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I thought this might be an interesting topic to start a thread about. To be honest, I'm not a huge poetry fan, and I don't actually read a lot of poetry. Still I find the work of some select poets appealing, and I am curious what other people here like. Also, I reckon a poetry thread is a nice distraction from the many threads here dealing with all the doom and gloom in the world.

 

Though to be fair poetry can be quite full of that as well. :D

 

My own favourite is quite a well known one by A.E. Housman. Quite a bit of gloom there as well, I must admit.

 

The Laws of God, The Laws of Man

 

The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I: let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me;
And if my ways are not as theirs
Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
Yet when did I make laws for them?
Please yourselves, say I, and they
Need only look the other way.
But no, they will not; they must still
Wrest their neighbor to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With jail and gallows and hell-fire.
And how am I to face the odds
Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
They will be master, right or wrong;
Though both are foolish, both are strong.
And since, my soul, we cannot fly
To Saturn nor to Mercury,
Keep we must, if keep we can,
These foreign laws of God and man.

 

 

 

 

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Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

 

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A danish one, written as a song for a Revue / satirical piece on love and marriage during the WW2 occupation. It's famous for getting through the nazi controlled censorship at the time, as it is a fairly subtle yet clear critique of our willingness to give up freedoms when we are afraid and not standing up for what we believe in. I wish I could translate it all for you, it's a very powerful text. It's called "Man binder os på hånd og mund" / "They tie our hands and mouth"

Fortune favors the bald.

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William Yates's "Sailing to Byzantium" as is obvious from my sig and avatar & nickname

Edited by Drowsy Emperor
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И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Yeah it's a shame that poetry is so hard to properly translate between languages.

 

It's an even greater shame how some of the translations are... outright misinterpretive. Case in point:

 

János Pilinszky: Fish in the net

 

Writhing in a star-net

like fish hauled on land

we gasp in the emptiness

our gills filled with sand

The element we've left and lost

whispers in vain

we pant on the shingle

were we've been thrown.

Crammed one against the other

fighting for breath

we struggle and tremble

in the face of death.

From the wriggling mass

come stifled cries

but the massacre continues

till one, then other, dies.

Atonement and repentance

are the language of the soul

but nothing can save us

from this hopeless hell –

We writhe in the net

of some cosmic fisherman

and maybe at midnight

will be in his frying pan.

 
(Translation by a certain Kenneth White)
 
It almost unrecognizably distorts the original meaning in at least two places.
Edited by aluminiumtrioxid
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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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:shifty:


Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!

Alas! I am very sorry to say

That ninety lives have been taken away

On the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

 

’Twas about seven o’clock at night,

And the wind it blew with all its might,

And the rain came pouring down,

And the dark clouds seem’d to frown,

And the Demon of the air seem’d to say-

“I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

 

When the train left Edinburgh

The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,

But Boreas blew a terrific gale,

Which made their hearts for to quail,

And many of the passengers with fear did say-

“I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

 

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,

Boreas he did loud and angry bray,

And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay

On the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

 

So the train sped on with all its might,

And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,

And the passengers’ hearts felt light,

Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,

With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,

And wish them all a happy New Year.

 

So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,

Until it was about midway,

Then the central girders with a crash gave way,

And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!

The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,

Because ninety lives had been taken away,

On the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

 

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known

The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,

And the cry rang out all o’er the town,

Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,

And a passenger train from Edinburgh,

Which fill’d all the peoples hearts with sorrow,

And made them for to turn pale,

Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale

How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

 

It must have been an awful sight,

To witness in the dusky moonlight,

While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,

Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,

Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,

I must now conclude my lay

By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,

That your central girders would not have given way,

At least many sensible men do say,

Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,

At least many sensible men confesses,

For the stronger we our houses do build,

The less chance we have of being killed.


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Free games updated 3/4/21

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I have two. One is a poem by Alexander Pope called Ode on Solitude

 

How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breathes his native air,
In his own grounds.

 

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

 

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide swift away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

 

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

 

Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

 

The other is by Shakespeare. I used to think it was a poem but it's actually a line from Richard II (which obviously is one of the few I haven't read)

 

“The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past.”

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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I like the simplicity of this one.

By Merrill Glass

But You Didn't

Remember the time you lent me your car and I dented it?
I thought you'd kill me...
But you didn't.

Remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was
formal, and you came in jeans?
I thought you'd hate me...
But you didn't.

Remember the times I'd flirt with
other boys just to make you jealous, and
you were?
I thought you'd drop me...
But you didn't.

There were plenty of things you did to put up with me,
to keep me happy, to love me, and there are
so many things I wanted to tell
you when you returned from Vietnam...
But you didn't.

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This post is not to be enjoyed, discussed, or referenced on company time.

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Excellent thread, more poems please.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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There was a young maid from Madras
Who had a magnificent ass;
Not rounded and pink,
As you probably think -
It was grey, had long ears, and ate grass.
 

 

Yeah I'm a pleb.

 

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When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

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I actually don't like this poem all that much, but hey, at least the translation is pretty pretty damn good.

 

 

Without Hope

 

Slowly, musingly

 

I am as one who comes to rest

by that sad, sandy, sodden shore

and looks around, and undistressed

nods his wise head, and hopes no more.

 

Just so I try to turn my gaze

with no deceptions, carelessly.

A silver axe-swish lightly plays

on the white leaf of the poplar tree.

 

Upon a branch of nothingness

my heart sits trembling voicelessly,

and watching, watching, numberless,

the mild stars gather round to see.

 

In heaven’s ironblue vault ...

 

In heaven’s ironblue vault revolves

a cool and lacquered dynamo.

The word sparks in my teeth, resolves

- oh, noiseless constellations! - so -

 

In me the past falls like a stone

through space as voiceless as the air.

Time, silent, blue, drifts off alone.

The swordblade glitters; and my hair -

 

My moustache, a fat chrysalis,

tastes on my mouth of transience.

My heart aches, words cool out to this.

To whom, though, might their sound make sense?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsckMer0y60&feature=youtu.be&t=18

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Don't ask me why, but this one always speaks to me.

 

Antigonish by Hughes Mearns

 

Yesterday, upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn't there.

He wasn't there again today,

I wish, I wish he'd go away...

 

When I came home last night at three,

The man was waiting there for me

But when I looked around the hall,

I couldn't see him there at all!

Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!

Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door...

 

Last night I saw upon the stair,

A little man who wasn't there,

He wasn't there again today

Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

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Kind of sad when the only poetry I remember is the Iron Maiden version of Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I think I even looked up some facts and history about the original author (Samuel Coleridge) of the text. That was a long time ago though.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe.  I won't dispute that Poe had many an issue, but I've always thought his use of words - repetition, alliteration, etc - in the Raven was superb.

 

.

 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Edited by Amentep
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The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe.  I won't dispute that Poe had many an issue, but I've always thought his use of words - repetition, alliteration, etc - in the Raven was superb.

 

 

Yeah, it has an excellent musical quality to it, which makes the distinct lack of decent recitations on youtube rather baffling.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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My tastes are quite broad, from Omar Khayyam ("Tis all a chequer-board of nights and days, where destiny with men for pieces plays: Hither and thither moves, and mates and slays, and one by one back in the closet lays.") to Tennyson and Ted Hughes. However I have a special place in my heart for the Kenning poetry of the Old Norse, I played a Norse berserk in an old RP session and it was his wont to ejaculate such poetry after combat, commenting on his performance or his foes, of poor quality but glorious vitality.

 

"Tyr's chosen, shieldbreaker, spear shaker treads the place of the arrow storm. The trees of bone he hacks, the red heartwine his woundweaver drinks deep, and widows tears does he take as payment for his work."

 

"Sons thirst the Allfather cries, and so too the Giver of Rings dies, his eyes searching for the Choosers in the Skies, and a place within the Hall."

Edited by Nonek

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Yeah it's a shame that poetry is so hard to properly translate between languages.

 

It's an even greater shame how some of the translations are... outright misinterpretive. Case in point:

 

János Pilinszky: Fish in the net

 

Writhing in a star-net

like fish hauled on land

we gasp in the emptiness

our gills filled with sand

The element we've left and lost

whispers in vain

we pant on the shingle

were we've been thrown.

Crammed one against the other

fighting for breath

we struggle and tremble

in the face of death.

From the wriggling mass

come stifled cries

but the massacre continues

till one, then other, dies.

