Tuesday, January 26, 2010
It’s Translation Tuesday again, & today we have a very short poem by Dadaist-Surrealist Tristan Tzara. As is my policy when posting short translations, I’ve also included the French Original.
“Voie”—which means “way” in the sense of “show me the way”—comes from Tzara’s 1928 collection, Indicateur des chemins de coeur (“Signposts on the Heart’s Roads” would be one way of translating this.) It's a truly gem-like miniature, & as such shouldn't be overlaid with explication.
I should mention that this will be the last Translation Tuesday for awhile; I know it's been a popular series with some faithful readers, but I'd like to move in a different direction (& remembering all things are subject to change.) B.N.'s poems will continue to appear on alternate Tuesdays, but beginning next month, there will be a new series to complement her work—details expected this Friday!
Now, on to the poem, & hope you enjoy it!
what is this road that keeps us apart
across which my thought’s hand reaches
a flower’s inscribed on each fingertip
and the end of the road is a flower walking with you
translation by John Hayes © 1990-2010
quel est ce chemin qui nous sépare
à travers lequel tends la main de ma pensée
une fleur est écrite au bout de chaque doigt
et le bout du chemin est une fleur qui marche avec toi
Pic at top:
Portrait of Tristan Tzara 1927: Lajos Tihanyi