Essay

สล็อตแจ็คพอตแตก_กติกาการเล่น สล็อต_คาสิโนออนไลน์ฟรีเครดิต_เทคนิค การ เล่น สล็อต ให้ ได้ โบนัส_คาสิโนออนไลน์จีคลับ

We are often told that poetry is “what is lost in translation.” But if that is true, why has my greatest pleasure so often been the discovery of poems in translation, poems I can’t understand in the original which nonetheless I experience as “original”: that is, as authentic voices unlike any of the other voices I love?
“A Precise Woman” by Yehuda Amichai is ostensibly a portrait, in 17 unrhymed lines, of someone whose tightly cinched waist signals the separation of her worldly concerns into the upper and lower spheres. The poem itself imitates this division, its first eight lines describing the imposition of order and the last nine representing its dissolution. The woman’s short hair and penchant for tidying drawers emphasize her orderliness but her sensuality is revealed in “cries of passion” that evoke bird-calls.

We are often told that poetry is “what is lost in translation.” But if that is true, why has my greatest pleasure so often been the discovery of poems in translation, poems I can’t understand in the original which nonetheless I experience as “original”: that is, as authentic voices unlike any of the other voices I love?

“A Precise Woman” by Yehuda Amichai is ostensibly a portrait, in 17 unrhymed lines, of someone whose tightly cinched waist signals the separation of her worldly concerns into the upper and lower spheres. The poem itself imitates this division, its first eight lines describing the imposition of order and the last nine representing its dissolution. The woman’s short hair and penchant for tidying drawers emphasize her orderliness but her sensuality is revealed in “cries of passion” that evoke bird-calls.


We are often told that poetry is “what is lost in translation.” But if that is true, why has my greatest pleasure so often been the discovery of poems in translation, poems I can’t understand in the original which nonetheless I experience as “original”: that is, as authentic voices unlike any of the other voices I love?

“A Precise Woman” by Yehuda Amichai is ostensibly a portrait, in 17 unrhymed lines, of someone whose tightly cinched waist signals the separation of her worldly concerns into the upper and lower spheres. The poem itself imitates this division, its first eight lines describing the imposition of order and the last nine representing its dissolution. The woman’s short hair and penchant for tidying drawers emphasize her orderliness but her sensuality is revealed in “cries of passion” that evoke bird-calls.

Although Hebrew, with its harsher aspirates and its habitual emphasis on the later syllables of words, sounds different from English, the most important sounds here are these bird cries: coos, rising to squawks, then to SHRIEKS, subsiding back to coos, then overflowing in the liquid melody of the thrush. And like the birds themselves, there’s not much in the poem that’s abstract, or specifically Israeli, in this poem. But at the same time this woman whose body is nature is a familiar creature from the Shir Shirim : “the Song of Songs that is Soloman’s”.

At the same time, this poem is not just about the woman but about the speaker’s relationship with her; about marriage as a compromise; about our responsibility to the future (for which we scrutinize the horizon with “weather forecast eyes” and in the service of which we defer gratification) and our equally compelling need for immediate physical satisfaction. Mind/body; nature/civilization; we’ve been skewered on these polarities forever. It doesn’t matter what language we express our dilemma in after all, since it’s universal.

So after pausing to savour the threefold sounding of the thrush, the poem leaves us laughing with an epigrammatic conclusion that universalizes these characters’ predicament in the homely image of their shoes under the bed. Hers point away from pleasure towards all the work that awaits her. But his, like most guys I know, point towards the bed, tongues out and drooling. Now obviously, this interpretation gives much more emphasis to the meaning of Amichai’s words than to their sounds and rhythms, which are indeed lost in translation. But there’s another kind of music which carries over to English, in the arrangement of the words in the lines and the lines on the page, and that is the rhythm of thought, of Amichai’s mind speaking to ours: the ur-language that we all understand and that poetry translates perhaps better than anything else.

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