Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Panther
Translated by Leonard Cottrell

The weary passage of these bars has made his gaze an empty stare:
as if the bars were all there are
and that behind them nothing's there.

Strong and supple strides around
and back to their beginning come.
A swirling play of power surrounds
a noble will that stands there numb.

Just at times the curtain parts
quietly inside his eyes.
Along a nerve, awareness darts -
arriving in his heart, it dies.


The first translation of The Panther offers less pained and sad language. The overall tone is more apathetic. For example, the second translation offers a "gaze so wearied", whereas the first translation calls it an "empty stare", void of emotion. The second translation evokes more of the despair that the panther feels.  In addition, the second translation emphasizes that there are "a thousand bars.. given him", which exponentiates his pain. However the last part of the first translation evokes the image "dying", as though it is gone never again to return, whereas the second translation explains the image as "gone" implying that it can come back again.


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