14 February 2006
I had to skip my translation class today, which was annoying, because our translation of Baudelaire was due today. I was very anxious to see what other people had done with it, since I myself struggled with it mightily. Correspondances is an incredible poem, and my French is good enough for me to enjoy it in the original language, which made me very reluctant to translate it. I love certain aspects of translation, but if I could, I would always read everything in its original language. Even when something is gained in translation, something is inevitably lost as well. I was particularly looking forward to seeing what Angela had done with this poem, becuase she is fluent in French. Hopefully I will still be able to get a copy of her translation on Thursday. My translation ... well. I gave up on trying to make it into a poem; it would have been such an injustice to Baudelaire's very structured original. I found that to communicate my impression of the imagery in the original, I wanted phrases like "corrupt, sumptuous, and overpowering," and "having the expansiveness of the infinite," which just didn't seem to lend themselves well to any meter I could think of, let alone fitting into sonnet form.