling
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Vivek said...

More from DDS

By bleu on Tue, 2006-02-28 04:31

your interpretation/adaptation of it using hindi lyrics than a translation might be more satisfying Smiling and also a challenge to your creativity Sticking out tongue

I don’t know now the reason: kids used to bury the tooth that had fallen in the sand. probably they were afraid some stem cell researcher would make a new daughter from the fallen tooth.
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small tooth by Thomas
By mindsmine on Tue, 2006-02-28 04:15

small tooth
by Thomas Lux

Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she yearns some meat
It’s all over: she’ll learn some words, she’ll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker . And you,
your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing. You lived , you loved, your are sore.
It’s dusk and Your daughter’s tall.

how about this short remake?

By bleu on Tue, 2006-02-28 04:23

I think that will be the golden standard for translation. Smiling
or also probably other well known translations of neruda.

to be irreverent: you should look in your club of poets Sticking out tongue
to be irrelevant: check “dead poets society” a good movie!
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Watsin A. Name said...

Hey Vivek
Stumbled on your blog. Loved the poetry and look forward to reading some more.