Tags

, , , , ,

Art Work By Phil Gennuso – You can click on the image for full size

III
 Pues tu cólera estalla,
justo es que ordenes hoy ¡oh Padre Eterno!
una edición de lujo del infierno
digna del guante y frac de la canalla.

III – Traditional
Because your anger is exploding,
Oh Eternal Father,
You are justified in ordering today,
a luxury version of Hell,
worthy of a rogue with gloves and a tailcoat.

III – Alternative
Because the cholera is exploding,
Oh Eternal Father,
You are justified in ordering today,
a luxury version of Hell,
worthy of a rogue with gloves and a tailcoat.

*****************************

Notes

*****************************

The translation today is for the third poem in Abrojos (Thistles), by Ruben Dario.

This third poem in Abrojos is a complete departure from the first two. They were focused entirely on young, teenage romance and love.  This poem focuses on anger among other things and in my opinion has a complexity which is difficult to translate.

It begins with the very first line and the word “cólera”. This word in Spanish can be translated as either “anger” or “cholera”, quite a difference. It depends on the context. If it is anger, then the article would be feminine, “la cólera”. If it is masculine, “el cólera” then it would be cholera. Here the preposition “tu” is used which refers to a person. The problem is if the “tu” in line one refers to the Eternal Father, than it should be capitalized, which it is not!

Also, it seems a bit out of context to picture the Eternal Father as exploding with anger. 

My own reading is that the poet is working on multiple levels here. The word “cólera” is two-sided, embracing both anger and cholera. The terrible disease of cholera exploded across the world in the 19th century and it effected all of the continents.  There is no doubt Ruben Dario was well aware of this pandemic. The effects of anger and cholera are similar. They explode all over us, they distort our thoughts, our lives, our spirits.

The “tu” also works on multiple levels. It could refer to a person, your anger, your cholera. Again the two references. Cholera and Anger put us in Hell, though we may very well not deserve the full treatment. Hence Our Eternal Father orders up a luxury version worthy of a rogue, rather than a malicious criminal.

Another issue when translating a poem over 100 years old, without any substantial reference material, is that some of these phrases may have been colloquial expressions and the exact meanings of those colloquial expressions may be lost.  That is one of the reasons why I am undertaking this project. This first book of poems by Ruben Dario definitely deserves more attention, in my opinion. 

Enjoy!

Comments and suggests are always welcome!

*****************************

Below is a link to the home page for my upcoming Ebook which will feature translations and illustrations for the first book of poetry, Abrojos, written by poet Ruben Dario, published when he was twenty.

*****************************

ABROJOS EBOOK WIP!