Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A translation of Brodski's Nativity Poem by Jamie Olson

The Flaxen Wave: A Nativity Poem by Joseph Brodsky

I rather liked the translation, and would have been greateful for it in any case -- both if I did like it or if I did not: I totally lack the feeling of English that makes one translate "выматывал душу" in a way that would be evocative to English speakers, to take just one example, so I am curious to see anyone try.

However, the rhyme scheme and meter just don't feel the same. My (primitive?) sense of the poem owes much to the way it flows with graceful ease to the beat of the meter; I missed this very much in the translation, but didn't have the gall to write a comment about it: I have missed this in English on other occasions, so, as no one else seems to notice, it must be just me.

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