Wednesday, August 16, 2017

On Translating Poetry by Zbigniew Herbert


On Translating Poetry

Like a clumsy bumblebee
he alights on a flower
bending the fragile stem
he elbows his way
through rows of petals
like pages of a dictionary
he wants in
where the fragrance and sweetness are
and though he has a cold
and can’t taste anything
he pushes on
until he bumps his head
against the yellow pistil
and that’s as far as he gets
it’s too hard
to push through the calyx
into the root
so the bee takes off again
he emerges swaggering
loudly humming:
I was in there
and those
who don’t take his word for it
can take a look at his nose
yellow with pollen

(Translated by Alissa Valles)

 

1 comment:

  1. Poetry is beautiful no matter what language it may be written in. thanks for the translated version. It will help a lot of people understand the meaning of this poem.

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