The Dark Night of the Soul
He who muffles the night under the turned-down sheet once again denies me entry to his quotidian love
and the word--a faint whisper of breath signifying almost nothing--at the first lark
weaves the fragile web of despair: he who debates himself becomes his own enemy.
The most difficult lover, whom I chase until dawn: in your void my poem finds its handiwork.
I think I've gotten to a C+ version here. It remains pretty literal. I decided to go with a long-lined format, and to use the cognate quotidian. I decided to make explicit the reference of the title (Saint John of the Cross.) A translation might never get any better than a C. That doesn't mean that its worthless, just that it is not at a higher level than that yet. I found a translation of "embozar" as muffle. This verb does not occur in the poem, but the noun "embozo" does. Apiñar means stuff or cram. "He who cram night under the turn-down of the sheets."
I can't get anything out of "Amante el más difícil..."
I was reading the introduction of a volume by an eminent translator of T'ang dynasty poetry today. He states that he only wants to translate the "content" of the poetry,not any of that linguistic or formal stuff. He says that he aims to come up with versions of what famous Chinese poet would have written if he were a contemporary American poet. This cliché saddens my heart. What would Mozart do if he were a bebop drummer circa 1947? Probably he would not be much like Mozart. We can debate whether he would be more like Kenny Clarke or Max Roach, I guess.
March will be the all-time most popular month for this blog. I've already beaten the previous number of hits and it is only the 25th. It is probably nothing more than the fact the I have been sharing individual posts on twitter, google, and Facebook.