Thursday, March 10, 2016

No. 16 Last Hope

After our last performance someone asked "What changes do you make after you perform your translations?" I answered that I make very few because the possibilities are so limited. But now I'm rethinking that.
Watching the video of the last concert I notice that sometimes old versions of certain lines crept back in and, at other times, I made 'mistakes' that were more like real-time edits.
I changed this translation a lot after our first runthrough, subordinating words to ideas. In the lines, "But the wind plays with my leaf/I shake too, little I can" I disregard syllable stress completely in order to preserve this important image.

No. 16 Last Hope
Here and there throughout the forest
Many colored leaves remain
And I stand before the branches
Deep within my thoughts again
Gazing at one single leaf
There I hang my hopeful plans
But the wind plays with my leaf
I shake, too, little I can
Ah, the leaves fall from the branches
So my hopes fall none to save
I am falling to the cold ground
Weeping beside my hopes' grave

16. Letzte Hoffnung
Hie und da ist an den Bäumen
Manches bunte Blatt zu seh'n,
Und ich bleibe vor den Bäumen
Oftmals in Gedanken steh'n.
Schaue nach dem einen Blatte,
Hänge meine Hoffnung dran;
Spielt der Wind mit meinem Blatte,
Zittr' ich, was ich zittern kann.
Ach, und fällt das Blatt zu Boden,
Fällt mit ihm die Hoffnung ab;
Fall' ich selber mit zu Boden,
Wein' auf meiner Hoffnung Grab.

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