Friday, January 09, 2009

Floods, landslides, earthquakes, resistant flu strains, ricin threats, escalating Mid-East conflicts, ponzi schemes, usury and economic doom. It does give one pause, doesn't it? (Or does it give one paws? . . . claws?)

Dean and I are trying to do our part to stimulate the economy. We have hired a tile installer to re-do the floor in our basement bathroom. No more crappy old vinyl. Welcome lovely Italian porcelain tiles! Also a flush toilet that uses less water and that sits a little higher off the ground, and a pedestal sink. I know, tres domestique. But that is what our life is now.

I received an Italian translation of my poem "Anagrammer" in the mail the other day. It was written by Stefano Bartezzaghi, who apparently is Billy Collins' translator, and was published in the Italian magazine HOPE, for their "Parola" (word) issue, Numero 14 Dicembre 2008. From what I understand, Stefano was given my poem as a challenge, as it was thought to be "untranslatable" because the anagrams depend so much on the letters, and not the sense of the word. I think Stefano did an amazing job with it. Check it out. I especially love the last pair, where the stained/sainted anagram becomes beota/beato ("fool/angel"):

(Im)possible translation/Traduzioni (im)possibili

Anagrammer
di Peter Pereira (2003)

If you believe in the magic of language,
then Elvis really Lives
and Princess Diana foretold I end as car spin.

If you believe the letters themselves
contain a power within them,
then you understand
what makes outside tedious,
how desperation becomes a rope ends it.

The circular logic that allows senator to become treason,
and treason to become atoners.

That eleven plus two is twelve plus one,
and an admirer is also married.

That if you could just re-arrange things the right way
you’d find your true life,
the right path, the answer to your questions:
you’d understand how the Titanic
turns into that ice tin,
and debit card becomes bad credit.

How listen is the same as silent,
and not one letter separates stained from sainted.

*

Anagrammista
traduzione di Stefano Bartezzaghi (2008)

Se credi nella magia del linguaggio
allora sveli che Elvis è ancora vivo
e Diana Spencer crepa di Senna.

Se credi che le lettere stesse
contengano in sé una forza
allora capisci
che cosa fa dire «io sono noioso»,
e come il rimedio per la disperazione sia di penzolare.

La logica circolare che consente al senatore di essere estraneo ai suoi doveri
e poi al Senato di ritrovare l'onestà.

Che diciotto più tre fa tredici più otto
e che il tuo ammiratore è il marito maturo di un’altra.

Che tu puoi davvero riordinare le cose nel giusto modo
per trovare la vera vita,
la retta via, la risposta alle tue domande:
capirai come l'Andrea Doria
si possa ridare a onda,
e le carte a debito siano tabe a credito.

Come «li senti» equivale a «silenti»,
e non c’è lettera che separi il beota dal beato.


*

6 comments:

Collin Kelley said...

Congrats on the translation.

You and Dean be safe up in them thar hills. :)

Pamela said...

Great translation of your wonderful poem!

Premium T. said...

Translation! So cool!

You know Peter, the way you worded the description of your bathroom remodel, it sounds like you're replacing a pit toilet with a flush toilet. Domestique indeed!

Peter said...

C,P: Glad you enjoyed the translation!

PT: HAHAHAHA--You made me laugh so hard that wine came out my nose! Pit toilet indeed :~) You will have to have a "sit and a flush" the next time you are over. xop

Peter said...

For those of you who don;t read Italian (I don't) here is the Babel Fish translation of the Italian translation:

Anagrammista translation of Stefano Bartezzaghi (2008)
If creeds in the magic of the language then it reveals that Elvis is still alive and Diana Spencer cracks of Senna. If creeds that the same letters they contain a force in itself then you understand what makes to say “I is boring”, and like the remedy for the desperation it is of penzolare. The circular logic that concurs with the senator of being stranger to its duties and then to the Senate to find again l' honesty. That eighteen more three ago thirteen more eight and that your admirer is the mature husband of an other. That you can indeed reorder the things in the just way in order to find the true life, the straight one via, the answer to your questions: you will understand like l' Andrea Doria he can himself be given again to wave, and the papers to debit are tabe on credit. As you feel “them” is equivalent to “silenti”, and not there is letter that separates the idiot from the blessed soul.

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Hello Peter,

You done a great job about the translation..congrats!

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