Friday, May 22, 2015

Less Acurate, More Powerful

In class we were told that the second translation of The Panther was the more acurate version, though because of the differently arranged or replaced words, i feel like the first version conveys a stronger attitude of hopelessness and emptiness.

Let's start with the first two lines of the two translations. In the second translation, it states "His gaze is so wearied from the bars passing by, that it can hold no more." The first translation says "The weary passage of these bars has made his gaze and empty stare." The first translation takes the weariness conveyed in the moment and applies it to the motion of the bars rather than the Panther. This not only creates a tired atmosphere, but it also allows him to expand on the Panther's feelings. He choses the word Empty and changes the gaze into a stare. Emptiness is a far more powerful emotion than weariness as it conveys more than being tired. Instead of weary, the Panther is presented as being reduced to a blank void. There is nothing inside him, and we can gather that this weary environment caused this emptiness.

This void inside the Panther is exemplified further along in the poem. In the last stanza, both poems talk about something entering the panther's mind. In the second translation, it is simply an image. In the first, it is awareness. Awareness, in the context of the poem, is a much more powerful and potent term that really displays the panthers absence. The one thing that briefly flashes in his mind before vanishing counters the emptiness from earlier. It makes us believe thre is still hope for him to be conscious, to have some sense of life. Just as we think that, it dies inside of him and he reverts back to his empty, unaware self. It's far more powerful than the vague image of the second translation.

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