maandag, mei 02, 2005

Jaap Stijl Translates The Hits

This is a hydroponic collection of poems taking the titles of famous poems and ruining them with his own incandescent style of translation. It is a style that follows syllabolically but not thematically. A style to feed to wild dogs. A style to feed starving children with. A style that knows it's own limits but leaps wildly past them anyway and has the scar to prove it.

The Collection itself will eventually fold through apathy and forgivenonsense.

1. The Snowman Can:

(a translation from insurance bureaucratese to gibberish of Wallace Stevens'The Snowman:

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


One must build the snowman winter
through button eyes and mutton mouth
carrot noses that never run;

Brrr, this ain't no renaissance
it's ice age cold Tolstoy's even frozen,
they can't sell him on the open market

of the thinking man's snowman slowly dripping
and there goes another several years down the drain,
and not a plumber in sight,

So the land is the sound of
the snowman's cold cry
that is lost in the same dull dripping

For the buckets full, that slowly overflow,
with nothing snowmen who
duly noted their existence you never built.


2. The Roadblock Has Spoken

This is a translation of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost from the ancient new england hallmarkian to pub dirgese:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


TWO days I stumbled drunken as a bum,
And sorry I ran out so quickly
and have not a drop more for myself
And shook the bottles searching no luck
so they were all useless to me now; 5

Then came the roadblock that stopped me there,
And having perhaps the better gun,
Because I thought I could aye blow it down;
Though I tried to reason with it
My chances were pretty much kaput, 10

But there was no reasoning with this
roadblock that stood there steadily.
Oh, I punched my fist in the deadly air!
Yet I knew it was done futily,
So I doubted I'd be back for lunch. 15

I shall be telling groaning pain
Somewhere out there in the favoured land:
A roadblock emerged for me, and I—
I knew the roadblock has spoken,
And that has made all the difference. 20


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