Atonement and repentance

are the language of the soul

but nothing can save us

from this hopeless hell –

We writhe in the net

of some cosmic fisherman

and maybe at midnight

will be in his frying pan.

 
(Translation by a certain Kenneth White)
 
It almost unrecognizably distorts the original meaning in at least two places.

 

 

That was great until the last line. 'Frying pan' sounds too raw and direct compared to the overall flow of the rest of the poem. Sounds better in hungarian perhaps?

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

Violets aren't Blue,

So nevermind, **** you

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hptKRQcx6IE

 

Not poetry, but a hilarious reading of literature.

 

At any rate I'm partial to Wilde.

 

OFT have we trod the vales of Castaly

And heard sweet notes of sylvan music blown

From antique reeds to common folk unknown:

And often launched our bark upon that sea

Which the nine Muses hold in empery,

And ploughed free furrows through the wave and foam,

Nor spread reluctant sail for more safe home

Till we had freighted well our argosy.

Of which despoilèd treasures these remain,

Sordello's passion, and the honied line

Of young Endymion, lordly Tamburlaine

Driving his pampered jades, and more than these,

The seven-fold vision of the Florentine,

And grave-browed Milton's solemn harmonies.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Never been over-fond of Wilde's poetry (although I suppose I should give it another chance, I think I have a collection somewhere - it and a thesaurus should see me through), but by Jove was the man quotable.

 

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

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Alright, my turn:

 

 

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

-Dylan Thomas

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"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Yeah it's a shame that poetry is so hard to properly translate between languages.

 

It's an even greater shame how some of the translations are... outright misinterpretive. Case in point:

 

János Pilinszky: Fish in the net

 

Writhing in a star-net

like fish hauled on land

we gasp in the emptiness

our gills filled with sand

The element we've left and lost

whispers in vain

we pant on the shingle

were we've been thrown.

Crammed one against the other

fighting for breath

we struggle and tremble

in the face of death.

From the wriggling mass

come stifled cries

but the massacre continues

till one, then other, dies.

Atonement and repentance

are the language of the soul

but nothing can save us

from this hopeless hell –

We writhe in the net

of some cosmic fisherman

and maybe at midnight

will be in his frying pan.

 
(Translation by a certain Kenneth White)
 
It almost unrecognizably distorts the original meaning in at least two places.

 

 

That was great until the last line. 'Frying pan' sounds too raw and direct compared to the overall flow of the rest of the poem. Sounds better in hungarian perhaps?

 

 

The original ending went like this:

 

"Roppant hálóban hányódunk 

s éjfélkor talán 

étek leszünk egy hatalmas 

halász asztalán."

 

Literally, it means something like "we're writhing in a vast net and at midnight, perhaps, we'll be food on an immense fisherman's table". I think it's a pretty major departure from the original meaning, although it isn't quite as bad as some other lines.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Yeah it's a shame that poetry is so hard to properly translate between languages.

 

It's an even greater shame how some of the translations are... outright misinterpretive. Case in point:

 

János Pilinszky: Fish in the net

 

Writhing in a star-net

like fish hauled on land

we gasp in the emptiness

our gills filled with sand

The element we've left and lost

whispers in vain

we pant on the shingle

were we've been thrown.

Crammed one against the other

fighting for breath

we struggle and tremble

in the face of death.

From the wriggling mass

come stifled cries

but the massacre continues

till one, then other, dies.

Atonement and repentance

are the language of the soul

but nothing can save us

from this hopeless hell –

We writhe in the net

of some cosmic fisherman

and maybe at midnight

will be in his frying pan.

 
(Translation by a certain Kenneth White)
 
It almost unrecognizably distorts the original meaning in at least two places.

 

 

That was great until the last line. 'Frying pan' sounds too raw and direct compared to the overall flow of the rest of the poem. Sounds better in hungarian perhaps?

 

 

The original ending went like this:

 

"Roppant hálóban hányódunk 

s éjfélkor talán 

étek leszünk egy hatalmas 

halász asztalán."

 

Literally, it means something like "we're writhing in a vast net and at midnight, perhaps, we'll be food on an immense fisherman's table". I think it's a pretty major departure from the original meaning, although it isn't quite as bad as some other lines.

 

 

Thanks for the clarification!

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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