Schnee (schnee) wrote,
Schnee
schnee

Manch' Samen gibt's

I'm still learning Icelandic, and the textbook I'm currently using had a poem today, Til eru fræ by Davíð Stefánsson frá Fagraskógi, which was so nice I ended up not just reading it but also crafting a translation. And of course I'd like to share that, so here you go:

Til eru fræ

Til eru fræ, sem fengu þennan dóm:
að fjalla í jörð, en verða aldrei blóm.
Eins eru skip, sem aldrei landið ná,
og iðgræn lönd, er sökkva í djúpin blá.
og von, sem hefur vængi sína misst,
og varir, sem að aldrei geta kysst,
og elskendur, sem aldrei geta mæst,
og aldrei geta sumir draumar ræst.

Til eru ljóð, sem lifna og deyja í senn,
og lítil börn, sem aldrei verða menn.

Manch' Samen gibt's

Manch Samen gibt's, dem schweres Los ist auferlegt:
daß in der Erde Schoß nie jungen Trieb er schlägt.
Auch gibt es Schiffe, die nie sich're Häfen seh'n,
und Länder, reichbegrünt, die in der See vergeh'n,
und Hoffnung, deren Schein vor langer Zeit verblaßt',
und Lippen, die niemals ein zarter Kuß erfaßt.
Einander bleibt allzeit manch' Liebespaar verhüllt,
Und mancher teure Traum wird nimmermehr erfüllt.

Manch' Dichtkunst gibt's, die lebt und sterben will alsdann,
Und manches kleine Kind wächst nie zum Mann heran.

I had to change the meter to make it fit; my translation is a Iambic hexameter (the original is a Iambic pentameter), but it stays true to the original's evocative images and manages to flow and rhyme well, and I'm really quite happy with it, if I say so myself.

Perhaps I should consider a career translating poetry. :P

EDIT: no English translation yet, BTW, though I'm sorta toying with the idea of attempting one. "And islands, lush and green, that sink in depths blue..."

EDIT 2: English translation's done.

Tags: icelandic, poems, poetry, translated by me
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